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3 Reasons Scheduling Software Can Help Businesses Build Camaraderie With Customers

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3 Reasons Scheduling Software Can Help Businesses Build Camaraderie With Customers

There isn’t a single business on earth that can survive without customers. Even business-to-business companies need a reliable client base in order to stay afloat. While your products and services are extremely important, your highest priority should always be to take care of your customers.

One of the best ways to develop a strong relationship with your customer base is to value and respect their time. Each interaction with a customer is a chance for your brand to express that respect for customer time and attention. This will in turn foster camaraderie and loyalty over an extended period. 

To provide more value to your customers and honor their time, scheduling software is your go-to solution. Here are three reasons why implementing a scheduling software solution is the right choice for your business:

1. Customers Appreciate a Straightforward Experience

Clients will appreciate that you’ve prioritized making scheduling easy for them. It’s a simple gesture that shows that you care about their experience and want to make it better. Improving appointment scheduling doesn’t have to be difficult, either. All you need to do is enable online appointment software, and you’ll have already made a dramatic improvement. 

Being able to book appointments online opens up so many doors for customers. They no longer have to stay on hold to inquire about availability or wait until 9 a.m. to book the next available slot. Online appointment software is functional 24/7, meaning customers can always check or adjust appointment times based on their personal schedules. 

Scheduling software also speeds up the check-in process at the beginning of an appointment. When all of their appointment information is already booted up online, customers can show up mere minutes before their appointment starts and be welcomed in promptly. 

Leaving an appointment is also more straightforward. Customers can pay in advance through the scheduling software itself and book a return visit on their own time. Clients will never have a quicker or more painless appointment experience. 

2. Customers Will Know They Can Rely on You

Online appointment software makes your business seem reliable. When customers feel like they can depend on your system of operations, they’ll be more inclined to stick around for the long haul. Customer retention is one of the most valuable metrics your business will ever track, and the improvements you’ll make in that area alone make scheduling software worth every penny.  

If your company is constantly messing up appointment times and leaving callers on hold for lengthy stretches, you aren’t developing a reputation as a very reliable brand. Customers will view your business as a last resort rather than a superior option.

When you build in buffer time, scheduling software can also help your business prevent appointments from running long. Its automated notifications will likewise discourage late arrivals. These two actions will lead to a more fluid appointment experience for everyone. Customers will be more willing to book multiple appointments if they’re confident that your business will work with their schedule and make sure they get in and out on time. 

3. Analytics Enables Loyalty Programs

Membership programs that offer special benefits and rewards are a surefire way to build camaraderie between your business and its customers. Rewards foster a desire to book multiple appointments over an extended period, boosting your retention rates and yielding more revenue. A good rewards program can also set you apart from your competitors, even if they offer similar services (as is inevitable in every industry).

With online appointment software enabled, businesses can look at past scheduling analytics to put together a proper rewards program and follow through with it. For example, one of your promotions might be that members get a free day of service on their tenth visit. Thanks to scheduling software, you’ll know exactly when that tenth visit is for each customer even if they happen to forget. Discounts can be automatically applied online as a welcome surprise for your loyal patrons. 

Since scheduling software is accessed online, you can attach any deals or promotions you have going on to the booking area of the software. New customers can enjoy an ongoing sale even if they weren’t aware of it previously, and they will be thankful that your business included them in the deal instead of making them pay full price. 

Remember to be transparent when collecting data. Many consumers have grown wary of companies using their information for financial gain. Be open about what data you collect and exactly how it’s being used. Make it easy for customers to change data settings if they don’t want to share certain information. This transparency alone will build a strong bond between your customers and your business. 

Online appointment software is useful for so many other things. The only mistake you can make is taking any longer to implement scheduling software into your business. Your customers will be even more grateful than you will be for the changes you make with this technology. 

How to Power Calendar Your Meetings

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How to Power Calendar Your Meetings

Being a leader typically means giving time to your team. But, what is the right amount of time? As businesses grow, they develop a system for keeping schedules (mostly) organized. Here are some helpful tips to ensure that your time stays in order.

Use your calendar as a time-saving and efficiency tool. These suggestions will help you keep an edge while working smart.

1. Don’t hold meetings on a specific day.

Create a company policy that says, “No meeting on Wednesdays.”It’s the day everyone puts up their feet and daydreams. With no interruptions, it’s much simpler to maintain the workflow. Try it; you’ll love it!

2. Let your team plan brainstorming sessions, updates, and meetings. Allow them to do their own scheduling. Your teams can do all their own planning and execution on the actual presentations. Just give them the lead and see what happens. You’ll notice they become more fully vested in the meetings. Your team may need a quarterly meeting to plan when to meet during the quarter.

3. Have the Team Lead check that everyone is prepared.

See to it that everyone is prepared. For example, if you plan to use audiovisual equipment, ensure that your tech staff has all the equipment set up before time. If you are able, conduct a test run-through before the event to ensure that everything is “ship shape and Bristol fashion.”

A quick run-through is especially important when presenting a PowerPoint or when using video-conferencing software such as Zoom for the first time. Make sure that everyone on your team is familiar with all new equipment and tools. Have regular pieces of training.

4. Create an agenda.

Meetings that produce the best results begin with an agenda and a clearly defined objective. If you’re trying to establish the plan for your meetings — confirm the appointment of an employee, or simply exchange ideas — describing the goal of the meeting can help set the expectations of all participants.

5. Follow the guidelines.

Allow time for an open stream of thought, but make sure everyone realizes that time is money and that your meeting sticks to an exact time schedule.

Keeping on an exact schedule for your meetings (and everything else) holds the entire team responsible for intelligent time management. No one should have to delegate the responsibility for managing time — everyone present should be present, engaged, and eager to display the ability to optimize everyone’s time.

6. Track your time.

Break your meeting times into 30-minute blocks. Ask the question: do you really need a full half-hour to hold your conference, or can it be done in just 15 minutes? It’s astonishing how much your team could achieve when everyone is time-sensitive. Have a clock on the wall — fully visible at the time of the meeting and in any meeting room. Clocks make everyone more aware that time marches forward.

7. Plan meetings in blocks.

If you can, schedule your meetings in blocks. It doesn’t matter if your meetings are in the morning or in the afternoon — using a time-blocking schedule will allow for a smoother operation.

Meetings are not the goal. It’s the actions that come from the meetings that are essential. One word of caution: with longer meetings, do not forget to schedule an interval of 15 minutes during your meeting block so you can take care of “nature’s call” and tummy treats.

Employees will want a drink of water or take a bathroom break and grab a quick healthy, and nutritious snack during the meeting. Having snacks available in the meeting room sometimes cuts down on needed break time.

8. Audits are held at the close of every quarter.

In the first week of every quarter, look over your regular gatherings and consider if it is appropriate to keep the meeting in the future? Should they be regularly scheduled, or is it possible to move to a biweekly, perhaps even an annual one?

Repetitive meetings can quickly take over your schedule. For instance, at the beginning of each Calendar Quarter, some companies eliminate all scheduled events from Calendars and start making a new Calendar.

9. Simply tell them “no.”

Be aware of the fact that time and energy are entirely yours to regulate. You have the option of saying “no” when you are asked to use your time. It’s quite a powerful practice. It’s crucial to are taking the time to review strategies, prioritize and ensure that your business is moving in the proper direction.

As leaders, our responsibility is to support our teams and convey the results to our managers. A vital aspect of a manager’s job is to present themselves as confident and enthusiastic. It’s challenging to stay confident and move forward in your business when you’re trapped in a void of meetings which only create more meetings.

Don’t have your company meetings only to decide not to continue to have meetings. Ensure that every meeting counts and that your team is all on board to get your work done. Then intersperse group meetings with one-on-one and face-to-face meets to keep your team rotations fresh, efficient, and valuable information exchanges.

How to Maximize Your Time With Appointment Software This Holiday Season

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How to Maximize Your Time With Appointment Software This Holiday Season

If there is any time of the year where personal time is most precious, it’s the holiday season. Family events, parties, decorations, and gifts are at the forefront of our minds — but our responsibilities outside the home will never go away. Annual checkups, haircut appointments, dentist visits, and more demand our attention. To maximize the time you have for the fun stuff, using a convenient scheduling platform can help you slot in each necessary appointment when it works best for you. 

Manage Appointment Plans at Your Convenience

The time-saving benefit of this kind of software is beyond doubt — you can book appointments remotely and at the click of a button. There’s no need to spend time making calls or navigating irksome automated phone trees

Better yet, you don’t need to wait for open office hours to schedule an appointment. You can log in whenever the necessity pops into your mind and can even reschedule later on (rules permitting) with ease. This offers peace of mind should an issue arise late at night or at the last minute. You can, for example, promptly set up testing and treatment should a medical condition or illness emerge suddenly. 

Even if you can’t receive immediate attention, anytime scheduling software allows you to easily set a time and date for your concern to be addressed in the future. Your most preferred appointment time might not be available, but blocking off a specific time to deal with the issue can help take the worry off of your mind for the time being. Knowing you’ve taken action will let you focus on ornament making with your kids instead.

Explore All Scheduling Options

When calling into an office to schedule an appointment, you’ll oftentimes be offered only a few time options over the phone. Sometimes, you may only get one. In these (sort of) post-pandemic times, doctor’s offices are commonly booked for weeks and even months into the future. 

To ensure that you’re seeing the whole picture of availability, online booking platforms typically show all schedule slots at once. You can see every possibility and book your appointment accordingly.

This is what can make it so easy to reschedule — free appointment times are updated as cancellations make them available. You can swap yours for another with the click of a button if something comes up or if you see an opening that better suits you. You can also join a waitlist in the event that you want a better time slot or can’t get an appointment otherwise. When one becomes available, it will be reserved for you immediately.

Automate Your Calendar

The ease of task automation means that the time you spend doing prep work each day can instead be spent elsewhere, like with family or friends. Many appointment software solutions feature functionality that can connect your digital calendar to their system to exchange data and change settings accordingly. That means you can book an appointment, and that time slot will automatically be entered into your calendar along with all your other plans. You don’t have to lift a finger.

If you automate notifications as well, you can make it so that your calendar will let you know when your appointment is coming up. If you step away from your computer for any reason, your calendar programs will pop up on your phone to make sure you don’t miss any important appointments. You may be engrossed in shopping for stocking stuffers, but automated appointment reminders will ensure you don’t accidentally forget to show up for your pre-party mani-pedi.

Remotely Handle Appointment Prep and Payment

Once your appointment planning is complete, you can take advantage of other features of these programs. In case you need to check in a certain amount of time beforehand, you can once again do this instantly via the scheduling program. You’ll no longer have to arrive early to take care of paperwork, and your appointment can begin much quicker. 

Some appointment software also allows you to take care of paying any fees or copays directly within the program. Whether you want to do so before your appointment or after, you can make sure your payment is in order and prevent delays at the reception desk. You won’t get stuck behind a patient with insurance questions or a salon patron wanting product recommendations when you’re in a rush to get to your daughter’s choral concert.

You only have so much time in the day for holiday preparations. Keeping outside commitments is necessary, but this season is special to you. By using appointment software to schedule your engagements, you’ll be able to tend to both — getting everything done that you need to and doing everything you want to. Squeezing in that gingerbread-making session will be no sweat when you use appointment software to help you maximize your time. 

How to Recognize and Destroy Time Wasters

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They are everywhere. Time wasters. Chronological cat burglars. Minute moochers. Is there any way to stop them? You bet your sundial there is!

There are chronological criminals among us. So here is some lighthearted advice to take or not as you see fit.

Time is an interesting concept. Babies don’t know anything about it. Children bend it to suit their own selfish needs. Teenagers can be big-time wasters, as long as it makes their parents mad. Adults become enslaved by it. Seniors are threatened by it. And, of course, the deceased don’t worry about it anymore. That’s why you see so many sundials on graves. They’re laughing at the rest of us.

So what does time really mean to us? The living. The working. The anxious. The serfs. All you rich people who might be reading this article at the moment can go hop on your private jets and fly to Bermuda because you don’t care about time one way or the other, do you?

But for the average Joe Timex, time is a nagging presence that hovers over us — giving an evil chuckle from time to time when our schedules go awry. And what makes our schedules go awry? Time wasters!

Now when you’re at home or away from the office, you can deal with time wasters any way you want, legal or otherwise. But, right now, we are dealing with those insidious time wasters in the office, on the factory floor, who keep you from finishing your work.

Time is money, and you’re already in debt!

Let’s start in the home office. Many poor deluded souls believe working at home saves them time. But, of course, that might be true for the lucky few who don’t have spouses, children, neighbors, or pets just waiting to bushwhack them their schedule.

Take children, for instance. They have a built-in radar that knows precisely when you are in a Zoom conference with your manager. When they sense this opportunity, they go into action. Cereal is spilled. Knees are cut. Fights break out. In other words, all hell breaks loose. And for some strange reason, you are the one they expect to take charge of the situation.

By the time you get things settled, your boss has gone off to happy hour, and you wish you could too.

Here’s what to do . . .

  • When your spouse doesn’t respect your work schedule at home, try divorce. If that’s too expensive or emotional, try earplugs.
  • Perchance earplugs are too itchy for you — use that golden question: “Can we talk about this when I take you out to dinner tonight?”
  • If worst comes to worst, prepare a hidey-hole in your home office where you can secret yourself from the tender attentions of your spouse.
  • For pesky neighbors, the best recourse is a vicious dog. One that would bite the leg off of the Dalai Lama.
  • The only exception to this rule would be if your neighbors bring you good things to eat. If that’s the case, use land mines. So they have a sporting chance to get through.
  • Children should be treated with kindness and consideration. They are unaware of the awful burden you bear as a slave in the salt mines. So when they come to you with their petty squabbles and tears, do not turn them away. Just give them lots of candy and lead them to the TV. You’ll never be bothered by them again.
  • (The ASPCA has approved the following recommendations.) Cats should be sedated with catnip. Dogs should be given the biggest bone the butcher has. Birds should be let out of their cages into the great outdoors. Lizards and snakes, which don’t make any noise anyway, should be donated to the local zoo. You don’t have time to take care of them properly.

In the office . . .

time thief may be your own boss. If that’s the case, just grit your dentures and suck it up. It might help to daydream about the beaches of Thailand while your boss is bloviating. On the other hand, if it’s a coworker who constantly purloins your need to count the bottle caps in your desk drawer, then the answer is just put some cotton dipped in red food coloring in your ears.  And if a colleague still attempts to take your time, just point to your ears and shake your head. If this doesn’t discourage them, then try a piteous groan or two. They should take the hint.

In conclusion . . .

Although this has been a lighthearted look at time wasters — and maybe, perchance a time waster to read — the problem of time wasters is real and it is serious. The best way to keep busy and uninterrupted is to look extraordinarily harried and busy and like you will not stand for any interruption. That’s all you really need to know. That will keep most time parasites away.

Why Syncing Your Work and Personal Calendars Simplifies Appointment Scheduling

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Why Syncing Your Work and Personal Calendars Simplifies Appointment Scheduling

If you’re a busy individual, you probably have a separate calendar for work and for your personal life. This helps you divide up your different commitments so that a single calendar doesn’t get overcrowded. However, managing two separate calendars comes with different challenges you need to take into account. 

No matter what kind of error you want to avoid when juggling dual calendars, syncing will be your best solution. This will make your appointment-scheduling process so much easier whether you’re planning activities with your family and friends or organizing a new entrepreneurial venture. Here’s how calendar syncing is going to help you:

Improves Planning

When your work and personal calendars are intertwined, both calendars can be reviewed simultaneously. This allows your online appointment scheduling software to show you all available time slots that work for you. Otherwise, you might book a meeting that fits into your work calendar while overlooking a family commitment you had made for the same time. You don’t want to miss your daughter’s soccer game because you arranged a simultaneous client coffee date. 

With both calendars linked together, you’ll have a better idea of what you have to plan for in the upcoming days. Improved planning leads to increased efficiency, fewer mixups, and ultimately better results as your schedule falls into place.

Helps Manage Your Life Balance

With both calendars synced up, you can also improve that much-needed work-life balance. If you’re noticing that your work calendar far outweighs your personal calendar, maybe it’s time to schedule some more activities with your family. This can also be done in reverse. You might realize you’ve been taking a lot of time off recently and recognize the need to get back to the old grindstone, refilling that work calendar once again. 

Syncing your work and personal calendars will also help you learn the difficult art of saying no. Some appointments you’re just going to have to decline in the name of life balance. Turning down a single work appointment won’t be the end of the world for your career, especially if it contributes to a better family life. 

Stops You From Overbooking

Appointment software will not allow you to schedule over other events, even if you try. You’ll get a nice, big alert warning you that the time slot you’ve selected has already been filled. This will help with tricky situations like the one mentioned previously, where you create a work event without realizing there’s been a personal event scheduled there already. 

This will also prevent others from trying to overbook your time. Many managers use appointment software to make their time available to employees needing to ask questions or report on a project in progress. You don’t have to list out any specifics, but having both of your calendars covered in your available time slots will stop an employee from trying to bother you while you’re at a family gathering. Emergencies are always an exception, of course. 

Automates Schedule Additions and Changes in Both Places

After any appointment is scheduled, it’s automatically added to both of your calendars. This is one less thing you have to do, saving you a little bit of time and hassle when scheduling. Manual syncing is tedious, and also leaves more room for human error than any of us would like. You could accidentally input the wrong time in one calendar or simply forget to include the commitment when taking your other calendar into consideration. 

Automatic syncing will also come in handy when you share your calendars with other people. For example, you might share a personal calendar with your significant other. If they plan an event in your shared calendar, you’ll want that to pop up automatically. This will enable greater communication between you two and prevent conflicts from arising because of a lack thereof. 

The syncing of calendars with appointment software is great if you use these tools to better coordinate with your team as well. Sending an appointment invitation for an upcoming meeting will give employees the time to arrange their personal schedules accordingly. 

Enables Easier Transitioning

It can be difficult to shift your thought process from your work life to your personal life. By syncing their two respective calendars together, you’ll be able to make easier transitions throughout the day. 

For example, a major perk of using appointment software is to send and receive reminders and notifications. This can help cut down on tardiness and no-shows. However, you can find yourself feeling flustered if your notifications seem to be competing instead of coming in a linear fashion. Synchronized calendars will reduce this effect. 

There’s no time like the present to begin syncing up your work and personal calendars. It will make your appointment scheduling so much easier and improve your time management as you head into 2022.

Don’t Let Your Busy Schedule Overwhelm You: 5 Ways Appointment Software Can Help

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Don’t Let Your Busy Schedule Overwhelm You: 5 Ways Appointment Software Can Help

Sometimes, in our efforts to be productive, we can all too easily overdo things. While it can be good to stay busy, it’s definitely not worth maxing out your schedule to capacity every single day if you’re not handling it well.

Feeling overwhelmed will sap the productivity right out of all your busyness and likely leave you feeling stressed all day. That being the case, it’s highly doubtful you’ll be accomplishing everything you set out to do.

A healthy balance between productivity and time management is much easier to achieve through the intentional use of appointment software. With just one tool, you can stay busy without feeling overwhelmed by your massive to-do list. Listed below are five tips for using online appointment software to help you find the balance that’s best suited to your personality and work style.

1. Learn to delegate.

Learning to delegate can be a difficult process for younger or inexperienced entrepreneurs. After all, your start-up is “your baby.” Passing off your baby to someone else is never easy. Can you trust others to take exceptional care of your start-up the same way you do? Through the savvy use of online appointment software, you can at least point them in the right direction.

At the simplest level, appointment software can at least push those employees with delegated tasks to complete their assignments on time. Appointment bookings can act as agreed-upon time slots for their responsibilities as well as deadlines for their assignments to be completed. As you get more comfortable with deadline-driven task delegation, you’ll cultivate reliable helpers who help bear the burden of your intense daily workload.

2. Go all in on automation.

The greater the number of routine tasks you’re able to automate, the less cumbersome your busy schedule becomes. Automation can even free up your schedule so it’s not as busy as the pace to which you’ve become accustomed. Nowadays, automation doesn’t have to cost a lot, either.

The first thing online appointment software can enable is customer self-service. For example, let’s say you’re a car mechanic. A customer can book an appointment for an oil change without having to call you and distract you from your work. Your schedule stays busy, revenues increase, and you cut out some of the more tedious details.

Another example might be using automation for other aspects of customer relations. Sending appointment reminders, invoices, and feedback surveys can all be done automatically through the use of online appointment software. You won’t have to spend your time on these tasks and can instead choose to get home at a decent hour or finish an extra project before the end of the day.

3. Take regular breaks.

Your schedule can probably use more than just a little breathing room here and there. You’ll actually increase your productivity by taking a break every once in a while. Even if you’re a superstar entrepreneur with a rapidly growing start-up, you have your mental and physical health to prioritize over everything else.

Using online appointment software to schedule breaks ensures that you might actually take them. Otherwise, you might find them all too easy to blow off, filling your schedule to the brim with even more stress-inducing activities. While these might be productive, your excessive activity can lead to burnout — and even physical illness — if allowed to go on for too long.

Another way to make sure you take a break from an overloaded schedule is to make time for personal matters such as family or hobbies. You can — and should —  pepper your schedule with family meals or a trip to the movies. When you prioritize non-work activities, you’re far more likely to relax, refresh, and not feel so uptight throughout your waking hours.

4. Leave yourself some breathing room.

You can maintain a busy schedule while still adding in some wiggle room. In fact, a little bit of breathing room is strongly encouraged, especially if your busy schedule is leading to physical stress and heightened levels of anxiety. If you’re finding it difficult to space out your schedule, try using appointment software to make it happen.

Adding breathing room can be done by adding buffer times between your other commitments. Enforcing a mere 10 minutes in between appointments provides sufficient time to catch your breath, check an email or two, or grab a snack to refuel.

Additionally, enforcing buffer time can save your neck whenever appointments run longer than originally planned. That 10-minute window can help you make sure the following appointment doesn’t start late. (Just make sure you take the following buffer period as a break!)

5. Minimize errors.

Whenever your schedule is packed end-to-end, you aren’t leaving any room for error. One mistake or simple miscommunication can cause a ripple effect. One late arrival disrupts your entire day, leaving you and your tight schedule in shambles. Using online appointment software helps you avoid many of the errors that happen simply due to your mind being scrambled.

Overbooking is a classic example of a common mistake easily solved by using appointment software. Without it, you might accidentally double-book an appointment slot if your too-busy mind causes you to overlook the actual number of available slots. Appointment software uses built-in algorithms to stop overbooking in its tracks and direct customers to available slots.

Yes, you can stay busy and productive without giving yourself a problem with high blood pressure. You’ll notice a huge difference in stress levels when you start using appointment software to enhance your schedule and get more done with less effort.

Why Every Gig Worker Needs an Online Calendar

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Why Every Gig Worker Needs an Online Calendar

The spotlight was shined on the gig economy during the heat of Covid-19 as thousands of workers looked to earn paychecks as businesses closed around them. While most of the world has since reopened, the gig economy is still alive and well. There are a lot of positive aspects of being a gig worker that has kept people around for the long haul.

Several skills are helpful when becoming a gig worker, but none are as important as that of time management. When you’re not being paid by the hour, time is extremely valuable to you. That’s why every gig worker should have an online calendar. Let’s dissect the reasons why:

Managing Your Workload

Not having direct supervision as a gig worker is both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, you get a lot more freedom and flexibility than you would by working on a salary. On the opposing end, though gig work is exciting and much more interesting — becoming a successful gig worker requires a lot of drive and initiative to get moving.

You also need to be careful about biting off more than you can chew. By tracking projects in your online Calendar, you can see if you’re getting a little overloaded and need to stop taking on new projects for a short time. For example, it’s better to complete three projects in a week with time to spare than to take on five and need to push back deadlines and endure some stressful, sleepless nights.

Meeting Deadlines

As a gig worker, the most essential aspect of your job will be to meet a plethora of deadlines. If you miss deadlines, you don’t get paid, and you’ll quickly lose customers. You want to be known as a reliable worker so that the request and recommendations continue to roll in.

What do you need to do in order to meet deadlines? Perhaps you need project management software to break down your projects into manageable pieces. On the other hand, maybe an endless stream of reminders and notifications is what you need to stay on track. Find out what methods work best for you and put them to work using your online Calendar.

Balancing Work and Home

A lot of gig workers are actually able to work from home. For these individuals, the lines between work and home can sometimes blend together. If you’re not careful, work can overtake your personal life entirely, which can be dangerously unhealthy.

With your Calendar in hand, make a proactive effort to dedicate time to family, friends, and hobbies. Learning where and how to use your time might feel forced at first, but it will help you learn how to prioritize the various aspects of your life and create time for everything. Of course, if that means you have to schedule in your family dinner in your Calendar — so be it.

A great way to tell how your work-life balance is faring, turn to Calendar analytics. This page of your Calendar will display the usage data of your time for accurate comparison. For example, if you’re noticing a very low percentage of your planned activities are geared toward family, you’ll know it’s time to plan some more activities in this area.

Scheduling helps you make sure that your created life pans out according to your dreams and the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Connecting With Clients

Your customer and client meetings are essential to both schedule and master to provide the best results to customers. Using your Calendar, you can start every meeting off on the right foot by being punctual every single time. Showing up late to your own meeting is never ideal for a first impression.

Using an online calendar will also help your clients be more timely with proposed meetings. It’s mighty frustrating to waste idle time for a customer to show up for a preplanned meeting. Reminders will often come in the clutch, and the ability to share video conferencing links directly in event invitations for any digital meetings you have.

Handling Money

Many contracted workers in the gig economy have found that there is more money to be made by being your own boss. However, paychecks can be inconsistent, and company benefits are no longer available. Therefore, you need to be smart with your finances if you want this to be a viable long-term commitment.

While online Calendars are known for their ability to help you manage your time, they are also helpful when it comes to budgeting. For example, you can set recurring reminders to set aside money for taxes, contribute to a savings account, or stay on top of bills. When you stay on top of your bills, it will help your finances feel consistent even when your paychecks aren’t.

Marketing

Gig workers are basically just miniature versions of entrepreneurs. Instead of running an entire business, they operate through a personal brand. With that being said, how you market yourself is incredibly important.

Depending on your line of work, there might be umbrella companies that can help you with marketing and advertising or eliminate the need entirely. Ridesharing or food delivery, for example, typically run through apps that customers use without requesting a specific driver. In addition, gig worker sites such as Fiverr provide a platform for all sorts of different contracted projects to increase visibility.

Other gig workers might need to use other means to draw attention to their services. Social media is an excellent example. Let’s say you’re an independent plumber working under your own name. A simple social media page can have contact information, pricing, and examples of your work to help increase customer acquisition.

If you want to see if the gig economy is right for you, pick up a few projects in your downtime to ease into the transition. If you decide to make the complete switch, keep these tips in mind so your new lifestyle can be a successful one.

5 Needs Appointment Software Can Meet for Your Business

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5 Needs Appointment Software Can Meet for Your Business

Every business has needs. Even though specific brands and industries will differ in a lot of ways, many needs are universal. Though some companies may try to disrupt the status quo, at the end of the day, your business will probably need to fulfill these needs to stay afloat. 

Business owners are always looking for the best solutions to keep their entrepreneurial dreams alive and serve as many customers as possible. When it comes to meeting business needs, few tools are as versatile as online appointment software

While a single program might seem one-dimensional at first glance, it can actually fill a number of roles in your business. Here are just five common business needs you can knock out by implementing appointment software into your business model:

1. Timely Supply Delivery

Even appointment-based businesses require materials to run. A dentist’s office will need periodic deliveries of fluoride rinse; a hair salon will have to re-up its shampoo supplies. This means working with suppliers to manage shipments that are both timely and cost-effective.

With appointment software, you can schedule shipments more accurately. You’ll be able to minimize the risk of materials coming in late and interrupting service to your customers. 

On the other end is gauging demand for various products. By tracking the different kinds of appointments (cleanings vs. extractions, haircuts vs. colorings), you’ll be better able to anticipate which supplies you’ll need to have delivered and when. Appointment software will help you fine-tune your process so that there are no kinks in the system. 

2. Social Media Strategy

What’s the easiest way to connect with customers? Those same social media sites probably fill up a lot of your break time. Social media platforms are free to use and can help businesses reach thousands of new and existing customers creatively in real-time. 

Finding success through social media requires consistency. Using appointment software, set up a content calendar that prompts you and your team to create and post content on a consistent basis. By posting actively, you will have more data to use for improving your social media strategy over time. 

Besides keeping a social media calendar, use your appointment scheduling tool to make time for social media audits and game planning. Put that data to use and regularly make adjustments to your content so that you’re always heading in the direction you want with social media. 

3. Scheduling and Employee Management

Every employee has an obligation to come to work on their assigned days. In that sense, they’re maintaining an appointment scheduled with your business. Using appointment software will help both sides stay accountable to their time commitments. 

Employee scheduling mishaps can be a nightmare if you depend on team members to arrive punctually every day. Some creative roles can be more flexible, even working from home without direct supervision, but customer-facing roles don’t have that luxury. Appointment software will help keep everyone on time so your customers aren’t kept waiting. 

Managers benefit from using appointment software by being able to better connect with employees. If an employee needs to speak with their manager about a certain issue, they can check their availability via the appointment software. This ensures that communication always happens at a good time and as soon as possible. 

4. Customer Acquisition

For businesses, customer acquisition is an endless battle. Every business has some level of turnover rate, and that must be combated by introducing new consumers to the brand. 

How does appointment software help with customer acquisition? For starters, it’s a user-friendly tool that works in conjunction with your website to bring customers to your physical location. Accessibility to appointment-booking online is a huge selling point for many customers who want to make the appointment process as painless as possible. 

Online appointment software also provides your target audience with the perfect call to action. A link to your scheduling platform can be placed in social media posts, blog entries, and even email advertisements. You can expect a healthy click-through rate for this CTA thanks to the ease and convenience of online appointment scheduling. 

5. Customer Retention

You’re selling your business short if you don’t prioritize customer retention just as much as you do an acquisition. Gaining new customers is certainly important, but it’s more expensive and time-consuming for businesses. By focusing on retaining existing customers, you’ll keep revenue high by reducing turnover. 

Online appointment software makes it easy for customers to keep coming back for more. Booking an appointment online can be done in a few clicks, eliminating the need for phone calls or walk-ins. Keep improving your user experience, and you’ll be able to cater to your customers’ every need. 

Appointment software also opens up a new world of retention-focused communication. You can use appointment reminders and notifications to help customers arrive on time and urge them to make return appointments. 

If you’re encountering some problems with your business, ask yourself how online appointment software can help. You’ll be surprised to see just how multifaceted this tool can be and how many holes it can fill. 

Scheduling Kids Activities as a Working Parent

By | Scheduling | No Comments
Scheduling Kids Activities as a Working Parent

Being a working parent can make your life extremely busy by itself. That’s not even including scheduling kid’s activities in as well. With students back in school and fun activities now more of an option, it’s only natural that kids will want to do more, and as a parent, this will fill your weekly schedule. However, kids can thrive in these activities and learn so much. They keep children busy and are also a great way to meet new friends.

Instead of getting overwhelmed by scheduling kid’s activities, the key is to establish a routine and start working these after-school activities into your current schedule.

Here are a few ways to help carve out the time and energy for the kid’s activities as a working parent while still balancing and finishing work in other areas of your life.

Specify Your Daily Schedule First

The great thing about scheduling kid’s activities is that you’re in charge of which days and times you sign up for. So be sure to look at your current Calendar first to see when the best time would be to add an activity. Now, you may not be able to fully control precisely when practices or meetings are, but knowing when you’d have free time can help you narrow down the best kid’s activities for the current season you’re in.

Establish a Good Routine Post Work 

Once you have your schedule settled in, a crucial aspect is establishing a good routine once you’re out of work. Your routine is key because if you don’t get tasks done between getting home and bringing your child to a program, you’ll be in bad shape.

Go in with a game plan and use that time block between work to schedule important prep tasks. For example, your game plan could include preparing dinner, household chores, or errands. If you have other kids around the home, assign them a household chore as well and get organized.

If your partner is home around the same time and can help too, that’s even better. Divide and conquer. You can also intentionally schedule fewer things on activity days. By narrowing down your schedule and keeping a detailed calendar, you can prepare by having dinner cooked in advance or ordering out on busy days. You can also have your kids do their chores the night before to clean the house or postpone errands to a less busy day.

Utilize After-School Transportation

If your child is doing an after-school activity and transportation is provided, be sure to take advantage of that. For example, if basketball practice runs directly after school until 5 pm, this can give you more time to finish up work tasks and take care of other responsibilities. In addition, joining activities through the school means your child doesn’t have to leave campus, and there may even be transportation options afterward.

If transportation is an issue, see if you can team up with another parent and carpool. For example, assign a day or two where you can pick up your child and a friend from their activity and another day where the other parent can take over that responsibility.

Limit Activities and Consolidate Other Tasks

Avoid overwhelming yourself with too many activities. No parent wants to be running around across town every afternoon. Know your schedule and limit yourself to maybe one-weekday activity and one-weekend activity. Or, alternate if you have a few kids. For example, one child could do an activity in the fall while another child does an activity in the winter or spring.

In addition to limiting activities, try to consolidating other tasks to free up more time. One example is to prepare simple dinners on activity days. Whether it be 15-minute meals, crockpot meals, or grab-and-go options, these are just a few of the ways to consolidate dinner and make it easier to get back out the door.  For those dinners using plastic, utensils can help you avoid a pile-up in your kitchen sink. Be sure to stock up on paper plates, cups, forks, and spoons. That way, you are filling up the garbage can instead of the dishwasher or kitchen sink.

If your kids have study hall at school, encourage them to do homework during that time or stay after class one day of the week for tutoring from the teacher. Having children manage homework directly at school can limit time spent doing homework at home and clear their schedule for an activity. In addition, I have found that managing homework in a more business-like manager can help teach and prepare kids for working in an office.

Order things online to save time spent at the store and consider using local grocery pick-up options. As a family, you can also deep clean your home once a week or hire someone to do it, so all you have to do is maintain it during the weekdays.

Use Your Calendar!

Another way to get or stay on track is by utilizing your Calendar every day. It may sound like a small part, but this is one of the most important. Life is busy, and things can get skipped or forgotten. So you shouldn’t set an expectation for yourself to remember every little thing and keep every little appointment.

If you have everything on your Calendar, then you should be in a good place. Calendar makes it easy to schedule out your days that way, you can turn your attention to the things that matter. Calendar strives to help you organize your schedule. One tool is the smart scheduling link which enables you to avoid the back and forth emailing to schedule meetings with other people.

It’s also easy to add any events on Calendar, and you can even connect calendars that sync with Outlook and Google. But, of course, the other benefit to syncing these calenders is having everything in one place, so you know what time slots you have open and what days are your busier ones.

Summary 

Scheduling kid’s activities as a working parent and maintaining your sanity is possible. Work is essential; we all need to make money to take care of everyday expenses.

Working as a team with coworkers — and working as a team, especially in your own home is essential. But, as always, staying organized is your key to success.

Try to make time to allow after-school activities for your children. The reality of after-school activities for our children can make all the difference to their success when they enter the adult world.

Please take some steps to make your child’s world a great place to come from — and remember. Hopefully, these steps can help you make it all work.

6 Reasons Why People Love Appointment Software

By | Appointment | No Comments
How to Use Appointment Software to Get More Customers This Fall

Whether you’re a small business owner or you manage a large group of people, you could probably benefit from appointment software. Not only does this software provide your customers with 24/7 service, but it can also make your life much easier. Instead of having to manage your own calendar, it can be managed for you. The best part is because appointment software offers mobile-friendly features, you can keep track of your schedule wherever you are. 

In this article, we highlight six reasons why people love appointment software: 

1. Schedules Appointments for You

You might not realize it, but scheduling appointments can be very time-consuming. Checking your personal calendar against your client’s availability, sending out appointment invitations, and setting up reminders takes time. Even just 10 minutes a day can add up, especially when you’re scheduling meetings with multiple clients throughout the week.

With appointment software, you don’t have to spend that time. The software will update your schedule for you and even tweak appointments so they fit better within your schedule. Some appointment-scheduling solutions can color-coordinate your calendar, identify first-time clients, schedule recurring calls, and more. 

2. Offers a Mobile-Friendly Interface

Let’s face it, having the capability to schedule appointments on the go is a game-changer. Luckily, several types of appointment software come with their own apps, some of which users can download and use on their mobile devices. This makes it easy for business owners to navigate their schedules regardless of where they’re located. 

Alternatively, some appointment software features a mobile-friendly interface. Users don’t have to download the app to schedule a meeting or make a payment. Instead, they can take advantage of the website’s mobile design and do everything from there.  

3. Offers Enhanced Security Features

Security is another benefit of online appointment software. These days, systems of all kinds have become more advanced in their efforts to deter potential security breaches. The same is true with appointment software. Most appointment systems you can use today include features to help keep both you and your guests safe. 

A majority of these solutions use cloud storage, which prioritizes cybersecurity. Instead of putting pen to paper (and risking your clients’ information being seen by untrustworthy eyes), appointment software keeps everything in a central, safe place. 

You can also set up most appointment software systems to default to your chosen virtual meeting platform and corresponding phone number to facilitate virtual appointments. Whether you prefer Zoom, Google Meet, Webex, or another meeting space, you can connect without giving away your personal phone number. 

4. Schedules Your Breaks for You 

Chances are, you’ve heard how important it is to take breaks while you’re working. But do you? Probably not. If you have a demanding job, stepping away from your computer might seem more like a luxury than a necessity. Well, according to a University of Illinois study, taking breaks in the workplace is critical.

The study discovered that the human brain’s attention decreases when working on a single task for a long period of time. While you might want to keep going until a project is finished, doing so could negatively impact your work. To ensure you’re performing at your best, schedule breaks during the workday. Luckily, appointment software can help you with that. 

All you have to do is schedule breaks the same way you’d schedule recurring calls with clients. Just make sure you follow through with your breaks, instead of ignoring them. 

5. Helps You Stay on Top of Your Finances

Appointment software doesn’t just keep your calendar organized. It can also help manage your company’s finances. By integrating appointment software into your business, you avoid the chance of missing important financial deadlines that could negatively impact your company.

For instance, you can schedule reminders for bill payments to vendors. Expecting an important payment? You can set up notifications for when invoices are at their 30-, 60-, or 90-day due dates. And of course you can use appointment software to schedule important tax filing deadlines. 

6. Creates a Better Customer Experience

As a business owner, you know the importance of providing your customers with a great experience. With so much competition out there, you need the ultimate booking software to make your life and your customers’ lives easier. An online appointment solution means you’re always available whenever your clients need you. 

This is important, especially when you consider the statistics. According to research, 25% of clients under the age of 35 will only book appointments online. Believe it or not, 35% of clients would rather schedule appointments after hours than during the workday. So consider integrating 24/7 appointment software so your clients can reach your business at the time that works best for them. 

Your business might be doing well. But chances are, it could be doing even better by integrating the right kind of software. Given all the reasons to love it, online appointment software could be your best choice.

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