Promotion – Timely
Avoid no-shows and last-minute cancellations with this proven strategy from Timely
No-shows and last-minute cancellations can have a big impact on your income. Timely Business Management Software has a tried-and-tested method to help avoid these situations. Melanie Wallace, Timely UK marketing manager, explains why online deposits could be key to helping your small business succeed.
“Over the past two years, business owners have been confronted with more challenges than they could have ever imagined. While COVID related lockdowns and restrictions are behind us, beauty businesses have encountered a new problem – an increase in cancellations and missed appointments,” says Melanie.
These things can disrupt your business’ cash flow, but there’s one dependable strategy: online deposits.
“We use deposits really as a way of managing cash flow and stopping no-shows and cancellations,” says Jason Donnelly, founder of Asylum Hair and Beauty. Jason had considered implementing deposits for a while, but during the Christmas period his business experienced record cancellations and so he decided to make the switch to taking deposits at point of booking.
The benefits of online deposits
“Timely research shows that businesses that take a deposit reduce their no-show rate by a staggering 55 per cent. Online deposits ensure clients commit at the time of booking, and you are paid for your time,” adds Melanie.
By having regular cash coming in from pre-paid deposits, you can spread out your costs and improve financial success. “Now, even if we do get a last-minute cancellation, it means we still make money from those free time slots,” Jason explains. “This means we know our cash flow for those times will allow us as a business to keep going.”
Implementing a deposit policy
“Before you start taking deposits, you’ll need to set up an online payment gateway. TimelyPay allows you to easily take online payments from clients and request a deposit on booking,” explains Melanie.
“Then, you’ll need to double down on the details. You could ask for full or part payment, depending on what suits your business. Once you take a deposit, TimelyPay allows you to store your clients’ card details, making the final in-salon payment much easier.”
“Once you’re ready to get started, it’s important to communicate your new policy to clients and any potential client, you can do this via your website, social media or at the time of booking. Expect a potential adjustment period while your regulars get used to the change, remember that the benefits of taking a deposit far outweigh the cons,” she states.
Top tip: If you don’t like the word ‘deposit’, try labelling this payment as a ‘booking fee’ instead.