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What to Consider with Online Booking Platforms for Your Website

online booking tools for your website

Many of my clients operate businesses based on appointment booking.  From automotive garages, massage therapists, hair salons to bookkeepers and more, online booking can have a great impact on traffic to your business.

Make Online Booking Easy for Regular Customers

Online booking makes it easier for your customers to book appointments with you. Regular customers can book, change, cancel or reschedule their appointment, all without picking up the phone. Not only is this easier for them, but it saves you time avoiding those 3-5 phone calls.

Encourage New Clients to Book

Online booking can also be a great tool for new customers looking to try your services. Maybe you’re interested in applying an introductory booking offer? Again, they don’t have to pick up the phone to see your availability and make their own appointment.  Presently it seems most people prefer to not speak on the phone. However, you will find that if they have questions about your services, they may book an appointment online and follow up with a quick phone call.

Features to Consider When Choosing an Online Booking Platform

There are many features to consider when choosing an online booking platform. These features will be specific to your business, your needs and what you consider to be so important you can’t live without it. The goal of this plugin is to make booking as simple as possible for your customers and for your business. There is a solution out there for everyone.

Keep in Mind:

  • Number of services offered
  • Number of staff members
  • Availability: Consistent hours daily/weekly or always changing?

Questions to Ask Yourself:

  • Do you need clean-up/set-up time in between Appointments?
  • How far in advance can people book/cancel appointments?
  • Do you want text message & email reminders?
  • Do you want a customer portal where customers can view/edit their upcoming appointments?
  • Would you like this to also serve as a CRM tool?
  • Do you want to accept payments online at time of booking?
  • Would you like it to connect with your current invoicing system?
  • Do you need to be able to keep customer records and be able to share them with the customer?

If you’re thinking of implementing a new online booking system, it’s important to first sit down and find out your exact business needs.  Like buying a house, make your wish list and then start looking for solutions that fit. If this task seems daunting, give us a call and let’s figure it out together.

Don’t forget to join the conversation online on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. And sign up for our monthly news for even more tips.

Until next time,

Deanna

 

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How to Make Your Small Business Green

how to make your small business green

Last week I was invited to join the board of the Green Connections Networking group based in Newmarket, ON.  I was thrilled to accept and am looking forward to connecting with other like-minded entrepreneurs and small business owners. This new role got me seriously thinking about how I can make my small business green, or at least greener.

My business is web designer and online marketing, which is already fairly green.  I work from home, therefore not contributing to travel emissions on a regular basis. I keep my home fairly cool in the winter, and warm in the summer.  And we ALWAYS ensure the lights are turned off in unoccupied rooms.

But what could I do to make my business even greener?

Reduce Paper Waste

I am an avid note-taker, and can go through journals very quickly. I have tried taking notes on my iPad, but it never caught on.  A client of mine, Heather from Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery, introduced me to a device called a Boogie Board.  It resembles and iPad, but is used solely as a writable screen. Although I haven’t tried it yet, she showed me hers and I’m very intrigued! You can check it out here at Staples or Costco.

Carpool to Networking Events

Why not extend your networking experience and set up a series of carpools to the event? Not only can you meet new people at the event, but you can spend more time with people who live closer to you.  Saving emissions and building a network; what could be better!

Support a Green Niche

I am a huge advocate for supporting business within a green niche.  I don’t mean that they specifically have to be in a green industry, but I want to support businesses that do no harm to people or the planet. If their organization has a green initiative then even better! We as consumers and small business owners have the power to drive change in our communities.  If we can make our small business go green, we can encourage our community to too!

What steps are you taking to make your small business green? We would love to hear them in the comments below.

Don’t forget to join the conversation online on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn. And sign up for our monthly news for even more tips.

Until next time,

Deanna

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‘Tis the Season for Local Networking!

Local Networking Tips - Newmarket, Aurora, East Gwillimbury, Uxbridge

In my experience, the two best seasons for networking are the same as the real estate market.  People are rested after the winter/summer holidays, and ready to get down to business in the Spring and Fall.  Make the most of the Fall Networking Season with some ideas for networking groups, and keep reading for my #1 tip for successful networking.

Green Connections Networking Group Newmarket/EG

To kick off fall networking season, I’ve joined the board of a networking group called Green Connections.  Green Connections’ mission is “to explore and share environmentally-friendly practices, products and ideas. Through networking and mentoring, our goal is to encourage all businesses to ‘Go Green’”. I had previously been to an open meeting and decided to join. It just so happened they were searching for a secretary – a position that fits me perfectly!

Networking Events with a Philanthropic Intent

I was recently invited to attend the inaugural Successful Women Achieving Goals (SWAG) event in Newmarket.  The monthly dinners help educate and empower women, while donating proceeds to a chosen charity.  Why not network and do some good at the same time?

Health & Wellness Events

I will also be attending a York Region Women’s Wellness Circle on October 26th hosted by the wonderful Karen Armstrong.  Not only is this a great opportunity to connect with like-minded women in York Region, but also a chance to learn something new about health & wellness.  Nicole Tomingas will be leading us through EFT techniques using the fingers to gently tap on acupuncture points. Very interesting!

Use Your Local Chamber of Commerce

If you’re looking to get involved, now is a great time to visit some open networking breakfasts. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce. They usually host monthly breakfasts open to new members. It’s also a great time to check their schedule of free and paid seminars.  There are lots of opportunities to learn about social media marketing, online marketing and e-commerce.  Not only can you learn a few things, but you can also use this as an opportunity to network.

My #1 Tip for Successful Networking

I have been networking for over 10 years.  My biggest piece of advice is… LISTEN!  Engage in conversations, listen to what others have to say.  Ask questions, listen to their networking pitch, but only offer yours if they ask. This is the best piece of advice I can offer, and has worked incredibly for me.  If someone takes the time to ask what I do, they are more likely to listen to what I have to say.

Does Your Business Card Stand Out?

When they do ask what you’re all about, make sure that your business card stands out. Whether it be a great logo, an awesome design, or a thick card stock.  Make a lasting impression.  My business card has my logo large on one side, and is in a thick matte stock.  I made a contact at a networking event, and she kept my card for a full year until her business required my services.  My card made that impression.

Nervous about attending your first event? Contact us and tag along!  Sign up for our newsletter for even more tips.  You can find us everywhere online on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn.

Until next time,

Deanna