Welcome to Spectra

New to Spectra? Start here! Complete each step of this checklist to successfully set up Spectra for your studio and then use it to train your employees.

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Getting Started

Subscribe to the StudioPlus blogs! The Support blog is where you'll get the latest support information for StudioPlus products. In the Company blog, Matthew Hunt, company CEO and founder, will keep you informed about the overall direction of the company, product road maps, new product releases, and general industry insights. The Learning blog offers tips and tutorials to help you maximize Spectra in your business.
Bookmark the Getting Help Overview page on our website. Visit this page often to stay in the loop on the latest training, product information, and updates for Spectra.
Print Getting Started With Spectra. Use this PDF document as your guide to get up and running with Spectra. We'll refer to it throughout this checklist.
Read pages 4-9 in the Getting Started With Spectra. Use the product comparison chart to familiarize yourself with the features available in your version of Spectra. Highlight the ones you feel will have the biggest impact on your business.

 

1: Installing Spectra

Let's get started by installing Spectra. Whether you're running Spectra on a single workstation or twenty, we'll keep it simple!

Download the Spectra installer from the Downloads page on our website.
Install Spectra using the instructions on pages 10-15 of Getting Started with Spectra.
Update Spectra with the latest service release.
If you plan to use a NAS storage device, read the "Network Attached Storage (NAS) and StudioPlus Spectra" knowledge base article for some important recommendations.

 

2: Protecting Your Data

Imagine what you would do if you lost years of valuable client data. Backing up your data regularly is key to building a successful business.

Read the "Spectra Database Backup Best Practices" knowledge base article as you consider your options for backing up your database.
Read the "DataSafe Quick Reference Guide" to help you set up DataSafe.
  Subscribe to DataSafe for safe and secure online backup protection.
  Read the "Troubleshooting DataSafe Setup" knowledge base article.
Read pages 16-17 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Use Spectra's Database Utility.
Back up your Spectra data using the built-in Backup tool.
Maintain your Spectra database by using the Compact and Repair tool.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Database Utility" training video.
Read "Features of the Database Utility" in the Spectra User Guide.
  Watch the "Control Center" training video.
  Read the "Control Center" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

3: Setting Up Your Preferences

The Preferences Wizard is the easiest way to set up your basic preferences in Spectra. It''ll have you up and running in no time.

Set up the basics with the Preferences Wizard. Read and follow the instructions on pages 18-20 of Getting Started with Spectra.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Preferences Wizard" training video.
Read the "Preferences Wizard" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

4: Finding Your Way Around Spectra

Before you jump in and start using Spectra, take a few minutes to get familiar with the workspace.

Read pages 21-23 of Getting Started with Spectra to:
Learn about the Spectra home page.
Find out what the menus do.
Learn how to set up shortcuts.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Navigating Spectra" training video.
Read the "Spectra Home Page" topic in the Spectra User Guide.
Read the "Getting Around" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

5: Working with Clients

Your clients are key to your success, and Spectra is the perfect tool to help you build strong and dynamic client relationships.

Read pages 24-26 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Create a client.
Find a client on the Clients hub.
Import a list of clients.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Clients" training video.
Read the "Working with Clients" section of the Spectra User Guide.
Watch the "Client Import and Export" training video.
Read the "Client Import and Export" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

6: Scheduling

It's time to book some sessions and appointments in Spectra!

Explore the calendar and practice some of the tips on pages 27 and 28 of Getting Started with Spectra.
Read and follow the instructions on pages 28-29 of Getting Started with Spectra to:
Learn the difference between a session and an appointment.
Create a session from the calendar using the Scheduling Wizard.
Find the session on the Sessions hub.
Create a session or appointment from an existing client (instead of from the calendar).
Also recommended:
Watch the "Navigating the Calendar" training video.
Watch the "Scheduling Wizard" training video.
Watch the "Sessions" training video.
Watch the "Appointments" training video.
Read the "Working with the Calendar" section of the Spectra User Guide.

 

7: Basic Communication & Marketing

You'll be amazed how Spectra can help you communicate with your clients and improve your marketing.

Read pages 30-34 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Use phone calls to keep track of client conversations.
Set up Spectra to send email.
Send a basic email to a client.
Find a client's communication history.
Set up SMS text messaging.
Enroll in a StudioPlus SMS text messaging plan.
Read "Getting Started with StudioPlus SMS Text Messaging"
Also recommended:
Watch the following training videos to learn more about using Spectra for your marketing:
"Marketing Database Overview"
"Form Letters and Labels"
"Phone Calls"
"Setting Up Email"
"Emailing Through Spectra"
Read "Setting Up Incoming Email" in the Spectra User Guide.
Read "Setting SMS Text Messaging" in the Spectra User Guide.
 
Read the "Communication Wizard" topic in the Spectra User Guide.
Read the "Form Letter Builder" topic in the Spectra User Guide.
 
Read the "Messages Hub" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

8: Financial Tracking

Bringing home the bacon! It's time to set up the financial tracking portion of Spectra so you'll know exactly how profitable your business is.

Price List and Invoice Setup

Read pages 35-39 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Set up a simple price list.
Set up your sales tax.
Also recommended:
Watch the following training videos for detailed instructions for setting up packages and a variety of other types of products:
"Invoicing Setup 1 - The Price List"
"Invoicing Setup 2 - Advanced Pricing" (Spectra Standard and Professional)
"Invoicing Setup 3 - Invoice Options"
 
Read "Working with Price Lists" in the Spectra User Guide.
Read the "Studio Preferences - Invoicing" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

Create Invoices

Read pages 40-41 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to create an invoice.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Creating Invoices" training video.
 
Read the "Working with Invoices" section of the Spectra User Guide.

Process Credit Cards

Read pages 42-45 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to process credit cards payments in Spectra.
Apply for a Merchant Warehouse account.
Also recommended:
Read the "Working with Payments and Refunds" section of the Spectra User Guide.

Accounting Integration

Read and follow the instructions on pages 46-48 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Set up the accounting link.
Integrate with QuickBooks, Simply Accounting, or MYOB.
Perform your end-of-day close out.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Setting up Spectra for Accounting" training video.
 
Watch the "End-of-Day Wizard" training video.
Read the "Working with Accounting Features" section of the Spectra User Guide.

 

9: Digital Workflow

Now for the fun stuff! Spectra is an amazing tool that will help you automate your entire digital workflow.

Digital Workflow Setup

Read the overview of Spectra's digital workflow on pages 44-45 of Getting Started with Spectra.
Read the pages 49-52 of Getting Started with Spectra to:
Set up your basic digital preferences in Spectra.
Explore the Workflow hub.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Digital Overview and Setup" training video.
Read the "Digital Workflow Overview" topic in the Spectra User Guide.
Print the "Digital Workflow Reference" sheet and use it as your guide to all the tools and shortcuts available in Spectra's digital workflow.

Capture Images

Read and follow the instructions on pages 52-54 of Getting Started with Spectra to:
Find a session on the Workflow hub.
Import sample images into a session.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Importing Images" training video.
 
Read the "Capture Images" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

Sales Presentation

Read pages 54-56 of Getting Started with Spectra to learn how to:
Prepare a sale presentation.
Present images to a client.
Also recommended:
Watch the "Sales Presentation 1 - Setup" training video.
Watch the "Sales Presentation 2 - Presenting Images" training video.
 
Read the "Sales Presentation" topic in the Spectra User Guide.

 

10: InSpiredByYou.com

Set up the online extension of your studio, directly into the homes of your clients.

Read how InSpiredByYou can benefit you.
Take a video tour of InSpiredByYou.
Sign up!
Also recommended:
Watch the InSpiredByYou training videos.
 
Read Getting Started With InSpiredByYou.
Read the "InSpiredByYou" section of the Spectra User Guide.