Booking Lead Times and Limitations
As a beauty or fitness professional, so much of your income and daily schedule is dependent on other people. Often, you’re faced with the question of how to balance your schedule, allow yourself to have a life outside of work, and keep clients happy by making yourself available. Setting boundaries with booking limitations and lead times is the solution! Setting booking limitations allows yourself the freedom and flexibility to say yes to unexpected events without having to rebook multiple appointments. Setting lead times prevents a last-minute booking from creating a “domino effect” of falling behind that can set back your whole day. Here’s what you need to know about booking lead times and limitations, and how they’ll help maximize your productivity by keeping you in control of your calendar.
Lead Times & Waitlists
Most service professionals agree that it’s tough to adequately prepare for a last-minute booking. On the other hand, you want to fill up your gap times with clients, instead of letting those open hours languish without turning a profit. That’s a tough balancing act, but Vagaro can make it easier for you. When you set a lead time, you give yourself enough time to prepare for an appointment or class. Not to mention, you also give last-minute bookings ample time to make it to your business! But you want to stay flexible, too—after all, clients can get frustrated if they have to wait a while for an appointment. The solution here is to enable the waitlist option. That way, you can keep last-minute online bookings within the time frame you’re comfortable with. But you’ll also have an option for customers who want to get in quickly! The best part of the waitlist feature is that there’s several filters you can choose, so you ensure that when your gap time gets filled, it’s the right client swooping the spot.
Set Booking Limitations
Booking minimums prevent you being caught unprepared for a last-minute booking, but what about booking maximums? While it’s great to have customers who are proactive about booking their next appointments, there’s a downside, too. Appointments and classes booked out too far in advance can prevent you from creating the work-life balance you need to stay engaged with your craft.
Booking limitations additionally allow you to control your calendar, rather than letting your calendar control you. Vagaro’s newest feature lets you set booking limitations, to prevent scheduling chaos and customer frustrations if an unexpected event changes your future availability. The default setting for booking limitations is six months, but you can choose your own booking limits, anywhere from one day to three years out. This lets you stay in control of your schedule. That means you can say yes to things you want to do, instead of turning down opportunities because you’d have to rebook several appointments. You’ll also have the freedom and flexibility to book further than your online limitations allow, even if the customer can’t book themselves past your limitations. This is particularly handy for the kinds of appointments that are often scheduled far, far in advance, like wedding parties or large groups. In those instances, you’d have the power to create an appointment further out than the limits you’ve set, but a customer booking online would receive a pop-up message prompting them to contact you.
Ready to rule your calendar instead of letting your calendar rule you? Set your lead times, waitlists, and personalize your booking limits, and make sure that when opportunity knocks, you can say yes!
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Vagaro is a cloud-based scheduling software commonly used by beauty, fitness, and wellness businesses to manage booking, credit card payments and processing, marketing, payroll, inventory management, reporting, and much more.