- The Importance of Scheduling
- How Missed Meetings Impact Business
- How a Virtual Receptionist Can Help
Q: Do delayed or canceled meetings impact business growth?
A: Delayed meetings can keep you from capitalizing on timely opportunities, resulting in slower growth and less reach for your business.
Building a small business is tough. While the internet has made it easier than ever to start a business as a solopreneur, it still comes with plenty of challenges.
Small business owners have to take on a plethora of duties, and creating an efficient appointment setting process can prove difficult.
Not only are business owners responsible for providing their customers with their company’s products or services, but they also have to handle legal procedures, financial information, marketing – and day-to-day tasks like appointment setting and scheduling meetings.
In the midst of the chaos, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks.
This is especially true for meetings, as it can be hard to coordinate schedules when life gets hectic.
Successful small businesses must have an efficient process in place for setting appointments and making sure meetings proceed as scheduled.
On the flip side, small business owners sometimes overschedule themselves. As a result, meeting overload creeps in.
Fortunately, there are modern solutions available to help remote business owners manage their scheduling.
- Downsides Of Making Your Own Schedule
- How To Better Manage Your Scheduling And Time Management
- Avoid The Stress Of Back-and-Forth Emails
The Importance of Scheduling
It should come as no surprise that maintaining a sound and efficient schedule is good for business. Schedules ensure that you keep your business moving forward rather than treading water.
Growth is survival for most businesses, and as such, you need to meet your deadlines.
Additionally, scheduling phone calls and meetings are key to gaining exposure. Networking plays a huge role in getting your business seen and making sales.
Many opportunities are time-based. You may get a call on Tuesday from a company that wants you to be a part of an event the following Monday.
If your discussion gets delayed because you’re too busy, the opportunity may be lost completely.
The Trouble With Scheduling Your Own Meetings
Lost opportunities like this are typically a result of small business owners attempting to run their own schedules.
Small businesses are always finding methods to stay nimble and keep overhead low. This strategy makes a lot of sense, but it isn’t without its downsides.
It can be very difficult to keep track of all the things you need to do on your own, especially when you’re already busy trying to execute yesterday’s to-do list.
Scheduling meetings is no exception. When you have a packed schedule already, it gets tricky trying to pause and insert yet another activity into your week.
In fact, meetings present a unique challenge in that they can pop up spontaneously. An issue with your producer or a random networking event can strike at any moment.
While you can take steps to automate your customer service, it’s not as simple to have a computer or software schedule your meetings online.
When trying to handle their schedules alone, small business owners frequently fall into the trap of setting the task aside till they’re finished with their current work.
The problem is, business owners are always going to be busy. You’ll likely never have a wide-open schedule that makes it easy to pencil in meetings last minute.
Instead, business owners tend to push off scheduling anything, which leads them to delay the meeting too long or never schedule it at all.
How Missed or Delayed Meetings Hurt Business
Delayed meetings have a number of negative impacts on your business.
Business leaders who continuously postpone or delay meetings can:
- Make meeting attendees feel unimportant
- Unknowingly give their business a bad reputation
- Increase their own stress levels
- Forget to schedule important meetings with clients or staff
Prolonged delays make the other attendees feel unimportant. If someone comes to you with a potential business opportunity then doesn’t hear from you for a few weeks, they may question if you care.
They may also feel that your business is unprofessional, leading to negative word of mouth. That meeting you’ve been meaning to schedule may burn more bridges than you realize.
Additionally, delayed meetings can make you overwhelmed. You may wind up having to schedule a full day of Zoom meetings because you forgot to manage your schedule further in advance.
In turn, you may show up to these meetings less enthused and engaged than you might have otherwise. That lack of energy can hold you back from fully capitalizing on your opportunities.
Finally, you may simply forget to schedule your meetings at all.
An overly hectic schedule or not knowing how to create a proper meeting request email can keep you from ever connecting. This might mean missing huge work opportunities.
Enter the Virtual Receptionist
Virtual receptionists are remote receptionists that connect to your business phone and manage your calls.
Like a traditional receptionist, a virtual receptionist greets callers and takes messages when necessary. They then pass these messages along to you in a manner that allows you to handle them when it’s most convenient.
Virtual receptionist plans also come with online features that mimic the tasks a traditional receptionist might handle. This includes online scheduling platforms and apps that make it easier than ever to schedule meetings remotely.
How a Virtual Receptionist Helps with Scheduling Meetings
Better Manage Your Scheduling
Virtual receptionists make organizing your schedule far more manageable.
Rather than wing it or pack your day with far too much, a virtual receptionist scheduling app allows you to think ahead. You can set your availability in advance, ensuring you don’t wind up scheduling meetings outside work hours.
As a result, your stress levels remain low and you can bring your best self to each meeting.
Over time, this lack of stress helps your business and productivity levels grow. Stress reduces your creativity and keeps you from engaging with your work at a high level.
By reducing stress, you can bring your full energy to your work, helping you accomplish the tasks you need to grow your business.
Businesses today are plagued by high turnover, low employee retention, and chronic burnout. Offloading some of your business calls to a virtual receptionist can help prevent job burnout and promote a healthier work-life balance.
Meetings Happen Promptly
Having a better-managed schedule doesn’t just help maximize wellbeing and productivity — it also means that your calendar will have more open space when scheduling meetings.
Rather than wind up with an absurdly full week, you can keep a buffer in place. Any new meeting that pops up will be able to fit much faster than it would if you tried to manage things yourself.
You’ll get meetings scheduled within a reasonable time frame, allowing you to take full advantage of short-notice opportunities for business growth.
Over time, this leads to higher sales and more exposure.
Avoid the Stress of Back-and-Forth Emails
If you’ve tried scheduling meetings on your own, you probably know the pain of trying to pin down a date that works for everyone.
Virtual receptionists eliminate the need for this tedious back-and-forth.
Instead, potential attendees can use a scheduling app to see your availability and pick a time and date that works best for them.
This keeps you from having to waste time on long, confusing email chains and also makes the experience better for the other attendees as well.
According to The Pew Research Center, 58% of Americans claimed the internet was essential during the pandemic. With these metrics in mind, it’s no surprise that we prefer simplistic workflows when available.
Bringing in a virtual receptionist will allow you to focus on your work while starting your meetings off on a good note. Offloading this responsibility allows you to focus on the tasks that matter most to your business.
Scheduling meetings can be a difficult and tedious process.
The endless emailing and coordination can lead to delays that harm your networking opportunities.
Still, many remote small business owners want to avoid the overhead of hiring a full-time employee to handle their schedule and are insistent on doing it themselves.
Thankfully, Alliance Virtual Offices provides several cost-effective virtual receptionist plans that will eliminate appointment scheduling nightmares and help keep your calendar full of meetings that you can manage.
With three tiers to choose from, Alliance Virtual Offices virtual phone and live receptionist plans the virtual receptionist solution for almost any business.
Virtual receptionists can handle scheduling meetings for you, so you can focus on showing up for your small business, keep your meetings timely, and eliminate any stress related to handling your daily schedule.
Learn more about how Alliance Virtual Offices helps small businesses get started and work remotely from all over the country and world on our virtual office blog.
Do you have an inspiring story about starting a small business, using a virtual receptionist service, or running a successful virtual office? Contact the author at [email protected]