fbpx Best Online Booking System & App for Small Business

Best Online Booking System & Booking App for Small Businesses

Successfully managing your business’s appointments is much more than just keeping your employees’ calendars updated and letting your customers, clients, or patients book conveniently online. The reality is, you’ll have to accommodate emergency booking appointments, rearrange your calendars to accommodate no-shows, reschedule clients on short notice or no notice, and much more.

Having an online booking system at your fingertips helps to remove the repetitive, manual work that comes with managing schedules and allows you to focus more on your growing business. This is especially true if your booking software has a host of nice features available to help streamline your processes and ensure you can seamlessly book your clients at a time that suits all of them.

Defining an Appointment Booking App

Booking software is a business tool that allows your clients to book, cancel, and reschedule appointments using a web interface. When your clients make an appointment at your business, all they have to do is go to your business’s website, app, or anywhere you have support for your online booking system, and pick a time and date.

On the backend of this software, you can put in parameters about when people can book specific services, based on when you have staff or other resources on-hand and your business hours. A good booking software platform will prevent overbooking and double booking, and you have the option to block off times when you don’t want to offer specific services.

Maybe you run a pet grooming business and the specialist who clips poodles is gone for two weeks. You can input her vacation days into your online booking system ahead of time so that the clients can’t try and book her when she’s on vacation.

Components of a Solid Online Booking System

Booking apps do a lot more than give your clients a list of available times when they can come in for a service, treatment, or meeting. They also work to let your clients reschedule and cancel appointments without having to contact you directly. Also, this software makes it easy for managers and business owners to do their jobs. It helps to centralize payments, streamline communication, and manage your employees. The best online booking systems feature:

  • Calendar Syncing – Almost every appointment scheduling software allows you to sync directly with a calendar, and some make it mandatory. Doing so allows you to see your business’s scheduled appointments right alongside other important meetings and information like when you close down for renovations or holidays.
  • Flexibility – Your business is unique, and the best booking app knows that other organizations can have different needs than your business. So, you should be able to customize your specific software and tailor it directly to your business. For example, a smaller gym that has one-on-one training sessions should have a different booking app than a garden center that rents yard equipment. Do you want your clients to pick from a certain service menu? Can your clients specify the appointment’s location? A comprehensive booking software suite should allow you to customize these aspects.
  • Multiple Access Points – When you set up your booking software, how do you want your clients to access it? The best apps allow you to have options. You’ll most likely want to embed code right into your website to allow it to display the appointment scheduler. Another option is to have a custom URL with all of your booking tools in one location. Perhaps you have a Facebook business page but no actual website. If this is the case, you’ll want to integrate your booking tools into Facebook. Whatever the case may be, the more options you have, the better.
  • Payment Processing – A high-quality online booking system will let you collect payment when the client books an open slot. This way, you can have your clients pay for your services upfront or take an appointment deposit online. If the client is a no-show, you don’t have a complete loss.

You don’t want to confuse online booking systems with meeting scheduling software. Meeting scheduling software and booking systems do share a few similarities. However, there is a big difference. This difference is that meeting apps are just for meetings. A booking app works for a variety of different types of appointments, and it could have a service menu to choose from. Additionally, it almost always requires some form of payment at the end.

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Online Booking System Advantages

Now that you know what a booking app is and the biggest components to watch out for, you’ll want to know what advantages this software brings to your small business. After all, you have to justify the expense of purchasing and setting it up, but this is relatively easy to do.

Advantage One – Maximize Your Reservations

Customers who can book their own appointments are much more likely to show up, and this reduces your no-shows. If a client does need to cancel their appointment, the spot will automatically open up. In turn, another customer has the chance to book this open slot. In turn, this can maximize your reservations and remove the threat of any unused spots.

Advantage Two – Extend Business Hours

Clients who choose to book a rental, tour, product, or service from your business may want to do so outside of your normal business hours. They want to lock in a specific day and time on their own schedule. Having this online booking system means that your business is open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, whenever is convenient for your customers.

Advantage Three – Not Tied to Your Phone System

If a potential client calls an activity or tour company and gets routed to voicemail for whatever reason, they could call back later. However, there is a very real possibility that they could call another company. Having booking software in place means that you can get more potential business because you made information and reservations available around the clock. It also means that you can retire that old game of phone tag.

Advantage Four – Paid Quicker

You can put a spot in your software to require clients to prepay for services, rentals, or activities. This gets the money to you much quicker. As a bonus, it also helps to ensure that on the day of the appointment, you don’t have to worry about taking a payment. This gives your clients more time to ask questions.

Advantage Five – Easy to Manage the Calendar

A quality booking app lets you check your business’s availability and reservations whenever you’re on a mobile device, as long as you have a strong internet connection. You will always know your small business’s status, and you can easily and quickly manage your schedule from a single location.

Advantage Six – Upsell Potential

It’s possible for you to always offer more activities, add more guides, or expand your hours in an attempt to grow your business, but this can take a lot of effort. By incorporating more perks for your clients, you can easily generate more revenue for your business. Adding fun items like memorabilia or photo packages is a possibility, and you can add these items to the checkout point of your online booking software.

Advantage Seven – Valuable Business Insight

Most booking software will give you a dashboard that displays analytics that help you ensure your business grows. You can use these analytics to determine which products or services are the most popular, which time slots your customers prefer to book, and which are the most popular add-ons. You can leverage what your customers want the most, and this will save you both money and time on offerings that don’t add value to your business.

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What Billdu Offers for Booking Software

Billdu is a comprehensive platform that offers a huge range of products and services that come designed to maximize your small business’s potential and capture more clients. We’re going to outline some of the most popular reasons our customers choose to use Billdu for their businesses below.

Managing appointments online in Billdu

Appointment management in Billdu backend

Online Booking Potential

First and foremost, Billdu offers online booking potential that is very user-friendly, easy to set up, and easy to modify to fit your needs. You’ll get an online assistant to help fill your business’s schedule in a variety of ways, including:

  • Accept Online Bookings – Retire the phone tag game. Pick the time clients can schedule your services, add daily limits and breaks, and start accepting booking straight away.
  • Accept Online Payments – Allow your clients to make online payments in convenient ways, including PayPal and credit cards. Set up spots for your customers to pay online right in your booking system or online store. You can also add a “pay now” button right to your invoices.
  • Access More Booking Channels – It’s possible to personalize the booking experience for your clients more by deciding which sales channels will work best for each service. Choose a website widget, instant page, social media, or a custom link.
  • Sync Your Calendars – Billdu will give you notifications about any changes involving your upcoming appointments in whichever calendar you prefer. It can sync to an iOS phone with Apple Calendar or an Android device with Google Calendar. You can sync every booking right with the app.

Appointment booking system on insta page

Instant Page

Reaching your customers is a challenge, especially if you don’t have an online booking system in place. One way to spread the word about your business is to set up an instant business page through Billdu’s system. You can create it to match your chosen aesthetic, and use the following features to build a strong online presence:

  • Live Chat – The Business Inbox is a newer feature that we’re proud to offer at Billdu. We designed it to be a space where your inbox meets your business documents and a chat. The live chat feature allows you to connect instantly with your customers to keep them engaged.
  • Public Profiles – It only takes a few minutes with Billdu to create a very public profile for your business that makes people want to purchase your products or services. You can search for this public profile using the most popular search engines to allow your customers to find you. Also, you can add payment and booking buttons right to this profile.
  • Sales Tools – This page will take care of any updates that come out automatically to ensure it runs smoothly 24/7. No matter if you want to update your online booking, launch an online store in the app, or enable quote requests, the Instant Page will display everything in the most up-to-date format.

insta page with online chat and business profile

Easy Online Store

If you’ve ever wanted to set up an eCommerce store, you can do so with Billdu. Our interface makes it very easy to choose your products, set up payment options, offer your goods or services, set your prices, and much more. You can also monitor your inventory in real-time to see what is and isn’t selling well and monitor your cash flow. We offer:

  • Add All of Your Products – No matter which stage your business is currently in, we make it easy to set up an online store to reach a broader audience. Our online store simulator makes it easy to add your products in minutes. Set your specific prices, offer sales, show pictures of your products, and offer a variety of ways for your customers to pay for instant cash in your pocket.
  • Customize the Shopping Experience – Ideally, you’ll take the time to tailor the shopping experience to your customers as much as you can by deciding which sales channels work best to increase your business’s reach and sell your products. You can set up a custom link, website widget, or social media with a click.
  • Quick Setup Process – We’ve made a point to eliminate all and any obstacles that are currently in the way of you realizing your dream and launching your online store. All you have to do is upload your chosen products, switch on your online payments, and launch. You never want to forget to share your custom link to grow your customer base.

Ecommerce - online store on insta page from Billdu

Business Inbox

A huge part of your online booking system is the convenience factor and clean communication. You should be able to quickly and easily reply to your customers to keep the conversation flowing. The Business Inbox allows you to find and sort your email, products, and documents all in one centralized location. Also, it’s fast to scale and very easy to manage, no matter how many customers you have that require your attention at one time.

Website Widget

If you already have an existing website, you need a way to seamlessly integrate your new booking software without having to redo everything. The website widget from Billdu allows you to add a booking system, online store link, quote request, and much more right in a convenient location on your existing website. It’s a single line of code that takes no time at all to add, and it gives your customers a fast way to explore all you have to offer them.

Android and iOS Apps

Billdu ensures that you don’t have to tie yourself directly to your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep up-to-date and in contact with your customers. We offer intuitive and comprehensive apps for Android and iOS devices that allow you to monitor your business, check your bookings, monitor your store, get notifications, answer queries, and much more while you’re on the go from your smartphone. Also, the app is secure and safe to use anywhere you have a strong internet connection.

Read and Open Notifications

Communication is key with any business, no matter the size. If you send out a quote or proposal to a potential customer, you want to ensure they receive it. Sometimes, you won’t know this unless they reach back out to you. However, Billdu believes in keeping you in the loop, and this is why every quote or proposal you send to your prospective or current clients comes with read and open notifications. You’ll get a notification when your client opens your documents and when they read them. This way, you can reach out to them to help you close the deal quicker.

Payment Reminders

When you have dozens or hundreds of clients at one time, keeping track of each due date for different projects can seem impossible. Billdu offers payment reminders for each invoice or accepted proposal you have. You can set up how long the client will have to pay when you send it out, and this can flag in the system to ensure you remember to get a payment from them. It can also send automatic payment reminders to each client to ensure they don’t forget or pay late. Billdu also has a space on the dashboard for unpaid invoices, and this allows you to see them at a glance.

Quote Requests

Competition can be fierce amongst small businesses, and it’s critical that you’re able to send out and accept quotes as quickly as possible. This could be the difference between gaining a new client or losing them to your competition. You can accept price requests with the click of a button to put yourself in front of your competition. Billdu offers a number of quote templates that you can use when creating quotes. Also, you can master your expenses, and track each dollar you spend. Billdu offers all-in-one expense management for your business, and you have a receipt scanner right at your fingertips.

Team Collaboration

Making sure all of your team members are on the same page for all of your products, services, and appointments is essential to having a small business that functions smoothly. An online booking system that you can invite all of your members onboard fosters good team collaboration. Each member can look at the booking app and see when they have to be there for appointments, monitor your store, and follow up with clients in a timely manner.

Daily Task Automation

Another benefit of using Billdu is that you can automate a huge amount of your daily tasks to free up your time to dedicate to your customers or improving your business processes. You can choose invoice templates and customize them once with your business’s logo, colors, and fonts, and then use them again and again for dozens of customers. All you have to do is input their information, and you can save them to help speed up the process. If you have to send another quote to the same customer, you can automate this process to save time.

Fast Payment Sending and Receiving

Receiving and sending payments has never been easier than it is with Billdu. It’s quick and easy to attach a “Pay Now” button onto each invoice you send out, and your clients can choose how they’d like to pay. For example, they can use PayPal or a credit card to make their payments. As soon as they do, it shows up in Billdu as paid. In turn, this can help eliminate sending checks or money orders by mail to expedite the payment process. Your business gets paid quicker, and the clients don’t have to worry about it again until the next transaction.

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Start Billdu’s Free Trial Today

We invite you to see how Billdu can benefit your business by trying our free trial. You can easily pick and choose which features you want to incorporate into your business to maximize your sales. Once you find the perfect mix, you can see how they benefit your business by making it easier to connect with your clients and close more deals. See how our intuitive software can streamline your daily business processes, bring more clients to you, and help your business thrive well into the future.