I’ve talked about online booking on the RolfBB, but for those who aren’t on that yet, I thought I’d share a few notes about online booking and how it can make the management of your private practice a lot easier.
You can choose to try to manage your appointments on a piece of paper (known as a calendar, I’m told), or you can use these two sites to help you manage things and give your practice a truly professional feel. Online booking sites help automate a task that every private practice needs: 24 hour reminder emails to clients! They also help you keep track of your clients and keep your desk clutter-free. If you choose to, you can also allow clients to book themselves into an open appointment slot, thus removing any of that email or phone tag that comes about with traditional scheduling.
To keep it short and sweet, I’ll boil it down to the bare essentials:
- If you just want something that will manage your clients and do automated reminders and send you email updates without letting clients book themselves into appointments, go with clickbook.
- If you want something that will do all of the above and give your clients a really, really slick online booking experience that will get you new clients (I was surprised by this, but the easy booking got me several new clients without any effort on my part and made follow-up booking even easier!) go with a paid version of Genbook ($20/month/location for solo practitioner and $39.95/month/location if you have multiple people working at one location).
The benefits are huge in terms of reducing the back-and-forth between you and your clients, making it easier for new clients to book a session with you, and making sure that you and your clients never forget an appointment!
You need a website. This shouldn’t be a controversial statement if you’ve been around for the last 20 years. No matter how big or small the business is, a website provides a great point of first contact for prospective clients. How many times have you thought, “I’d like to go to that restaurant on the other side of town, but I wonder what they have?” Well, savvy restauranteurs like Burma Superstar here in San Francisco have long known that you want to get to know them without having to walk to their front door. It takes the pressure off. Nobody’s standing there checking if you’re going to come into the restaurant. You can just peruse and make your decision. Plus, when people like your food, they can send the web link to their friends so that their friends can check it out (again, without having to go there and see the place with their own two eyes).
So put yourself in your prospective clients’ shoes. They want someone who can help them. Maybe they’ve heard a little about you from someone else. Which is going to be the easier, low-pressure thing for them to do: call you directly and ask some questions about this thing that you do that they know nothing about (thus having to display their ignorance) or check out your website so they can learn about this thing that you do, how you do it, etc.?
The decision is easy. Get a website.