Is Scheduling Software for You?

If you’re taking on freelancing or side gig work outside of your regular 9 to 5,  you may soon find that scheduling software is the solution to a problem you’re facing.  Why?   Well if you’ve ever tried to schedule appointments with leads from the public through the phone or email, you know how it goes typically.  Here’s an example of what I used to deal with when trying to show a rental property.

 

Prospective tenant:   Hi, I’m interested in the unit that you have available.  Is it possible for me to stop by tomorrow around 10:00 am?

Me:  Hi, thanks for your interest.  I work and won’t be available tomorrow.  Do you have any free time Wednesday evening after maybe 6:00 PM?   I could do Wednesday or Thursday night at 6:00 PM.

Prospective tenant: Oh, I could maybe do Thursday night, but I don’t think I could get there until about 7:45 PM.  Does that work?  Or if not we could do this weekend.

Me:  I don’t think I can meet so late on Thursday night, but this weekend should work.  What times were you thinking for this weekend?   I could give you a call today at lunch or after work, and maybe we can figure a time that works.

 

After this fruitless exchange, maybe I’ll remember to call the prospective tenant or maybe I’ll forget.  Maybe he’ll answer or maybe he won’t.  I also may be juggling several of these types of conversations from several people.  This is a waste of energy and time to have to go back and forth and play phone tag if the goal is to set a time to meet.   Now magnify this times 30 if you might need to meet with 30 tenants before finding the right one.    It’s inefficient.

What Scheduling Software Does

Here is where automation and scheduling software steps in to make your life incredibly easier.  How does it work?

  1.  You set up regular times that you will be available on a calendar within your scheduling software.
  2. Then you link the scheduling software to your everyday calendar that you use, like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar for example.
  3. As appointments are scheduled, your available slots are filled.
  4. You set up all the criteria related to an appointment like time (15 minutes, 1 hour etc).
  5. Different software has different features.  The software I use Acuity, allows me to screen people with questions to get a bit of info before the meeting.

 

The End Result

The end result is simply a link that your prospective customer clicks that may ask a few short questions, capture their information and then show them available times to schedule an interview.  All without you needing to send one single email.   You can set it up as a link or you can even embed it within a website.

 

For example, suppose I wanted to offer web creation consulting from this site.  I could just embed my schedule info below and offer free 20 minute consultations like this.   This type of scheduling is made easy with Acuity.

It’s easy to schedule an appointment and provide your info.  You can also charge for appointments if you’re offering a service.  You can capture additional info with rich forms as well.

There’a variety of scheduling software out there with different options and many offer a free package with fewer features.  Here are a few that are available.

  • Acuity  ( The one I use)
  • Deputy
  • HotSchedules
  • Shiftboard
  • Findmyshift
  • Aladtec
  • Quinyx

 

As you grow, Acuity software can grow with you.   I do some freelance teaching on the site and can easily set up links to schedule classes that also collect payments from students as part of the scheduling process.   Acuity also allows you to create packages of like ten classes for a certain price.   They also allow coupon codes to run promotions and track advertising effectiveness.

If you’re getting into freelancing and side hustles and dealing with leads or clients on a regular basis, you owe it to yourself to automate your business with scheduling software.   Check it out.

 

Disclaimer:  I’m such a fan of Acuity, that I signed up to be an affiliate.  If you sign up through an above link, I may receive a commission of up to $30 at no additional cost to you.

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