While it might be possible to book your schedule solid, it’s not always the best idea, and you can provide better service when you limit bookings.
The video gives you a great rundown of how to use the limit bookings feature on the SimplyBook.me scheduling system, but maybe you want to know why you might want to limit your reservations.
Why use the Limit Bookings Feature
You might question why you would want to limit bookings even if there is technically enough time and personnel to accommodate them. If you run a small business, with only a single service provider, there is perhaps little point restricting your bookings to less than one. However, if you have two or more service providers and a necessity to staff a front desk, or a limited number of rooms, chairs, or other resources, you may need to limit the number of simultaneous appointments that can happen.
If you have staff members who are all able to carry out every service that you offer, but you only have the resources available to perform one of each service at any particular time, you might want to limit the number of bookings of a specific service.
As an example, a beauty salon that provides a wide range of beauty services might have three staff members. While on a staffing level, there is availability for three massages to take place at the same time, the salon only has two massage couches. This would give you a reason to limit bookings of massages to two, even though three members of staff might be available to perform them.
Limit staff engagement
If you have multiple staff but need to keep a staff member free at all times, this might be to act as a chaperone or to keep a person on a front desk at all times – you can’t take private meetings and leave an outer office empty.
If I use the same example of a beauty salon, a full body massage requires a certain amount of privacy. However, if you have all of your staff members in private rooms performing services, you leave a public area completely unmanned and vulnerable. This example gives you an excellent reason to place a blanket limit on bookings across your business. If you have four members of staff you would want to limit bookings to three, rather than the four that are theoretically available.
Other Reasons to Limit Bookings
Sometimes, there are other reasons you might want to limit bookings, which have nothing to do with limited resources or staff levels. For these reasons, you might want to use a different method.
If you want to limit the number of times customers can book a specific service in one day or you need to maintain a minimum amount of time between strenuous services, you might want to use the Appointment at Fixed Times feature.
Not all service businesses are “light” work. If you provide strenuous service functions that require substantial work, it’s unlikely that you would want to schedule back to back appointments for that service, mainly if it is always carried out by only one provider.
Anecdotal Recount: I’ll give an example of a close friend who worked as a beauty therapist. The management team decided to offer a promotion on full-body Swedish massages; however, as my friend was the only masseuse, she spent three months performing five full-body massages per day. Needless to say, that after that three months she was exhausted and in vast amounts of back pain. It’s not unreasonable to assume that maintaining the health and wellbeing of your staff members is equally as important as filling your business schedule.
It would benefit your business to spread the load of strenuous activities, either by limiting the number of times clients can book an appointment or by building buffer time into the service. Just a thought, you might want to limit the amount of “heavy-lifting” your staff are doing continuously, but you don’t want them idle between clients either. You still want them available to perform other services for which they’re qualified.
A Great Idea to Limit Bookings
While it might seem that filling your business schedule with as many paying clients as possible is the best thing for your business. However, there are benefits to looking out for the wellbeing of your staff, the security and safety of your business, and allowing a buffer for the possibility of over-running appointments and slightly late clients. And you can do that with the limit bookings feature.
Stay in touch for a new way to limit bookings with available resources. One of our latest features, currently in testing will be with you soon; it will enable you to assign finite resources to services so that clients can’t book a service without the resource availability.