Inside your appointment book most likely lies much more than names, dates and contact details. It includes information about clients' favorite hair style, the day of the week that they normally schedule an appointment, and products that they have purchased in the past(among other information that we will get to in a bit). You might take a look at this information when the client comes in for their appointment but I doubt many businesses are actually utilizing this information at any other time. Here's why you should change the way you think about your appointment book.
When you want to figure out how your business is doing, it's easy to get stuck focusing on the answer to one simple question: Is my business growing or shrinking? Every business owner thinks about this, which is why most software programs will show you how you did this month compared to last month, and to the same time last year.
While it's useful information to understand, what will you do with that knowledge? If your business is growing, should you pat yourself on the back and keep your marketing steady? If your business is shrinking, should you panic and start making drastic changes? The reality is that neither case tends to be true, because the year-over-year or month-over-month growth metrics don't actually tell you anything about WHY this is happening or WHAT to do to improve.
Your appointment book tells the story of your business, and inside that story lies some of the answers to the questions above. You can learn many things about the health of your business, such as the number of extra appointment slots you could have filled if you had more demand, or what times of year need an extra marketing boost to keep your schedule as full as possible. It can also tell you many things about your customers, both individually and in aggregation, that you may not have realized. Which customers only tend to visit on special occasions? Which customers are loyal, but are not coming as often as they should? Which customers will encourage friends or family to visit your business when given an excuse to pass the word along?
These are just a few of hundreds of questions your appointment book can answer, if you know where to look. This is one of the reasons we created Frederick. Our mission is to help small business owners unlock the power of data to grow their businesses like never before.