In light of everything happening around the world, most people are conducting their businesses online. It is one of the safest options available. With hundreds of thousands testing positive for coronavirus daily, we are better off staying at home, leaving us at the mercy of the internet.
Even before the pandemic, many people conducted business online. The ease of use trumps other methods. However, for those who have many online business clients, it can be a tedious task keeping up with every client. There are different engagements, meetings to be held, and tasks to be completed.
How then does one remember every activity? This is where an online calendar comes in very handy.
An online calendar is one of the must-have productivity tools for anybody transacting businesses via the internet. It aids the smooth running of a one-person business or an organization, as the case may be.
An online calendar is not limited to keeping track of days alone. Other functions include setting reminders and getting updates, allocating tasks to relevant people, and tracking progress, as well as scheduling meetings and booking appointments.
If you’ve been using the traditional calendar, it is time to migrate to an online calendar.
Benefits of Using an Online Calendar
There are various benefits for people using an online calendar.
Here are some of them:
Multi-user and device access
An online calendar can be accessed by multiple users as long as they have authorization. It means that it is easy for other people to get tasks and know what is expected of them. Besides, a user can access an online calendar on different devices. It is not limited to a single device.
Therefore, you can use your online calendar on the go. You do not have to wait for a particular device.
Keeping up with recurring events
Some events recur in organizations. It might be a weekly Monday meeting, a bi-monthly strategy meeting, a learning week, or an annual general meeting.
Whatever the event is, an online calendar can remind you and other participants when due.
All you have to do is schedule these events to avoid any inconveniences that may arise as a result of not being prepared.
Easy appointments schedule
If you have an upcoming appointment, you can schedule it with your online calendar. Since your calendar contains other activities, it’ll show you if your scheduled appointment clashes with another event. This way, you’ll be able to reschedule.
Also, you can schedule meetings for a convenient date and time with your online calendar. It sends notifications to relevant parties. You can schedule recreational activities like summer vacations too.
Get important reminders
It is okay to forget events, especially when you have a busy schedule. However, it is not okay to miss important events. It might be meetings, job interviews, brainstorming sessions, etc. It does not even have to be formal. It can be the birthday of a loved one, your wedding anniversary, a date, etc.
An individual looking to get ahead in the fitness industry, for example, might have to set reminders for exam dates. They would then need to schedule reminders for their ACSM CPT practice test in order to study the material in a timely manner.
These are events you cannot afford to miss. Not to worry, you can input these special occasions in your online calendar. When it’s time, it will send you reminders. If it’s a meeting, you’ll get a timely reminder at least an hour before the set time.
You do not have to miss any important event anymore.
Managing your Online Business Clients with an Online Calendar
Managing your online business clients effectively is pivotal to the progress of your business. If you’re offering a service, you should understand that your clients’ management approach affects your business outlook.
Imagine missing an appointment with a client, or you exceed a deadline, it’ll tarnishes your brand’s image as well as negatively affect your revenue. Therefore, effective scheduling and timely delivery are essential.
The question you should ask is what you should do and avoid when managing your online business clients with an online calendar. Here are some answers.
What you should do when managing your online business clients with an online calendar
Schedule every task
Before you do anything, you need to schedule everything you have to do. It includes both personal and business tasks.
Are you going to see a doctor? Schedule it. Do you need to have a zoom meeting with a client? Schedule it and confirm the date and time with the client. If it changes, effect the change on your calendar. You must schedule every task to ensure you do not miss anything.
The essence of scheduling your task is to keep you abreast of every event as at when due. Also, you can share your schedules with your clients. If they need to make an appointment, your schedule will prompt them to fix appointments for a convenient date and time.
Besides, scheduling tasks helps you remain focused and increases your productivity. Furthermore, it highlights the free time you have to engage in pastimes.
It is pertinent that you find ways to ease your scheduling process. Inputting every schedule manually can be time-consuming. Even worse, you might miss a schedule inadvertently. Humans are error-prone, and this situation isn’t an exception.
Imagine your clients booking your service, and a system automatically adds it to your schedule. Automating your schedule will ease your process. You do not have to go through the stress of inputting every schedule in your calendar.
Each time a client books your service, the system saves the filled information and automatically adds a schedule to your calendar.
Understand your online business clients’ preferences
An effective way to manage your online business clients with an online calendar is by understanding your client’s preference. People have distinct choices. For example, client A might prefer to be contacted via WhatsApp while client B might opt for email.
While scheduling, it is essential to know what your client prefers in order not to use a less preferred platform. It can transcend into platforms for meetings too. It is crucial to know a meeting platform that suits your client.
Understanding your online business clients’ preferences helps you input the correct info and schedule appointments or meetings via the preferred platform.
Use an online calendar on your mobile device
It is not enough that you use an online calendar. You must use your online calendar on your mobile device. Everything has gone tech, and it has necessitated the use of our mobile devices for almost every task. Your online calendar should not be excluded.
Since you’ll be working with a flurry of schedules, it is a no-brainer for you to integrate your online calendar with your mobile device- especially as you go everywhere with your device.
With your mobile device, you’ll be able to access your schedule on the go. It’ll ease your process and fasten everything for you.
Honestly, you cannot remember every activity, especially if you have different activities to deal with. It is why you need the assistance of your online calendar to remind you of every pending business.
Let’s say a client has requested your service for a particular date. While inputting the information in your calendar, you can set a reminder such that your calendar reminds you close to the due date or time.
Alternatively, if you’re using an automated system, you can set your calendar to remind you of every activity when it is due. With this measure, you won’t miss any meeting with a client or a scheduled appointment.
Set up an email confirmation option
As an internet-based tool, your online calendar partners with other online tools to ease your tasks. An example is an email. When you set up your online calendar, you can integrate your email.
An email can perform various functions for your clients and you. For example, after your client schedules an appointment or a meeting with you, the email application can send a mail to the client confirming the date, time, and other necessary details pertaining to the appointment or meeting.
Also, the tool sends a mail to you as a receipt that an appointment or meeting has been set up.
A mistake people often make when setting up their calendars is that they do not schedule downtimes. As humans, we are entitled to lives outside our professional functions. Therefore, it is vital to add times when you’ll be unavailable to your calendar.
If you’re meeting with someone for non-work purposes, you should add it to your calendar as personal. You can include your lunch breaks, holidays, and times when you’ll be unavailable.
Avoid conflicts in schedules
Whatever you do, you must avoid schedule conflicts when scheduling appointments and meetings with clients. If a client proposes a date and you have another event for the same date and time, you need to inform the client and offer available dates.
It won’t bode well for you if you have two meetings or appointments scheduled for the same time and you failed to show for one. It is why we highly recommend that you use an automated scheduling system. It will show clients that the proposed date and time is unavailable.
Don’t schedule back-to-back meetings
You should avoid scheduling back-to-back meetings on the same day. Always leave room for unexpected happenings. For example, there are times when a session can last longer than expected.
If you have scheduled another meeting for a few moments after the current meeting, you’ll most likely show up for the virtual meeting late, or in some cases, you won’t show up at all. Doing this will only leave your client disappointed.
To avoid such a situation, you can put enough space between meetings. An hour or two between meetings is enough to conclude the present and get set for the next one.
Do not apply the same priority to every activity on your calendar
As much as you have so much to do, each task has different priorities. Some tasks are more important than the other. When you’re setting up your online calendar, you must include the priority of each task.
Your online calendar understands the importance of priority. Therefore, it categorizes tasks according to their priorities. This way, you won’t miss activities that require your urgent attention. You can differentiate tasks according to their priorities.
Never turn off your calendar syncing
We mentioned earlier that different people could access a calendar as long as they have the authorization to do so. It means that people who can access an online calendar can schedule appointments and meetings on your behalf.
To avoid any confusion, you should not turn off your calendar syncing because it is the only way the information someone else has added to your online calendar will appear on your device.
Avoid overbooking your calendar
To increase your productivity, you should not overbook your calendar. It means that you cannot schedule too many appointments and meetings for a single day.
If you do, you’ll find out that your concentration and productivity level will drop rapidly, and you would be unable to assimilate as much information as you would have loved to.
Therefore, you should declutter your calendar and spread your meetings or appointments.
Avoid booking appointments and meetings for the same time
You should not book appointments and meetings with a client at the same time. Doing such reeks of sheer unprofessionalism. It will only lead to keeping one client waiting. In the long run, such a client will become exasperated.
Try not to reschedule a meeting or appointment without informing the affected party
There are instances where you have to reschedule appointments or meetings with clients. It is proper that you inform the affected party immediately after you reschedule. You can send a copy of your calendar for the day.
Also, inform the client of other available dates and ask him/her to choose a convenient time.
This way, clients cannot schedule meetings for these times.