As homeopaths, we love helping people. Our client work is the focus of our business and we want to make sure that we provide a personal service. However, unless we want to be a full-time receptionist as well as a homeopath, it’s wise to use a good booking system.
Simple Can Be Beautiful
Your business can be kept very, very simple with a paper diary. For many homeopaths, this system works beautifully with their client base and nothing needs to change.
Simple Can Be Frustrating Too
For some of us, we find that our personal work becomes secondary to our work of ‘being our own receptionist’.
We find ourselves playing email/text tag with clients who want to book or rearrange appointments.
The truth is, we are living in busy times. We are busy, and our clients are busy too. Above and beyond being busy, there are higher levels of distraction than ever before.
Busy, Busy, Busy
When people are busy but organised they remember appointments without reminders.
If they are too busy or are not organised they may forget.
How A Booking System Can Help With Appointments
An online booking system will send out an automatic booking confirmation email as soon as an appointment is made.
It will also send out a reminder to your clients without you having to do a thing. Some will also send SMS reminders as part of a paid plan.
Your booking system can also allow your client to rearrange their own appointment using a link in their appointment confirmation email.
They can book online when it’s convenient for them.
How A Booking System Can Help With Payments
If your clients book online they can also pay at the time of booking and even use a credit card quickly and easily.
Booking systems can also be used to send invoices for consultations, and products or packages or just about anything else.
You can use it to log when payment is received and view a list of outstanding invoices so you know who might need a reminder.
I started using a booking system six or seven years ago.
One month I had so many late cancellations/rearrangements and late payments I felt so frustrated that I decided it was time to make the change.
It took a little while to get it set up and but my clients soon got used to the new system. It easily saves me hours of ‘email back-and-forth’ every week and helps me look and feel professional.
With a booking button on my website, prospective new clients can easily schedule a discovery call.
Existing clients already know they can book online.
I send out invoices before each consultation.
Why I Recommend Timely
I started out with a free booking system but I soon upgraded to GetTimely.com as it has a beautiful design and lots of other useful features.
One of the things I love is that it connects with an online accounts system called Xero.
I first heard about Xero from my accountant.
She told me that a spreadsheet is not really sufficient for an established business.
My accountant has her own login for my Xero account, so she was able to help me with the setup and she also files my annual tax return for me.
Having an accountant to help me do this ensures that I file my taxes correctly, and I also claim for all the business expenses I’m entitled to.
This saves me several days of boring work each year.
Other Useful Features
There are many more things I love about Timely*!
Here are the things that spring to mind:
- They have friendly UK based support people to help you get set up and answer any questions you have, plus a Facebook group community.
- There are templates for forms that ensure you are GDPR compliant.
- They integrate with Mailchimp so new clients can choose to be added to your email list.
- There are template forms for COVID-19 when you are able to offer face-to-face appointments again.
- It’s easy to set up invoices for payment by bank transfer (saving on card fees).
- SMS messages are included, and you can message clients directly as well as sending reminders.
- There’s an easy way to set up client intake forms.
- You can set up client packages easily.
- The phone app is great, so you can check and change things on the go.
If you’d like to try Timely*, there is a free trial period (no card details needed) and if you decide to use them, your first two months are free.
One more thing, for UK businesses, there’s an extra 30% off during Lockdown.
This really is going the extra mile and shows how much they care about their community.
I’ve been recommending Timely* for years, and it’s always lovely when other homeopaths come back and tell me how good they feel about it.
What is your next step to make bookings, payments and accounting easier?
*This is an affiliated link, which means that I receive a gift card if you join Timely through me. This is not why I recommend them. 🙂