Calendar Hell – Small Business Blunders, vol. 4

Hi. My name’s Adam Lowe with Adam Lower Creative. I help small businesses overcome the challenges that we all face.

Today I’m gonna talk a little bit about calendaring solutions. This is something that I see all businesses struggle with, but in particular, I see professional services businesses struggle with this because they rely on meeting with people.

This applies to every business really, because we all meet with clients. We all have phone calls that we arrange. We all have appointments that we set, and if we’re, you know, networking appointments, or for sales calls, or whatever, and we all find that we get bogged down in phone tag or email tag just trying to find the time that everyone’s available.

Well, this is something that you really should not be wasting your time on as a business. There are plenty of tools available to help you out there. So, of course, there are things like Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar that make sure that you are where you need to be at the right time, but how do you coordinate that with other people?

The great thing is, over the last few years, a ton of tools have come out. Things like Acuity Scheduler, ScheduleOnce, even Stripe has a scheduler built into it now. Also, the Office 365 Suite has a scheduler built into it. It seems like more and more companies are coming out with these scheduling tools built in that let somebody go to a special link on the website where you have set up a service or some sort of definition of what you want them to schedule, and all they have to do is go in and it pulls the availability from your calendar, and it shows them all of the times that you’re open to making an appointment.

I do this all the time, and I have several different appointment types that I offer. So one of the things that I offer is a one to one meeting. I’m part of something called BNI, which is a business networking group, and one of the things that we’re supposed to do is meet with one of the members every week. At least once a week.

Calendar Software SolutionsRather than sit there after the meeting spending five or ten minutes looking at calendars saying, “Hey, does Wednesday work for you?” “Oh well, I don’t have anything in the morning.” “Bla, bla, bla, bla, bla.” You know what I do is I just send them an email with the link to my calendar and they go on there. There find a time that works well for them and they just book it right there. It puts the appointment on their calendar, it puts it on my calendar. Easy, easy, easy.

I do the same thing for consultations. Somebody just has to go onto my website, and right next to my contact form is a little button that brings open my calendar, so that if people don’t want to send me an email, or if they know that they need to schedule a time to talk with me about something in more detail, all they have to do is book a 30 minute appointment. I make it super, super easy.

So think about that the next time you find yourself struggling with scheduling appointments. These tools are not expensive at all. Acuity Scheduling I think is $15 a month. ScheduleOnce I think starts at $9 a month, so they’re really not bad. When you think about it in terms of the cost of lost productivity with you playing email or phone tag, or having to hire a virtual assistant to manage your calendar, really, it becomes a very easy decision to make.

The technology behind it is extremely simple. I’m happy to help anybody set that up. I think you’re gonna find that you get so much of your time back in your day by using one of these tools. Okay. Take care and I’ll talk to you next week.