Small business owners need to streamline their operations anywhere they can to help speed up their growth. Online software applications and other digital tools can be insurmountably beneficial in doing so. In fact, it was found that the average restaurant manager dedicates anywhere from one to eight hours every week just creating employee schedules. That's a huge chunk of time that could be put towards something more lucrative for your small business.
While cost can be a significant factor that deters some business owners away from using web-based scheduling software, it is important to note that there are many free options available online.
Look at these free and top-ranking employee scheduling software options that you can use for your small business team.
Why Your Team Needs Employee Scheduling Software
If you want to reduce labor costs and increase the revenue of your small business, using employee scheduling software is a simple way to do so. Streamlining your scheduling tactics frees up an enormous amount of time from your schedule and prevents the occurrence of any net losses that might be incurred to your small business from any scheduling mistakes. Mistakes should be expected in running any small business, but a good small business owner will take as many precautionary actions as possible to reduce the risk of mistakes occurring.
Besides increasing efficiency, employee scheduling software can also be a great help in avoiding any scheduling snafus. It is not uncommon for complexities to arise for a small business team. Between vacation days, sick days, and the occasional mistake, employee scheduling software can effectively address any margin of error in making schedules. If you allow your employees to take time off, an employee scheduling app can save you an enormous amount of time and a future headache trying to delegate multiple swapping requests from your team.
Best Employee Scheduling Software Options right now
Using excel sheets and google documents are easy to use, but why limit yourself and your small business when there are better options out there? In the long run, you are better off making necessary updates to your small business now so you can continue to optimize your business practices into the future.
To help you find the best work scheduling software for your small business, we have compiled a list of the top-ranking work schedule tools of this year.
This scheduling software is best for calendar customization. Calendly is widely liked by small businesses thanks to its ease of use and capability to customize your business calendar, so it is attuned to your needs and preferences. What really sets this employee scheduling software apart, is its unique ability to detect a user's time zone. If you have a globally remote team, this feature comes in handy for avoiding time-zone mishaps or miscommunications while setting dates and times. It is also a great platform to use if you are looking for an online work schedule app that has multifunctional capabilities for communicating with your small business team. You can even connect your google calendar to make schedule changes and keep tabs on open shifts with ease.
However, this scheduler has its fair share of limitations with the free plan. If you opt for the free plan, you will not have access to most of the scheduling features you need to streamline all components of your employee planning. Your team will not have access to real time mobile app notifications of any shift reminders or no shows. Basic features of the free plan for this software are only helpful to a certain extent. If you are looking for scheduling software that has a broader range of capabilities for tracking employee time, you are better off with another option.
Staff scheduling can be time consuming. Luckily, 7Shifts is a great software for small business owners looking for a simple and free scheduling tool. This software has effective time clocking solutions as well, making it particularly beneficial for restaurants or other brick and mortar stores with hourly employees. Restaurants can benefit from the platform's many helpful scheduling features including shift trades, attendance tracking, task management, team communication capabilities, and time tracking for team members who are required to clock in and clock out for their shift. Best of all, the online platform enables small business owners to track employee availability, implement auto scheduling, and empower employees to swap shifts. It is a great shift scheduling tool to track time and resolve staffing issues that may arise with upcoming shifts.
With all of these great functionality features, there are still considerations to keep in mind before getting started with this platform. For starters, pricing will differ depending on the size of your team. For example, if you have upwards of ten employees, you may need to pay additional fees to accomplish your scheduling goals. The platform is also limited in its language support capabilities, with translations only available in English, Spanish, and French.
Homebase offers small businesses a free plan that covers all your basic employee scheduling needs. The software includes live customer support when needed and has compatibility with iOS and Android apps. This is an important yet often overlooked feature to keep in mind when working with a team of people. Not everyone owns an iPhone! On top of a simple to use interface, the scheduling software enables 24/7 live updates on both the website and mobile device app-based platform. As your team scheduling needs may constantly change, your employees will never be out of the loop thanks to on-the-spot alerts about any schedule updates or changes. And, there is even a feature to automate and optimize your staff schedule, saving you time and money. Best of all, Homebase offers alerts to prevent overtime and sales forecasts to see what is working and what is not.
Keep in mind that this platform takes longer to set up compared to alternative options. And, if your team is on the larger side, this could pose some complications for the free version of the scheduling software.
While the software does not offer a free trial, Setmore provides small businesses with a free scheduling plan. This scheduling platform is great for teams that need to manage both client meetings and employee schedules. Not all employee scheduling software tools are created equal - particularly when they come at no cost. Setmore stands out from the crowd with this unique feature. Also, the platform donates 1% of its total revenue every month to fund the planting of trees around the world. Automatic push notifications can keep your employees in the loop on team schedules and upcoming shifts. This scheduling solution even provides schedule templates you can base your team calendar on for reference, like timesheets and other employee records you might need to keep track of.
However, there are some limitations with the free version. Small businesses who opt for the free account are restricted in how many calendars and users can be included in the platform. Messaging capabilities among your team are limited when using this employee scheduling software tool. Furthermore, the shiftboard can be complicated to use if you or a team member does not have familiarity with these types of online tools.
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Notice to the Reader
The content within this article is a general guide and may not apply to your specific workforce management practices. Always consult with a lawyer or professional accountant to ensure you're meeting local, state, and federal employment and financial standards and regulations.