How big can SMB scheduling be? And how universal across SMB categories? Those are the questions posed by the addition of scheduling to Groupon (Groupon Scheduler) and MerchantCircle, as well as the rise of several independent scheduling sites, such as Full Slate, Agendize, MaxiPage, Appointy and Genbook.
Another contender is Schedulicity, a scheduling pioneer that is now two years old and has 15,000 customers. The 21-person company, based in Bozeman, Montana, sells monthly scheduling services to one person for $19, or for $39 for up to 20 people who work out of the same location. Veteran local exec Dave Galvan (Topix, InfoUSA, Yahoo) has recently joined the company as president and head of business development, quickly forming partnerships with L’Oreal, Modern Salon, Vista Print, Yext, the GiftCard Café and Marlo Beauty.
Galvan tells us that Schedulicity’s approach is vertically focused, and that the company is now working with 45 vertical categories. Typical SMB customers have between 300 and 500 customers, he adds. While Galvan acknowledges that other scheduling companies might compete for mindshare with potential partners, the space is so undeveloped with SMBs that the real competition is “pad and paper.”
How scheduling companies ultimately compete can take lots of directions. Schedulicity, for instance, is adding email offers and personalization features that could pit it against SMB marketing giants such as Constant Contact. Sending an offer out on Schedulicity takes just a few seconds, while Constant Contact is “a complex email product” with a learning curve, he argues. Moreover, lists can be customized for such things as birthdays, residential address, etc.
At the same time, the company is also focusing on such specific scheduling areas as classes and workshops, which would pit it against vendor sites such as TeachStreet. It has already scheduled more than 100,000 classes.
The company also has the potential with partnerships for companies in the deal space, that might want to work with its “deal manager” feature, which meters the number of deal customers that can be scheduled, and ropes off sections of the day for regular customers — features that competitors such as FullSlate also have.
“We have done 1,000 daily deals since the summer,” says Galvan. He emphasizes that the company is agnostic toward deals providers and is not in the deals space.
Galvan adds that the company’s ultimate success will be the spread of word of mouth, aided broadly by social networks. He notes that company already has 66,000 “likes” on Facebook.