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It’s not just big businesses that benefit from an online booking system. SMEs, freelancers and sole traders are reaping the rewards of implementing an online booking system into their websites. 
Whether you own a hairdressing salon, you are an electrician or manage a large chain of wellness centres booking several daily fitness classes - if your product or service can be booked or reserved, you need an online booking system. 
We have been thrust into a digital world. We were heading there steadily but the emergence of COVID-19 has pushed even the smallest of traders to become not only present but competent online. Any businesses not embracing the enhancement that apps and widgets can offer to the functionality of their website are likely to be left behind. 
Pre-booking and online booking is not just a ‘nice-to-have’ any longer, it is expected. With this in mind, here are six reasons that your business will benefit from an online booking system. 

1. Available 24/7 

Online business is open all hours. Even if you aren’t open your customers will love that they can book an appointment with you 24/7. When life is busy the option to action a thought as soon as it enters the mind is highly convenient. No more making a note to call in business hours then forgetting - a few clicks, and they’ve booked their appointment. This makes the customer journey as easy as possible. It will keep them coming back and your appointment book full. 
Not only is this great for your customer but it is also a huge advantage for you. Distractions such as ringing phones can seriously damage productivity, taking you away from your task. It can be difficult to get back into the zone once distracted. Fewer calls and messages to deal with in your working day means more time for you to focus. 

2. Pre-booking 

It has never been so important to pre-book appointments. COVID has meant that care needs to be taken to allow time for cleaning between clients, restaurant covers, numbers for social distancing. Just turning up is not feasible in the current climate to ensure customer safety. Clients and customers are expected to pre-book so why not make it as simple as possible for them? Online booking systems do just that. 
In addition to customer satisfaction, pre-booking allows you to manage everything you need to keep everything in your business running smoothly. You can also accept online payments minimising the contact with customers and preventing no-shows. 

3. Knowledge is power 

Customer service - An online booking form is an opportunity for you to capture a little about your customer and their requirements so that you can plan accordingly for their visit, offering them the best service possible. 
Sales and marketing - When you know in advance what you have booked in, you know what you can promote. Marketing up-to-date information is helpful to your customer and gives a positive impression of how you run things. By utilising social media, you can keep your information fresh and current. 
Resources - When you employ an online booking system you know what to expect. It will highlight busy periods and gaps for other tasks to be taken care of. Resources can be managed effectively from staff to purchasing. By knowing what you need to purchase in advance, you can buy what is required and minimise wastage and expense. 

4. Team visibility 

Team management is necessary and can be difficult, especially if you are working across various locations. An online booking system can link a number of calendars, ensuring visibility of all team members’ activity. With an automated online booking system there is less room for error, meaning no double booking. 
An online booking system can also help you to highlight team members’ strengths and weaknesses. Perhaps certain members get repeat bookings for a particular service, some may require further training. Prices can reflect seniority and experience and discounts can be offered for junior staff to boost their experience. This kind of information can be invaluable to someone growing their brand and business. 
time vs money

5. Save time and money 

Time management is the key to the success of any business. If you are a sole trader, it is very easy to stretch yourself too thin. If you manage a team, knowing who is where and who is available to do what is imperative. Moreover, using time efficiently is crucial - wasting time on tasks that could be easily automated is frustrating. 
An online booking system offers you the convenience of automation, for example: 
Avoiding double bookings by checking availability 
Collecting customer information 
Automatic email confirmations 
Updating availability 
The time and money that can be saved over time is huge. Taking these tasks away from yourself or people in your team will free up time to focus on the business itself. Productivity levels will increase with teams spending more time doing what they are employed to do and hopefully enjoy. @RealJayAbraham states many entrepreneurs are unhappy because they are constantly trying to improve their weaknesses. If admin is a weakness, automation is your saviour. 

6. Cost effective 

You may think that for something so beneficial, the cost of implementation must be astronomical. Not at all. There are many online booking systems that can be added to your website at very affordable prices. Some even offer free options. 
At it'seeze we will collaborate with you to find the best solution for your business model. We work with Calendly and Acuity most frequently, as both have excellent services that cater to most business needs. We can however, if required, integrate any booking system that offers an iframe code. 
Online booking software embeds within your website for flawless integration allowing customers to book without leaving your website. With compatibility with many existing services such as Salesforce and Zapier, you will find you can manage your business effectively in one place. The implementation of standard function packages is included in our Max and Shop packages. 
If you are eager to get started with an online booking system, we can help.  
By working with us you take the stress out of web design - we ensure that your new online booking system integrates seamlessly with your website and other applications.  
Our ongoing website support gives you peace of mind that our expert team is always on hand to help with any questions you might have. 

Need Help? 

At it'seeze Website Design, you're never alone. If you want help updating your website, let's arrange a website review. We can make content suggestions, provide training, and help make sure that your website never gets stagnant.  
Just contact us to get the ball rolling. 
Feedback or questions? You can comment below, or contact us directly. 
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