Do you own a service business? If you’re not automating, you’re working too hard!
Owning and managing a service based business can be an incredibly rewarding experience. It can also very quickly become a nightmare when things start getting busy if your business isn’t properly systemized and automated!
Let’s face it, no one wants to be working harder than they need to be, and for most of us who start businesses, a large part of the appeal was the freedom and flexibility that entrepreneurship can provide. So, it doesn’t make sense that so many people find themselves feeling trapped… essentially working FOR their business, instead of the business working for them.
But never fear! In this article, we’re going to cover some of the most effective digital automation techniques that will have your small business running like a well-oiled machine, and you freed up to do what you do best! (Growing your business of course!)
Automate your client appointment booking process
If your business takes bookings for client appointments, such as personal trainers, consultants, hairdressers, doctors, etc, one of the most powerful steps towards freeing yourself from time-sucking daily tasks is to automate your client booking processes via your website.
By systemising and automating the client booking process, you will be in fact killing two birds with one stone!
In today’s digital world, customers have become conditioned to achieving their intended goals (aka. booking your service) “right now”, meaning many customers do not like being forced to pick up the phone and dial someone simply to book a simple appointment or visit.
Of course, every self-respecting service-based business will be easily contactable via phone, but by providing a “self-service” booking facility through your website, you are providing options to your clients. And clients like options!
On the business side of things, systemizing your booking processes will pay many dividends:
- Significantly lower, or even eliminate time overheads related to client processing/booking, which can be translated into more time spent building your business and serving your customers!
- Centralize payment systems to minimize or even eliminate cash-handling and processing.
- Never miss or double-book another appointment again! By employing intelligentbokking systems on your website, you can easily track and manage bookings, eliminating the likelihood of embarrassing, and potentially disastrous mistakes!
- Have a 24/7 “receptionist”, without actually paying one! Your website will essentially become a full-time, 24-hour receptionist, taking bookings and managing clients even while you’re asleep! And when compared to $15+ / hr for a “live” receptionist who only works 8 hours per day, the small investment in a quality website suddenly becomes very worthwhile!
Clients today often prefer to “do it yourself” when it comes to booking appointments and services. Although the good old telephone will always have a place in the office, its high-time to move your small business into the digital age, providing your customers with a streamlined, simple to use booking system, easily accessible from your website. A trusted perth web design agency will be able to advise you on the best options for your business and goals!
Automate your accommodation booking process
Hotels, B&B’s and guesthouse providers can take advantage of intelligent website design to automate their room booking and payment processes and completely streamline their operations. This can pay huge dividends for small businesses, especially in markets where accommodation market is highly competitive. By providing your guests with a straightforward means of booking and paying for their accommodation directly via your website, you’re simplifying the process for them, meaning the likelihood of choosing your business over a competitor immediately improves.
You’re essentially converting your basic website into a time saving machine, making it quick and simple for your clients to book, whilst saving you or your staff from multiple phone and email requests about room availabilities and booking requests. Instead, guests can clearly see all available dates and rooms right in front of them, saving you from answering the same phone inquiry multiple times a day!
But the benefits to you (and your sanity!) don’t end there.
With the integration of a channel-manager into your booking platform, you’re able to manage every single one of the online booking agents your business lists with, such as Booking.com, Expedia etc. This puts the entire scope of your online marketing operations in one centralized, easy to manage location, and allows you to automatically update bookings and availability across multiple platforms.
Automate your restaurant or cafés' ordering and delivery process
Today’s world is all about efficiency, and there’s few industries where this rings as true as the service/ hospitality sector. With the cut-throat levels of competition in local markets, and so many customers now looking to order their favourite meals delivered to their door instead of venturing out to eat, increasing pressure is being put on business owners to innovate and go the extra mile.
Implementing an online ordering system for your restaurant or café is a perfect avenue to add value to your service, whilst differentiating from the “same-old” tired marketing strategies that customers are simply used to ignoring. Your business will also benefit from not having to pay multiple staff members to be answering phones in between serving in-house guests, and can instead focus on providing excellent service to your customers.
It’s also easier than ever for small businesses to implement fully integrated payment processing, both online, and in-house, meaning you can easily stay on top of the often-nightmarish task of bookkeeping and tax compliance. (No more shoebox-filled-with-receipts scenarios!)
The Bottom line
Although automating your small business can seem like a stressful or costly undertaking, as we’ve seen above, it really doesn’t need to be! By leveraging your website to implement some intelligent systems, you can easily provide brand new client-service channels that make it easier for your customers to reach, contact, and interact with your business.
From a business owner’s perspective, it’s crucial that you free yourself from as many “time sucking” tasks as possible, so you’re free to manage and grow your business!
If you need some friendly advice from a trusted perth web design studio on how to optimize your small business website, get in touch today!
Join the discussion! Share your small business automation tips in the comments below.