Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Room Capacity


It is vital to your business to ensure that you never overbook a room. Whether you allocate rooms for every appointment, create general rooms in the system, or have rooms that hold multiple appointments, a room assignment is always required when booking in SpaBooker.
The room capacity will reflect the number of appointments the room can hold. The importance of setting room capacity in SpaBooker is to avoid overbooking and to make sure the correct amount of appointments are being performed in a room.

Share

Saturday, April 24, 2010

IECSC Las Vegas: Day 1

We just completed day 1 at the International Esthetics, Cosmetics and Spa Conference (IECSC) in Las Vegas, Nevada. My impression after one day of the show is that there is a very positive energy permeating the spa industry right now. It was great to see a show chalked full of exhibitors and swimming with attendees. I would like to congratulate all of the folks at Questex Media Group for once again putting on a great show. As a regular exhibitor at industry trade shows, as SpaBooker is, our goal is to have the opportunity to speak to business owners and decision makers about both our technology and the state of the industry. Today proved that new spas are opening and existing spas are doing quite well. We got to meet some great folks and interesting spa owners that were in need of a quality software solution, and we were happy to help!

Overall, it's very encouraging to see this show so well attended and represented by quality vendors in the industry. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow which is traditionally the busiest and most exciting day at this show. If you are planning on attending tomorrow, be sure to stop by our booth: 2522. We're serving up delicious espresso and raffling off a brand new iPad! Come by and meet the great team we have here representing SpaBooker.

Check back tomorrow for an update from day 2.
Share

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Go Green with SpaBooker for Earth Day

Or, how I cut my business's greenhouse gas emissions without even trying

There has been much written over the past few years expounding the benefits of utilizing Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) versus hosting your own infrastructure and software, and many of them have even touched on the fact that SaaS is innately green due to its shared infrastructure. But just how green is it? For Earth Day, we thought that we might actually put some numbers around it:
  • Due to the hardware SpaBooker uses (cutting edge Dell servers with the latest Intel chips) and the optimization that we achieve, we are able to run more than 1,000 businesses on a typical cluster. This number actually increases every year, since Intel has been improving their CPU performance by more than 100% annually of late (and our software engineering team is continually optimizing our platform). We expect that the next cluster we deploy will use less energy while supporting twice as many businesses.

  • Just what is a cluster? A cluster is made up of 3-5 application servers, 2-3 database nodes, a direct attached storage (DAS) device, and supporting security and networking equipment, let’s call it 10 machines on average.

  • To calculate how much energy each business using SpaBooker consumes on a daily basis, let’s do the math:
    • Each machine uses between 100 and 600 watts per hour, depending on load. Let’s call it 300 watts per hour on average (even though it is actually lower).
    • 24 hours per day X 300 watts per hour X 10 machines = 72 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day.
    • 72 kWh per day divided by 1,000 businesses equals 72 watts per business per day;
    • or, put another way, each business uses the same amount of energy as an average incandescent light bulb that is left on for an hour to use SpaBooker for a day.
    • The EPA estimates that for every 1 kWh of electricity we produce, 1.37 pounds of CO2 are emitted.
    • This means that a typical business using SpaBooker emits 1.58 ounces of CO2 daily.

  • Now let’s estimate how much energy and CO2 a typical business hosting their own infrastructure will use and emit:
    • We have seen other articles and posts that we believe have overestimated the number of computers and servers (machines) that a typical business would install if they were not using a SaaS product. The fact of the matter is that most small to medium businesses (SMBs) with under 5 employees would only use a single machine at their front desk, and, to be honest, with SpaBooker, or any other SaaS Scheduling system, you are still going to need that same machine (although with the rise of Netbooks and tablets like the iPad, this may be up for debate next year).

      So instead of overestimating just how green SpaBooker is, let’s take a realistic approach and base it on the number of logins per 1,000 businesses. Since SpaBooker supports businesses with as little as 1 login and as large as 250+ logins using the system, we took an average, which was 13 logins per business.

      Here is where it gets interesting, a business with 5 logins may only need one machine at the front desk, but as soon as a business wants to network two machines together, they generally need to add a server, and networking equipment, and (hopefully) a uninterruptable power supply (UPS). If you add this all together, it means that to support 13 logins, a business would need around 2.6 machines, if we include the extra peripheral equipment needed, we’ll use the average of 3 machines per business.

    • The machines that SpaBooker uses in a cluster are actually far different than what a business with 13 logins would need, so instead of using an average of 300 watts per hour per machine, let’s be very conservative and say that on average, each machine only consumes 100 watts per hour.
    • 24 hours per day X 100 watts per hour X 3 machines, equals 7.2 kWh per day.
    • This means that a typical business with 13 logins would be emitting about 9 pounds 14 ounces of CO2 per day.

  • Now that we know how much energy a typical business on SpaBooker uses, and how much CO2 is emitted, and we know how much the same sized business not using SpaBooker consumes and emits, let’s calculate the savings:
    • Since a typical business with 13 logins using SpaBooker still needs a machine at the front desk, and usually has another machine (generally a laptop) somewhere else on location, let’s eliminate half of the 3 machines to be extra conservative.
    • This means that a typical business using SpaBooker consumes (drum roll please) 51% of the electricity they would use if they were not using SpaBooker;
    • or, put another way, each business using SpaBooker emits 4 pounds 13 ounces less CO2 every single day they are open.
These calculations are obviously rough, but numerous other SaaS vendors like Netsuite and Salesforce have performed their own studies that have come up with similar results, so don’t just take our word for it. Using SpaBooker, really can help your business with its green efforts.
Share

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Charge-up this weekend with SpaBooker at IECSC Las Vegas

Going to IECSC Las Vegas this weekend? Stop by SpaBooker booth #2522 and power up at our charging station with a complimentary espresso - and while you're there, enter to win a brand new Apple iPad!

While you're charging up, you can see just how well SpaBooker's spa software works on the iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone.  We look forward to seeing you!
Share

New Mother's Day Gift Certificate Templates


Mother's Day is just around the corner and what could be a better gift for both your customers and your business than a gift certificate. Just in time for the holiday, SpaBooker added new Mother's Day gift certificate templates so your customers can personalize the perfect gift and make Mom feel extra special. These Mother's Day instant printable gift certificates can help your customers show their love perfectly.

Customers can personalize instant printable gift certificates directly from your website and either email it for immediate delivery or print it for personal delivery.
Share

Thursday, April 15, 2010

User Testing - Help Shape the SpaBooker Experience

Are you a current SpaBooker customer and want to help shape the SpaBooker user experience? Interested in previewing new features in advance? Get involved in user testing!

Here's how it works: You give us about 20 minutes of your time. We share an interactive prototype of an upcoming SpaBooker feature. You use it. We pay attention.

Our primary goal with user testing is to improve the usability of SpaBooker and its upcoming features. After observing and recording how you interact with a future version of SpaBooker, we can make sure that what we’re planning matches our customers’ needs.

To get involved with user testing, contact support (at) spa-booker.com today.
Share

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Service Time and Price by Staff


Time is money, and you want to make sure your prices are reflecting the amount of time spent on each customer. Different staff work at different paces, which may require different pricing. SpaBooker can help you by displaying this information when booking appointments for each of your staff. By setting service time and price according to each staff member, you have the ability to truly maximize your staff's time and talent.

With the ability to configure treatment times on a per technician basis, SpaBooker gives you the flexibility to change appointment duration depending on how long it takes each staff member to perform a service. The appointment length will automatically be updated on the calendar depending on the staff selected.
Share

Friday, April 9, 2010

Only one month till Mother's Day

Mother’s Day is only one month away and everyone knows moms love spas! Year after year Mother’s Day has ranked as the second largest Spa Day of the year (Valentine’s Day being the first). So if you haven’t already, it’s time you start thinking about how to optimize your revenue for this big day.
  1. Instant Gift Certificates- Sell them on your website, sell them on SpaFinder.com, send out email blasts promoting them – do everything you can to get the word out to your customers. SpaBooker Instant Gift Certificates are one of the easiest ways for you to get more customers or to make sure your current customers are sharing their love for your spa with their friends and family this Mother’s Day.

  2. SpaFinder.com- SpaFinder does a large outreach to their customers for Mother’s Day, so why not reap the benefits of their marketing dollars? If your spa is bookable on SpaFinder.com, they will do all the work of marketing the big day, and you are sure to get new customers.

  3. Specials- Create Mother’s Day deals to entice your customers to bring their Mom to the spa. Mother/Daughter spa trips have proven to be a great way to get not just one, but two bookings!

  4. Social Media- You’ve heard it before, but Social Media is a great way to build your business. Use your Facebook, Twitter or blog to remind your customers that a day at your spa is the ideal gift for their mother, wife, sister, aunt, stepmom or grandma.

Share

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Commission Settings

Payroll and compensation is generally one of the most sensitive, and sometimes complex, parts of a business. As such, SpaBooker has a myriad of different configuration options to help make calculating payroll as easy as possible.  Whether a coupon is applied, an override is used, or a package is booked, there are many features that can change the final price of a service, which can affect your staffs' compensation.

When it comes to how you pay your staff, to make everything work seamlessly, you need to decide how their commissions are calculated. Use the Payroll setting, located under System Settings => Employees => Payroll, to set how you want SpaBooker to determine employee commission. If Original Service Price is selected, commissions will be based on the starting Service price, before any changes. If Final Service Price is selected commissions will be based
on the amount that the customer actually paid your
business for the service.
Share