2020 Enhancements – Online Booking

Today, we’ll review some of the new enhancements for online booking! Online Booking is one of our personal favorite features at StudioPlus. With photographers all around the world, we are honored to play a role in bringing you a greater connection with your clients!

Multilingual Online Booking

For our international users, we’ve added more language options in the online booking portal. These include Dutch, Danish, Italian, Swedish, and Norwegian translations on top of our English, German, French, and Spanish translations.

To set this up yourself, this setting is controlled by the Locale option found on the General tab of the Company Preferences. Or, utilize a custom URL that directs clients to the translated portal.

Since we do not have anyone on staff who is fluent in the new online languages, if you see an incorrect translation, please let us know! We will be happy to correct the wording. Email any corrections to Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com.

Online Booking Locations

As an additional feature for photographers who utilize in-home photography, we’ve added the ability to online booking for you to list the client’s home address as the location of their photoshoot. No more confusion for where they need to be!

This can be set for individual session types in the Session Type maintenance > Online Booking tab.

Online Booking Fonts

Another great feature is the ability to add your own custom, web-safe font to display online. In your Customization options for online booking, you may free-type the name of the font and the system will automatically connect with it. As far as color options go, the system has already allowed you to free type a color’s RGB code. This new addition grants you full control of the customization of your online booking portal.

Click here to learn more about Online Booking.

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2020 Enhancements – Report Subscriptions

myStratus contains a vast number of reports to provide you with a better understanding of how your business is operating. With this next feature, you’ve been granted greater control over these reports with the introduction of Report Subscriptions!

Both Spectra and myStratus users can now Save your report settings to come back and view later. For example, let’s say you always run the same Time Sheet report every week for Payroll. Now, this report has a new option to save the report settings, so the software will remember what you need to see when you access the saved report next time. An important point to remember with this feature is to keep the dates generic. If you always view a report based on today’s information, make sure your dates are set to show for Today instead of Today’s Date 05/26/2020.

With this new saved report feature, myStratus users can go even further and Subscribe to your saved reports, which will automatically send the report to your email inbox on the date/time you define. Using my previous example of the Time Sheet report—since you saved the report exactly in the format you need it, you can also select to Subscribe to the report. Once this is set up, myStratus will automatically send you a copy of the time sheet report once a week when you need to look at it.

Plus, if your report criteria, or the frequency you need a report, changes over time, you can always edit them at the new Maintenance > Reports menu.

Click here to learn more about Report Subscriptions

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2020 Enhancements – Net Promoter Score Enhancements

One of our biggest enhancements back in 2019 was our Net Promoter Score feature that lets you automatically record this important feedback. Here’s an excerpt from last year’s blog post recapping the definition of a Net Promoter Score:

“Ever received a 1-10 scoring scale like this from a business you’ve recently patronaged? “How likely are you to recommend our service to a friend or colleague?”

The number you select during this survey is called a Net Promoter Score (NPS). Net Promoter scores are the latest “Hot Topic” in the business world. Experts today have deemed this as the single-most important question you can ask clients to gauge your business’ success. The feedback provided after selecting a rating provides the gateway for you to see what your business does well and where you could use improvement, and because NPS is a leading indicator of your future growth, you’ll quickly find it to be one of the most valuable tools in myStratus!!”

Collecting feedback and data on how your business is doing is absolutely crucial to growing your business, but that data doesn’t provide much insight if you experience low response rates. Therefore, we’ve expanded this critical feature to bring you Net Promoter Score SMS Triggers!

Now, you’ve got a new ability in the Trigger maintenance menu to automatically send a client an NPS SMS text message based on the criteria you set up. This isn’t any ordinary text message – when a client responds to your text asking, “On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to refer us to a friend or colleague?”, their response and subsequent feedback will automatically be recorded on the matching session record > Online tab. You can then review this information, along with all the reports and additional triggers created back in 2019.

SMS text messaging is an important key to modern day business practices, and we love bringing you new ways to better utilize this amazing tool.

Click here to learn more about Net Promoter Scores.

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Preview Release of myStratus and Spectra 2020!

Today, we are officially announcing the Preview Release of myStratus 2020 and Spectra 2020, complete with new features our team’s been developing, testing, and documenting.

While these past few months haven’t been easy for business owners, it’s important we look to the future for ways we can continue to improve ourselves and our businesses. I’m excited for each of you to see what 2020 has in store for StudioPlus!

What’s new in 2020?

myStratus Users have some great new features coming their way!

  • First, we’ve expanded on our Net Promoter Score feature, released last year, and added the ability to receive Net Promoter Ratings via SMS text message – giving you an even greater response rate.
  • Next, our robust reporting tools are even stronger with the introduction of Report Subscriptions. Receive your most crucial reports in your inbox at the time you need them most!
  • myStratus users also have new functionality with our Online Booking portal. This includes new translations, session location options, and the ability to have any web-safe font displayed online.

Both Spectra and myStratus can see additional features such as an overhauled Preferences Wizard, new Trigger options, and client creation options for outgoing SMS messages.

Plus, a special announcement! In this first release of 2020, we’ve added the necessary back-end infrastructure to support our upcoming, brand-new InspiredByYou.com ecommerce website – coming soon!! Make sure you’re subscribed to our Company blog so you can be the first to know about future releases.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be making a series of blog posts highlighting these new enhancements and how you can use these features to grow your business. Stay tuned!

We are now in the process of completing documentation and training materials. Upon completion, we’ll make myStratus 2020 and Spectra 2020 Generally Available (GA) to all. In the meantime, if you’d like to install the Preview Release of the new 2020 Version, here are instructions:

Everyone

Click here to read the “What’s New in 2020″

Click here to read the detailed Release Notes for 2020 Volume 1 Service Release 1

StudioPlus Spectra Users

Click Help > About to make sure your AMP date is January 2020 or greater. If not, please email a screenshot to Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com.

Click here to download Spectra 2020 and install on all workstations

StudioPlus myStratus Users

Send an email to Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com to request your upgrade to 2020. They will coordinate the date and time for your upgrade. At that time, you’ll automatically be prompted to download your new myStratus Desktop for 2020.

We’re always interested in hearing from our clients. Your input helps create the software that best suits YOUR needs to run a successful and expanding business. If you have a suggestion for a future enhancement, please click here to add it to the StudioPlus User Voice. Or, if you find that someone else has already made that suggestion, then simply vote it up! The more votes, the greater the chance we will implement that enhancement in a future update.

If you have any problems with the new 2020 Version, please call or email us at Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com. We would love to assist you!

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Congress Passes CARES Act – $2.2T Rescue Package for Small Businesses

For clients in the US – Relief is coming soon to help our small businesses stay in business!

Well, if your business is anything like ours, you’re fighting to keep your business open!! The US federal government wants to do something to help and has recently passed a massive $2.2T rescue packages for businesses like yours and ours. If you haven’t had a chance to read through the 880-page legislation, I thought I would share some highlights with you to brighten your weekend and give you a little hope!

Before I continue, I know this legislation only affects our clients here in the United States, and we know that many of our clients are outside the US. It is my hope that your country will soon offer relief to you and to your business as well. My recommendation is to do your research online and talk with your local banker regarding your options.

OK, so here are some highlights on the US Legislation just passed:

  • You will soon (maybe within a week) be able to take out an SBA loan from your local bank, which is 100% guaranteed by the Federal government.
  • Allowable uses of the loan include payroll support – such as employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent, and utility payments.
  • The max amount that you can borrow is calculated by taking your average monthly payroll expense (before the pandemic) times 2.5.
  • All loan fees are waived.
  • No collateral or personal guarantee is required.
  • BEST OF ALL! If you maintain your employee count at the same level as it was before the crisis began for the eight week period after you receive the funds, then you can have this loan forgiven! If you’ve already laid off or furloughed employees, you’ll need to bring them back on as soon as you start the program.
  • Any loan portion that is forgiven will NOT be considered as taxable income.
  • Any remaining portion of the loan not forgiven is paid back over 10 years at an interest rate not to exceed 4%.
  • This program is available for self-employed businesses as well.
  • You may also receive a deferment on any other outstanding SBA loans that you have for 6 to 12 months.

Don’t pass up this opportunity! This can be a game-changer for your business. It’s like receiving 8 weeks of free labor! (See our other Learning Blog posts on ideas what to do with your staff while your studio is closed, even if they’re working from home). In addition, it provides additional funding to help keep your rents paid and lights on!

Final disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer or banker, so please confirm all the information posted here with your local banker for accuracy.

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PhotoOne – End of Support is Coming

*Note: This Blog post is only in reference to those using PhotoOne software. myStratus and Spectra continue to be supported softwares of StudioPlus.

As of 1/1/2020, PhotoOne will no longer be a supported software of StudioPlus. This means any recurring Maintenance Plan or DataSafe you currently have will cease to run, and you will not be able to obtain any support – including emergency and system down support. If PhotoOne becomes unavailable (e.g. Fm2 File Corrupt, Halt Disk Error, or trying to move the data), our staff will not be able to provide any assistance.

We’re notifying all PhotoOne clients now to ensure you have enough time to switch to a new software if you choose.

What does this mean for you?

We don’t have a magic switch that will turn off your use of PhotoOne. If you have not changed your software by 1/1/2020, your database will still be accessible and continue to operate. However, all Maintenance Plans, DataSafe, and Technical Support from StudioPlus will cease to be available after this date. Our staff will no longer be able to provide any PhotoOne support – paid or unpaid.

If you would like to switch to one of our other products (myStratus or Spectra) after the 1/1/2020 date, please be advised that the ability to convert your current database will no longer be available as well.

How can you prepare for the end?

Over the course of the next few months, consider how you want your business to move forward.

If you’d like to stay with StudioPlus, we offer two great business management solutions called myStratus and Spectra. Click here to learn more about each software. To help make the switch as easy as possible, we’d like to offer you a free conversion* to either solution, so all your client information will carry over to the new system. Both myStratus and Spectra are similar to PhotoOne, so the transition should be a comfortable one.

If you have questions about which solution will be the best move for your business or want to discuss how your database will be converted, contact us at Support@StudioPlusSoftware.com.

 

Unfortunately, all software programs eventually reach the end of their life expectancy. Operating systems require updates, security gets tighter and tighter, and other general updates occur. That means more and more parts of the PhotoOne software will stop working as time progresses. Even worse, you may come in one day after a Windows Update and PhotoOne doesn’t work at all!

Take some time prior to 1/1/2020 to consider your best business management option moving forward. And please feel free to reach out to our Support and Sales teams while you make this decision. We value you as a longstanding customer and want you to know we’re here to help!

We’ve been proud to support the product for the last 10 years and we sincerely hope each of you will stay as StudioPlus customers so we may continue to serve you!

*Free Conversion Terms: Conversion must take place before 1/1/2020. Free Conversion applies to Standard and Professional versions of myStratus & Spectra only. myStratus Express and Spectra Express do not count for this promotion. If you wish to convert to the Express version, the cost to convert is $245.

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2019 myStratus Mobile App Released

This release includes a new Credit Card option powered by TSYS (Formerly Cayan) and their Genius Mini Device – allowing you to take credit card payments and deposits ALL from your mobile device! Any payment or customer deposit created from the myStratus mobile app will automatically sync back to your myStratus database immediately.

If your device is set up for auto updates, the app should update on its own. If you do not have auto updates set up, visit your app store and check your Updates panel to update the app.

Click here to read how to set up the Credit Card Processing Feature.

Note: This new feature is only available to TSYS users in the U.S. Click here to get a free, no obligation quote from TSYS.

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myStratus 2019 and Spectra 2019 General Availability

Both myStratus 2019 and Spectra 2019 are now available for general release!

Our StudioPlus team’s been working hard over the past several months to deliver this major update. From development to testing, documentation to editing, and feedback to delivery, each staff member has played a key role in producing a product we are proud to release to our clients! Without their hard work, we wouldn’t be able to deliver these industry-changing features every year. So I’m taking the opportunity to publicly acknowledge their contribution and say, “Thanks, team!!”

All Spectra users with a current maintenance plan can upgrade today. All myStratus subscribers will automatically be upgraded during the next two weeks. If you are a myStratus subscriber, we’ll send you an email with the date of your automatic upgrade. Feel free to let us know if the proposed date doesn’t work for your business and we’ll change it.

Get started by reading the Release Notes to discover the great new features as well as some important items that have changed in the software.

Remember, if you have a suggestion for a new feature, please visit our User Voice page here, and cast your vote on other people’s suggestions or add one of your own!

Spectra users – Click here to start your Spectra 2019 download and view upgrading instructions!

myStratus subscribers – Keep an eye on your email for the date of your upgrade!

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2019 Enhancements – Additional Goodies

Over the past several days, I’ve been privileged to describe our latest 2019 features, and today I’m sharing some “Additional Goodies” in the latest release. These features may not warrant their own dedicated blog post but we believe they’re still just as exciting!

Here’s what’s new:

Best Promotion Calculator – A new calculator option is available on all invoices. When activated, the system will automatically check all listed Promotional items on an invoice and will only apply the one Promotional item that gives the best deal for the client.

Calendar Performance – Changes have been made behind the scenes to improve Calendar performance for myStratus.

Cayan Credit Card processing – With TSYS’s recent acquisition of Cayan, Spectra/myStratus have been updated to display the new TSYS branding instead of Cayan.

Client records – The Invoice tab of Client records will now display a green dot if all your client’s invoices are paid in full.

Image Detail – A new option is available in the Company Preferences to not print individual images on the Image Detail if they’re only being used in a Composite.

Search By Options – The Search By feature in the Clients Hub is now able to search via Lead Source.

Dashboard – Session and Appointment based Data Types in the Dashboard provides the option to Group By “Hour of Day”.

Invoice Labels – A new Client Labels pop-up menu for Session, Bill-to, and Shipping labels is included in Invoice records.

Time SlotsUser and Resource columns now visible in Time Slot maintenance form.

Client Import Wizard – A new ability to Update Existing Client Records based on Main Phone Number in Client Import Wizard.

Client Birthdays – 12 new Filters have been automatically added to create a list of client’s birthdays for each month.

Price List Items – Replaceable Price List Items grant the ability to require an item be replaced.

Auto Capitalization – A new setting in the Company Preferences lets you disable the software’s automatic capitalization feature. To bypass the auto capitalization, a hover-over detail has also been added to all client records.

Today’s SnapshotLYTD (Last Year-To-Date) data has been added to Today’s Snapshot tile on Home page. LYTD means Last Year-to-date, which allows you to get an immediate comparison how you are doing this Year-to-date versus last year for the same period.

Notes – All Notes tabs give you the ability to change font style and size.

Advanced Search – New ability to search by ALL client Phone Numbers at once in the Advanced Search form.

Global Payments – Additional compliance in Global Payments integration for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) in Europe.

Time Stamps – Now set Time Stamps to follow a global internet time instead of the computer’s local time at Company Preferences > Miscellaneous tab. Using this feature bypasses the local computer clock, which can be different from computer to computer, and uses a centralized Internet-based clock so all time-stamps are consistent and accurate. Using this feature, also prevents a user from manually changing their computer time to fraudulently stamping in an inaccurate timestamp in the notes.

Many of the new features added in the 2019 Version came directly from our StudioPlus User Voice page. Please, continue to use this page to submit new feature requests that you’d appreciate being added to an upcoming release, or simply cast your vote for someone else’s suggestion. The more votes a suggestion receives, the more likely it will show up in a future release. Help customize both StudioPlus Spectra and myStratus for years to come!!

Click here to visit the StudioPlus User Voice

Click here for the complete list of What’s New in 2019 Volume 1

Click here for the complete Release Notes for 2019 Volume 1

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2019 Enhancements – Mobile App Credit Card Processing

When we announced the 2018 version of Spectra & myStratus last year, one of the features introduced was an integration with Cayan’s (now TSYS’s) Genius Mini device. This powerful little device allows you to take credit card payments from your mobile device. We shared then that we planned to integrate the Mini Device with our myStratus Mobile App in the near future. That time is now!

Our myStratus Mobile app is now compatible with the Genius Mini device – allowing you to take credit card payments and deposits ALL from your mobile device. Any payment or customer deposit created from the myStratus mobile app will automatically sync back to your myStratus database immediately.

Please Note: The myStratus Mobile App is still in Beta Testing at this time. If you would like early access to this feature, please contact Technical Support.

Click here to learn more about Credit Card Processing with myStratus Mobile.

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