This sponsored post features a product relevant to our readers while meeting our editorial guidelines for being objective and educational.
As an entrepreneur, it's safe to say that your days are unpredictable. Meetings move, new opportunities arise, and your days are jam packed.
Calendaring isn't easy, but it's a must as you grow your business. How does Calendly work to make it easier for entrepreneurs? You're about to see it in action.
As an entrepreneur, your appointment scheduling tool should be flexible. It needs to think for you so that you've got more headspace for new ideas. Every entrepreneur needs more time to think, plan, and implement. Let's find out more about how Calendly works for entrepreneurs.
How Calendly Works for Entrepreneurs (QuickStart Video)
Do you want to understand Calendly and learn some best practices right away? Get started with this short video:
For a more detailed look at how Calendly works, keep reading the tutorial below.
How Does Calendly Work? (And What Sets it Apart?)
If you've scheduled meetings, you know that it's more complicated than it needs to be. Here are common pain points that I'm sure you've encountered:
- There might be confusion over time zones. This can lead to proposing a meeting at an awkward time outside of normal working hours.
- Back-and-forth emails. You send a long chain of time suggestions, which are distracting and difficult to parse. Your email chain quickly spirals out of control with options. You waste time comparing schedules that are always changing.
- Tight calendars to fit into. This is sure to cause frustration and cancellations. You'll also feel overbooked as the entirety of each day fills with meetings.
- Inconsistent reminders. Every calendar app makes this too complex. That's sure to cause missed appointments or frazzled preparation.
Calendly takes a simple but radically different approach. Instead of searching for a common time, it gives you a link to a booking page. That makes it easy for collaborators to choose a working time from a list of options. It automatically aligns time zones between sender and recipient for fewer mix-ups.
In the screenshot below, you can see an example of this in action. When you create a Calendly account, you input basic details like your time zone and available working hours. Calendly starts by getting to know you and your preferences so that it understands your schedule.
Then, you get a URL to share with others. This page reflects your available time, and lets the recipient choose an open slot.
For a busy entrepreneur, this approach makes so much more sense. Calendly acts as your magic personal assistant, handling scheduling for you. It already knows your time preferences and finds slots accordingly. It's sure to free up hours every week that you can use to grow your business.
The best part of Calendly is that you can start using it for free. While you're growing and scaling your business, Calendly gives you an advantage with no extra cost.
How does Calendly work to make life easier for entrepreneurs? We've only scratched the surface. Read on to see tips with best calendar practices for entrepreneurs. Plus, learn how Calendly helps you implement these tips.
6 Best Practices for Entrepreneurs Scheduling Meetings
Let's look at six best practices that help you schedule meetings more effectively. These tips are sure to help you schedule more efficiently and free up more time to grow your business:
1. Automate Your Reminders
If you miss a meeting, you might jeopardize an opportunity or lose a client. The solution is to set a reminder that gets your attention when it's needed.
Your days are so busy that you need reminders. Those timely nudges help ensure that you won't miss a crucial meeting. Even better, you can automate those reminders for the recipient as well.
Calendly makes this easy with Workflows. These workflows are pre-built notifications that you can use to automate actions. That includes reminders. Several of our best practices will use these workflows to save you time. After all, every entrepreneur would love to set the boring parts of business on autopilot.
Check out the screenshot below for some of the sample workflows to do just that:
Notice the workflows for reminders. These ensure that both host and invitee are reminded of an important upcoming meeting. Workflows are the best of both worlds: they're pre-built to save you configuration, but they give you total flexibility.
For each workflow, you can customize your settings. Choose When this happens (how far in advance to send the reminder) and a method to send the notification. Choose the latter preference on the Do this menu.
Helpful reminders that nudge you when your meeting approaches are the best way to do that. When you leverage the power of reminders, you're sure to experience fewer cancellations or missed meetings. Your recipient will thank you as well.
How does Calendly work to make life easier for entrepreneurs? We've just scratched the surface. Workflows are a major part of the equation. Learn more below:
2. Connect to Your Existing Calendar
There's a good chance that you already use a calendar app to manage your day-to-day life. As you increase your collaboration, it's tempting to search for a new calendar app.
Suddenly, there's calendar chaos. You're using Outlook for your personal calendar, and Google Calendar for your appointments and meetings. It's a pain to keep them in sync, and you're likely to miss meetings.
A better way is to connect your scheduling tool to your existing calendar. That means that you'll have everything in one place.
One of my favorite parts of Calendly is its connectivity. It truly integrates with all the leading calendar platforms. Whether you use Google Calendar, Outlook, or iCloud, Calendly connects to it.
Don't think of Calendly as an alternative to your existing calendar. Instead, it's a magic funnel that helps you get appointments added to the calendar you already use.
3. Build in Buffer Time
We all want to be productive. But let's face it: packing your day with back-to-back meetings isn't a recipe for success.
That's why I highly recommend that you use buffer time. This is time between meetings that you use to prepare, recharge, or whatever else you need to succeed.
If you don't leave buffer time, you're sure to run into both of the following:
- You'll feel rushed and unprepared for your next meeting. I've got a rule of thumb that I need at least five minutes to prepare for a meeting. There's nothing worse than hopping on a call to an eager participant and seeming scattered. If you give yourself a buffer, you'll find yourself using the time to prepare.
- You don't leave room for serendipity. Have you ever reached the best point of a conversation, only to find out you're almost out of time? If you had buffer time, you could continue the conversation.
How does Calendly support buffering? It's a feature that's easy to enable. You can automatically add scheduled time for yourself before and after your events.
When editing an event type, find the section labeled Want to add time before or after your events? You can choose to add buffer time before and after your events. Tick the box for Before event or After event, then set the time to buffer.
Once you've enabled buffer time, Calendly will adjust your available times accordingly. For example, 15 minutes of buffer time after an event will block off time after your meeting. With buffer time, the slot is now blocked off and isn't available for a recipient to book. That helps you protect your bandwidth and keep some much-needed time to yourself.
It's not realistic to fill eight hours of a working day with meetings. Yet, we've all faced times where our calendar filled with solid blocks of meetings. With buffer time, you help to protect your bandwidth and give yourself the much needed prep time.
4. Customize and Personalize Your Notifications
Notifications are a normal part of the calendar workflow. But they're boring and lack personalization. A dry notification like "Accepted: Your Recipient confirmed" doesn't delight your customers.
Why not introduce a bit of personalization in your notifications? Instead of the same generic confirmations, notifications now include names and company specifics.
Remember workflows? They're flexible, and also help us to set up notifications. And even though they include pre-built steps, they're also totally customizable. That's what makes them personalized!
After you click Use Workflow on one of the options, then you can add personalization.
In the screenshot above, you can see that every workflow is customizable. In this case, I can personalize text reminders for my host with the easy-to-use editor window. This box is totally editable, and it's easy to imagine adding your business name or event details. You can even use Variables to update this with invite specifics.
These small touches are crucial for entrepreneurs. When you go the extra mile to connect and personalize the experience, you set yourself apart. It's part of the total experience that can help you land the next sale, garner investment, or hire an employee.
5. Collaborate With Teams
Just because you're an entrepreneur doesn't mean that you've got to go it alone. No matter what size business you run, the power of collaboration can take you to the next level.
Many calendar events will include more than two people. Maybe you need your CFO or lead salesperson on a call. If you've scheduled these types of events, you know that this gets complicated quickly.
Here's the thing: collaboration is a must. A best practice for entrepreneurs is to not take on every meeting on their own. So, if you want to incorporate that, you need to collaborate with your team.
Yet again, Calendly has your back. It makes it easy to schedule multiple people in a meeting. In the screenshot below, you can see the team meetings that are easy to schedule with Calendly's help.
As you can see, there are a variety of team meetings you can create with a Calendly link. Here's how each one works:
- Group. Imagine hosting a webinar or presentation to a large audience. A group meeting lets you take center stage with many attendees to maximize your reach.
- Collective. Need to include many hosts? This is ideal for interviews, for example. Calendly makes it easy to find common available times.
- Round robin. With Calendly’s round robin event type, teams can streamline scheduling by routing invitees to any available team member. It’s ideal for sales, customer success, support, or even recruiting.
6. Embed Calendly onto Your Website
When entrepreneurs add Calendly to their websites, visitors and prospects can book an appointment or meeting directly from your website whenever it's convenient.
There are three ways to add Calendly onto your website:
- Inline. When Calendly appears inline, it appears seamlessly as part of your website.
- Pop-up Widget. When you set Calendly up as a pop-up widget, a button causes Calendly to open in a pop-up window.
- Pop-up Text. You can use text to open a pop-up window with Calendly.
We've published a complete guide that shows you how to make the most of using Calendly with teams. Even if you haven't hired your first employee, this is helpful to entrepreneurs. Imagine using these techniques to pair like-minded collaborators in group calls:
How Does Calendly Work For Entrepreneurs? Now You Know
Busy entrepreneurs need a calendar that works as hard as they do. With Calendly and our six best practices, you're now a pro scheduler. Lean on tools like workflows and collaborate with your team inside of Calendly for better scheduling.
With Calendly, you reverse the normal workflow for creating an appointment. Don't bog down your days with back-and-forth scheduling headaches, turn to Calendly instead. It's the fastest way to use our six best practices, and it costs you nothing to try out.