6 ways online booking tool benefit your small fitness business
Research shows that most people now search for and make bookings outside of business hours when they have time to sit down and Google what's available around them. This means that it's crucial for even the smallest fitness and wellness businesses to provide online bookings in order to capture bookings 24/7.
If you haven't made the leap to online bookings yet, here are six reasons why you should.
1. Make it easy for new and old clients to book at any time
Research shows, most people now search for activities online and the majority of those searches come from mobile devices. The people making those searches are usually searching outside of business hours when they have finished work for the day and have time to Netflix, scroll and chill. This means that you'll most likely not be contactable during peak interest time. For this reason, it's essential that you have a simple online booking system available so that new and old clients can make a booking whenever it's convenient and front of mind for them. Your online booking system doesn't need to be ultra-sophisticated but it does needs to be secure, available 24/7 and simple for your clients to use so that you don't miss out on any bookings.
2. You have a better picture of upcoming class numbers
As a small business without business systems in place it can be hard to know from week to week how many clients you will have. This makes things tricky in so many ways...
What to plan
What equipment to bring
The space you will need
If you will cover your costs
Lets not even get us started on budgeting or trying to secure a predictable income which is probably he hardest and most stressful part of running a small business.
Enabling online bookings helps you to track and manage who will be in class each week, what you need to prepare and who you need to follow up with helping you to maintain better contact with clients and manage a more predictable income.
3. People who book online can easily invite their friend to join them
Booking online makes the process more social and hugely more likely to be share. Not only does online booking make it easy for people to invite their friends, it also provides you with another avenue for referrals and we all know that referrals are one of the most powerful forms of advertising. If you don't want to rely on your clients getting the urge to invite a friend without being prompted, you can include social shares in your booking process. Just on the quiet, our online class booking tool does this automatically for you when someone makes a booking.
4. Reduces the time you need to take prior to class taking payments
We all know what its like before class trying to get everyone signed in and paid up through your cash tin or Square card reader while setting up equipment and music and answering questions. I'm having flashbacks to my early Zumba days Enabling your clients to book and pay online before class removes one of those jobs and allows you to focus on preparing for class and building relationships which is the number one component in client retention.
5. People who have booked are less likely to change their mind about turning up to class and you can protect yourself from last minute cancellations that impact your bottom line
Two of the many benefits of taking online bookings is that it increases your clients' commitment actually turning up and it captures your payment instantly, protecting your revenue if they don't. Clients who pre-book and pay in advance are far more likely to show up and far less likely to cancel than those clients who have not made a booking. This is a win win for you and your clients. you get fuller sessions and they get that added incentive to turn up. As a small business, last minute cancellations can severely impact your bottom line and leave you without a client and out of work for the day. Depending on how you choose to set up your cancellation policy you can protect yourself from last minute cancellations and manage rescheduling without leaving yourself out of pocket. By taking bookings and payments upfront and setting a clear cancellation policy, clients know the time frame in which they can make a cancellation and how much of their booking fee they will be refunded and when refunds are not available. A simple, intuitive booking system also allows other clients to book cancelled spots and take advantage of last minute availability without putting a strain of you as the business owner to find a new client.
6. Make accounting easier
Keeping track of clients, class numbers and cash payments can all get a little messy. And weekly trips to the bank with coins and notes to be deposited is an extra job in the already packed workload of small business owners. Say juggle Streamlining this system by taking bookings online removes the extra jobs and allows you to be paid directly into your bank account with a clear record of transactions. Not only is this a time saver, it also makes tax time a lot easier with access to revenue reports and payments.
Using an online booking tool is a great way to streamline your business processes and keep track of your clients. When looking for a tool make sure that it is simple enough to not add extra work and hassle to your day and powerful enough to help you grow your business.
If you are looking for a booking system for your small business be sure to do your research first and find the balance between the features you need and the price you want to pay. Look specifically for the ability to list your sessions or classes, accept bookings and payments without a cut being taken by the system (All secure payment processors charge you a small percentage. This is unavoidable because you have to make sure the payment is secure but just make sure the platform provider isn't taking a cut as well.) set cancellation time periods and refund rules and manage your clients.
Haver a fabulous week small biz owners!
We would love you to share this with someone who might find it helpful xXx