Are you a small or medium-sized business that has been negatively impacted by Covid-19?
If so, you’re not alone. But, the good news is that there is help on the way.
We know that online booking is key to appointment-based business success by way of improving the customer experience (CX), and the BC government will now cover up to 75% of the expenses to implement online booking OR optimize your current system.
The grant, called the Launch Online Grant, is easy to apply for, and funds are distributed immediately. You’ll find out within three weeks if you’ve been approved.
In this blog post, we’ll cover the details of this grant, including why now is the time to offer online booking if you haven’t already.
Why Your Online Booking is Critical in Today’s World
Think about how powerful convenience has become in our society.
Online scheduling isn’t just about giving your customers the ability to “book online.” It’s much more powerful than that.
The foundation is convenience. Today’s most successful businesses are built more on this very model, which we can see in the rise of Amazon or in food delivery systems like SkipTheDishes.
By giving your customers convenience, you remove barriers and your bookings increase.
But this is just the beginning. Scheduling software is designed to increase bookings in other ways, too, including:
- Access to More Powerful Tools = More Bookings. A solid online scheduling system also comes with marketing tools, from its Marketplace (giving you access to thousands of people looking for appointments from businesses like yours) to Facebook/Instagram booking tools.
Reserve with Google is another great example – this gives Google users the ability to book straight from Google.
- Time Savings. Online scheduling allows you to automate so many aspects of your business, from scheduling to appointment reminders, so you get more done.
- Bang for your Buck. Online scheduling software will also give you access to tools for more added value. With Yocale, you also get access to a client management system and a point of sale.
Five years ago, we used to say that online scheduling was about giving your customers a premier experience – and that is still true to today – but it’s becoming much more of a must-have as more and more businesses continue to offer online booking.
We have so many resources on the importance of online scheduling, a great one of which is here.
How BC’s Launch Online Program Works
If you’re a small or medium-sized business, the Launch Online Grant will give you up to a maximum of $7,500 dollars per business to start online booking, or improve your existing scheduling system, with a BC-based scheduling system (such as Yocale!).
Your online booking system needs to be implemented within 12 weeks.
Funds will be distributed as soon as you’ve been approved, and the grant will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. 30% of funds will also be reserved for Black and Indigenous-owned businesses.
You simply need to determine if you meet the eligibility criteria and then apply (more on this below).
The program will cover a variety of expenses, from marketing to course fees for your staff to either help them learn to run the online booking system or even learn about digital marketing.
Here’s the eligibility criteria:
From here, the next steps are:
- Develop a Grant Proposal that outlines how much funding you need and how you plan to spend the funding.
- Complete the Application Form. Applicants will be contacted within three weeks.
Note that while you have until September 30, 2021, the program will close once the funds have been fully subscribed. That means it’s better to apply sooner than later so you don’t miss out.
- If your application has been successful, the last step is to contact a BC-based scheduling system (this is a mandatory requirement), such as Yocale. Call 1-855-9-YOCALE, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or book a demo here.
Yocale is a leading, BC-based scheduling system. You can read more about why our customers choose us here, but some of the proof is in the pudding!
Wrapping It Up
The BC government has invested an additional 30 million dollars to help small and medium, BC-based businesses boost their business via online booking. If you’ve been thinking about implementing online scheduling for your customers but lacked the resources, we can’t think of a better time to get started.
It’s simple to apply, you’ll find out within three weeks once you apply, and funds will be distributed immediately.