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Enterprise Ireland Investment For BookingHawk.com

Dublin, April 26th, 2017

BookingHawk.com has successfully applied for funding from Enterprise Ireland. This is the first outside investment in the project and comes as part of The New Frontiers Phase 2 Programme which is facilitated by Enterprise Ireland. Participation in the programme entails full-time participation in workshops, mentoring and regular reviews. Financial support comes in the form of €15,000 in equity free funding.

Development on BookingHawk.com started in 2015 and since then, it has emerged from an early access phase where the number and variety of businesses on the site have gradually increased. Through secure integration with online payments gateway Stripe, BookingHawk.com has experienced steady growth. Included in the growing number of organisations and businesses using the software is a third level Institute of Technology.

Businesses in South Africa, Germany and The United States have all registered on the system to increase their efficiency and expand their customer base. The focus of the next six months for BookingHawk.com will be further additions to the software capabilities of the booking system. Allied to this, the continuation of the first class customer support model is seen as key to the growth of the software platform.

“I am delighted that the application to Phase 2 has been successful.” said company founder Niall Smith. “The financial investment is a boost and I believe that there is a great deal of value to be gained by participating in the programme workshops, networking sessions and mentoring. BookingHawk.com is operating in a highly competitive market so for us, customer support is of paramount importance. We believe that a system such as this should take up as little of the business owners time as possible. The feedback we’re getting to date reflects the value we are adding to organisations of all types and sizes.”

BookingHawk.com is an Irish solution for online bookings and diary management. The start-up software company facilitates businesses of all types to take commission free online bookings as well as allowing them to access their diary from anywhere with an internet connection. The online booking system is competitively priced at a flat, no contract rate of €11.14 per month. The goal of BookingHawk.com is to increase efficiency, improve brand perception and grow the customer base of the businesses using it. As a result, it will make procuring there services a much improved experience for the customers of these businesses. To date, it has proven to be a useful client acquisition and efficiency improvement tool for physiotherapists, chiropodists, sports facilities, nutritionists, B&B’s and holistic centers.

Flexible Pricing and Price Hiding – Update April 19th 2017

by niall 0 Comments

The latest product update to online booking system BookingHawk.com facilittes a business in showing different prices for different customer types. For example, if a business offers a student or a seniors discount, they can now inform the user of this price when they are booking online. Click here for a short video showing how to add a flexible pricing message to your online booking page.

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An example of the flexible pricing message which is optionally displayed to users

Also included in this release is the ability to hide the price of your service from your business profile page. This came as a direct request from a business which is currently using BookingHawk.com to manage their diary and take online bookings. The business was concerned that customers were turned off by the price shown on the business profile page. The business in question felt that if a customer were to proceed to he booking page, they would be more inclined to complete the online booking. The thinking behind this was that once the customer is on the second page, they can see the customisable flexible pricing message. As well as this, they are also only one step away from completing the booking and therefore will realise how easy the process is. Click here to see a short video on how to hide the price from your business profile page.

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An example of hiding the price of from your business profile page

 

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An example of showing the price on your business profile page. This is the default setting.

Price editing is also part of this update. This means that if someone avails of a discounted booking, you can adjust the price of their appointment. This is useful if you are using BookingHawk.com to track your financials and did-not-arrives. The below video demonstrates how to configure this change. Click here to see a short demonstration video on how to edit the price of an online booking.

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A business may now change the price of an individual booking. This will be useful where a customer is due a discount for their appointment. It automatically reflects in your online financial reports.

 

Finally, this release also included the following minor improvements:

  • Improvement in the process for transferring money collected from online bookings and credit card payments on BookingHawk.com to a businesses bank account.
  • Fix for a small defect which existed with discount codes.
  • Appointment times in the business dashboard as well as the business profile page are automatically sorted chronologically.
  • Assets will appear in the dashboard in the same order as you have configured them to appear on the business profile page.

 

Nights 11 & 12 – Presenting The Case

In 2017, I attended Phase 1 of the New Frontiers Programme which is run by Enterprise Ireland. The programme ran two nights a week over six weeks. There was no fee to attend. I would highly recommend this programme to anyone starting a new enterprise, whether your idea is just an idea or is a semi-developed product. What follows is a post which gives an outline of nights 11 & 12 of the course. When fully published, there will be 11 posts documenting all nights of Phase 1. To see a list of published posts, click here.

The final two nights of the course require the participants to present their project to a panel. The presentations were supposed to last for four minutes and be followed by a few short questions. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend the first night of presentations.

The process of preparing for the presentation was a good exercise in articulating concisely what it is that Booking Hawk does and the objectives for the system. Some things I learned throughout the night:

  • It is never a good idea to add/omit something to/from your presentation at the last minute. Stick to what you have prepared.
  • If the presentation is supposed to be strictly x minutes long, leave 30 seconds for interaction at the start as it may help to settle nerves.
  • The 10, 20, 30 Rule for presentations

With regard to my own presentation. The feedback was as constructive as ever.

  • I should have included more details on the success stories
  • I should have been clearer on the pricing model and how I will make money from it
  • It would have been good to include a figure which reflected the monetary value for all of the bookings that have gone through the system
  • I was again advised (3 times) to pick a profession to target and focus on that as opposed to getting as many varying professions on the system.

I asked one of the fellow attendees to record it for me. In the interests of the Non-Disclosure Agreement that I signed, I won’t mention his name but thank you. The idea of recording it was so that I could observe for myself what sort of bumbling idiot I came across as, so I could improve on it in the future.

I thought about publishing the demonstration video but I have decided against for a number of reasons. The first being that I did not ask permission from the facilitators to record it in the first place which, in hindsight, was bad form. The second reason is that it contains some confidential data about the strategy and growth of BookingHawk.com.

Summary

Overall, I felt that participation in the course was hugely beneficial. It thought me about areas and subjects that I would not have discovered on my own. It changed how I think about decision making and strategy. It allowed me to meet some extremely bright and driven people. It was 100% free to participate and attend. The only drawback is giving up three hours of your Monday and Wednesday evenings for 6 weeks.

I cannot think of many reasons why someone involved in a startup would decide not to participate in this course. If you would like to talk to me about the course, I would be happy to do so. I am not affiliated with Enterprise Ireland nor have I been incentivized by them in any way to ‘spread the good word’. I feel it is the least I can do to express my gratitude.

Niall

If you know someone that would benefit from online booking, please let me know about them. I will send you a two paragraph email for you to forward to your friend so it couldn’t be less hassle for you to help a couple of Irish businesses to grow!

Read Night 1 – Introduction

Read Night 2 – Idea Exploration and Creative Thinking

Read Night 3 – Market Opportunity Problem / Pain ID

Read Night 4 – Market Analysis / Customer Identification

Read Night 5 – Route To Market

Read Night 6 – Lean Business Model Canvas

Read Night 7 – Marketing Communications

Read Night 8 – Legal Issues

Read Night 9 – Business Case Document and Team Makeup

Read Night 10 – Financial Planning

Read Nights 11 & 12 – Presenting The Case