By Iselin Bostrøm
In this article, you’ll find valuable advice on how to start and run a booking service for experiences and activities. We’ll cover what it takes to succeed, common mistakes to avoid, and how to stand out in a crowded market.
Starting and running a booking service for saunas and other experiences can be a rewarding and successful business venture. Here are some tips for getting started:
- Research the market: Look into the demand for your services in your area, as well as the competition. Determine what sets your business apart and how you can offer a unique and valuable experience to your customers.
- Develop a business plan: A business plan will help you define your target market, pricing strategy, marketing efforts, and financial projections. This will be essential for securing funding and staying on track as you grow your business.
- Find a suitable location: Consider factors such as accessibility, size, and amenities when choosing a location for your business. You may need to negotiate a lease or purchase agreement, so make sure to do your due diligence.
- Purchase or rent necessary equipment: Make a list of the equipment you will need, such as saunas, showers, and changing rooms. Determine whether it’s more cost-effective to purchase or rent this equipment.
- Promote your business: Use a variety of marketing channels, such as social media, email marketing, and local advertising, to promote your business and attract customers. Offer promotions and discounts to encourage people to try your services.
- Provide excellent customer service: Make sure to deliver a high-quality experience from start to finish. This includes providing clear booking instructions, answering customer inquiries promptly, and handling any issues that may arise.
Simple booking system for experiences and equipment
To successfully start and run a sauna service or similar business, you need a system that gives traffic and makes it easy for customers to book. The customer journey typically begins with research and gathering information about your service through channels that your target audience uses. Therefore, it’s important to be present on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok where your target audience is likely to be. Additionally, it’s essential to be visible on Google and try to improve your ranking, as many customers will begin their search for a booking with a Google search. A booking system that allows you to strategically incorporate keywords is a valuable investment.
Today, customers expect a seamless booking process. If it is too difficult or time-consuming to book, you may lose potential customers. To gain a competitive advantage in the market, it’s essential to implement a user-friendly booking system. A modern website that is adapted to your brand and mobile display can help attract new customers. A booking calendar that provides information about availability can give potential customers a clear overview of your services. For companies that offer rentals, a booking calendar is a particularly useful tool.
It’s important to make prices easily accessible to visitors on your site, as this is a key factor in the purchasing decision. Offering gift cards and discounts can help increase the number of new bookings and repeat purchases. With a flexible system, you can adjust prices based on demand and needs. For example, if your business experiences higher demand on weekends compared to weekdays, you may choose to charge a lower price on weekdays to attract more customers and a higher price on weekends due to the higher demand. Additionally, focusing on additional sales and repeat purchases can help boost your revenue.
Save time with efficient booking management
Many companies that offer experiences and activities initially rely on Excel sheets, physical calendars, or a combination of different plugins before realizing that they need a more comprehensive system. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to consider switching to a more efficient system. Establishing good routines for handling bookings early on can help you create an efficient service with minimal administration. As your business grows and you start to receive more bookings, it’s important to have a system that can scale with you. To ensure that your system meets your long-term goals, it’s a good idea to think ahead and plan for growth. By streamlining your booking process, you can save time, work more efficiently, and most importantly, increase the number of new customers and repeat business from previous customers.
Full control over payments, terms and availability
Do you spend a lot of time manually managing bookings, which can be a real drain on your time and lead to frustrated customers who can’t get through on the phone or have to send emails to check availability? A simple and intuitive booking solution is a smart investment for both your customers and your business, and can be especially useful when paired with a good administration system. This allows you to easily manage your service from anywhere and avoid the hassle of using Excel sheets, post-it notes, or calendar solutions that aren’t intended for this purpose.
If you offer a variety of services and products, it’s important to have a system in place for payment and acceptance of terms, while still maintaining control over availability and individual orders. The needs of your customers may vary, such as pricing per person or group type for corporate events. Additionally, you may want to offer additional services and potentially sell products. By using a booking system that integrates with your accounting system, you can easily send invoices to customers.
Expand the service with self-service solutions|
Self-service solutions are constantly emerging, providing unique growth opportunities for businesses that offer activities and experiences. These solutions can enable unmanned pick-up points for rented equipment or allow customers to access your sauna independently. The benefits for your business include the ability to expand your service to more locations, reduced labor costs, and extended hours of operation. These self-service options also make it easier for customers to book with you, improving the overall customer experience and satisfaction. This can give your business a significant competitive advantage and help you stand out in the market.
Use an all-in-one solution for booking leisure activities
Sharefox is a specialist in rental systems. Many of the companies that reach out to us have started with a service like sauna rentals and want to expand to offer more services and activities. In this case, it’s important to have a system that can support this growth. With a comprehensive rental system like Sharefox, you can manage all of your rental operations without needing to make system changes as you grow.
Who can use Sharefox rental software?
Several of our customers rent out saunas, cabins and fisherman’s cabins, kayaks and SUP, in addition there are several that offer guided tours. Within this segment, Leonarden , the Norwegian Tourist Association (DNT) , Skyvoss and Uteguiden include some of our customers. The benefits they have gained from using Sharefox:
- Inspirational booking site that gives a higher number of bookings.
- More satisfied customers. Can see availability, book and order the service / products just when it suits them.
- A more user-friendly customer journey.
- Efficient ordering process. Free up several hours a week spent following up on customers by phone and email.
- Better overview of services and products.
- Full control of each order and availability.
- Less administration. Less manual work and follow-up.
What are you going to do now?
When you are ready… here are 4 ways we can help you expand your rental business!
- Do you want to grow your business today? Try Sharefox rental system for free – or book a demo and get a personal expert to analyze your company’s situation, come up with solutions on how you can streamline your methods and create a more profitable company.
- To learn more about the Sharefox rental system, read about trends and news for free, visit our blog or visit our resources section in the main menu. Here you can download guides and e-books that we also share with our customers.
- If you want to work with the circular economy and Saas and want to be part of the Sharefox team or find out why we are one of the fastest growing rental platforms in the rental industry, see our job postings here.
- If you have a good friend or know someone who would have found this article interesting, then feel free to share it with them via email, Linkedin or Facebook .