Before I begin let me first state that this is not a sponsored article. I am writing this because I genuinely believe in and enjoy this app and highly recommend it to all business owners that need scheduling capability.

I’ve found that trying to figure out appointments with your clients or customers can be a tiresome backwards and forwards process. It was really irritating to have to wait until both my client and I had a free moment to sit down, look at our calendars and figure out an optimal time for a session.

Not to mention trying to fit in the complimentary business strategy sessions  I arrange with prospective clients alongside all of that. Then I discovered TimeTrade and suddenly scheduling appointments became a whole lot easier – and it can be easier for you too.

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What is Time Trade?

Quite simply, TimeTrade is a scheduling app that allows you to integrate your calendar and set up blocks for appointments. You can then send a link to your clients or customers and they can simply take a look at when you’ve got a free slot and book in a time with you. That appointment is then automatically imported into your calendar (if you’ve connected it to TimeTrade) so you know that you’ve got an appointment. Basically, it automates scheduling your appointments and makes the whole process easier for both you and your clients.

How does it work?

If you use Outlook or Google Calendar, I highly recommend that you first follow the (pretty clear) instructions for connecting your calendar to TimeTrade. Believe me, it’s worth it. There are 3 simple steps to getting your scheduling going:

  1. Create an “activity” – that is, some sort of appointment that you want people to schedule with you. For example, one of my activities is the complimentary strategy sessions to see if a prospective client is a fit. Here you also create the time slots that you want to make available for people to book through TimeTrade.
  2. Send invites out to people so they can schedule an appointment with you. This is honestly as simple as taking a link that TimeTrade generates for you and pasting it wherever you want to. They’ve also got a function to send out emails through TimeTrade itself (though I don’t use this function personally).
  3. Your customers or clients will be taken to a calendar where they can book the available slots. Once they fill in the information, the booking will be reserved for them (so any new visitor will no longer see that slot as free) and the appointment will flow into your calendar (if you’ve connected it).

So what’s so good about it?

There are a few reasons why I recommend TimeTrade to anyone who needs to make frequent appointments:

  1. This is leverage. I’ve talked about leverage before – this is a really great example of where you can do the work once, and then let it happen on its own again and again. You just need to put in the slots when you’re free and then never worry about organising another appointment. You can even set it to be a recurring appointment. So if you always want to do your meetings on, say, Tuesday afternoons, you can just put in the slots for every Tuesday afternoon and it will keep those slots available every week.

    And if you’ve connected up your calendar, then even if you book an appointment into your calendar during one of your TimeTrade allocated slots through your regular calendar (i.e. not through TimeTrade), the calendar in TimeTrade will acknowledge that you are now ‘busy’ during that time and will not allow people to book that slot anymore!

  2. It’s easier for everyone. This doesn’t only reduce the pain of setting up appointments for myself, but for my clients too. When they’re ready to make the appointment, they can sit down with their calendar in their own time and figure out a time that works for both of us. It’s a complete win.

     

  3. It’s easy to use and edit. Setting up TimeTrade to link with your calendar is probably the trickiest part, and even that has pretty clear instructions. This isn’t some technical app that requires some serious computing expertise. It’s designed to be simple and easy to use – and it is!

Ok let’s do this! How do I get it?

You can sign up for TimeTrade by visiting www.timetrade.com where they have a range of plans for small businesses right up to bespoke arrangements for large enterprises. I use the plan that’s about £29/year and it’s sufficient for my needs right now, and I’m sure it will be for most small and medium businesses.

I’ve found TimeTrade has worked exceptionally well for me, and I often recommend it now to my clients and I would encourage you to check it out if you need to make appointments in your business.

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