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How To Choose A Booking System For Your Baby And Toddler Classes

So, you’ve decided to start taking online bookings for your baby and toddler classes? Congratulations! Using a booking system is a great way to grow your business, keep those lovely faces coming back week after week, and save tons of time on admin too.

Related Post: Do I need a booking system for my baby and toddler classes?

But with a number of different tools out there to power your bookings, all with different features, pricing, and ways of working, how do you choose which one is right for you, and avoid wasting time (and money) on things you don’t need?

Grab a pen and paper, because our handy 3 step guide will help you make your choice with confidence.

Step 1: Standalone booking system, or marketing platform too?

Ubersuggest - Happity

Image: Sites like Ubersuggest can help you compare website visitors across different platforms.

Before you start looking at features, it’s a good idea to think through what you want your bookings system to do for your business as a whole. Do you want help reaching your customers, or do you already have parents and families coming to your website, signed up to your newsletter, and ready to book your classes?

If you’re hoping to find new customers, you’ll want to look at a booking system which has marketing features built in.

Some key things to scribble down include:

  • How many people visit the website (you can use a free tool like Ubersuggest to check and compare. Create a free account to compare up to 3 websites a day.)
  • How classes are promoted to the audience – is there a newsletter, for example? How many subscribers does it have?
  • The size of the social media audience, and how classes are promoted there.
  • If you can download your bookers’ email addresses to start building your own mailing list.
  • Any other marketing features.

Related Post: 7 Easy Steps To Build A Click-Worthy Newsletter For Your Baby Classes

If you don’t want help finding an audience, and only need the platform to take payments and manage your class capacities, then you can skip this step!

Which one is Happity?

Happity is a marketing platform and booking system combined, so our job is to help you find new customers AND take a booking once they’ve decided to come along to your classes!

About 300,000 parents visit our website every month, with roughly half of these coming from Google / search engines. Our much loved weekly ‘What’s On’ newsletter is sent to 115k parents every Sunday with bookable classes for the week ahead.

Find out more about our marketing features here.

Step 2: Think about features

A hand holding a mobile phone.

Booking systems are used by many different industries and types of business, from live concerts to online webinars to co-working spaces, so it’s worth thinking about which features you need (and don’t need!) before diving in and spending time setting up an account.

The more bells and whistles the platform has, the more complicated it will be to get started; which is worth it if you use the features, but not if you don’t (it’s also worth remembering you will be paying for features to be developed/maintained through your subscription, even if you don’t use them.)

Scribble down your list of must-haves – using the list below to help you if you get stuck.

  • What type of tickets do you want to sell? Do you want to offer blocks and terms, or only single tickets? Do you offer a discount for siblings?
  • How easy is it for parents to book – especially holding a baby in one hand and phone in the other?! Does the site take Apple/Google Pay, for example?
  • Do you want to take bookings on your own website, too? If so, do you need an embeddable widget (your web developer can install this for you in the code), or is it ok to simply link to your bookings page from your website (which you can set-up yourself)?
  • Do you want to run pre-sales?
  • What kind of sales reports and insights do you need?

Related Post: PAYG or block bookings? The best ticket types for classes

About Happity’s features

Our booking system was designed specifically for baby and toddler class providers, so we’ve worked hard to build the features which you really need, but not the ones you don’t. When you set-up your bookings on Happity, you can add term, block and single tickets; offer discounts for siblings; run pre-sales; download detailed sales reports from your dashboard, and lots more.

Discover our booking system for baby and toddler classes here

Step 3: Understanding booking system pricing

Every booking system is different, but usually the fees you pay will break down into: 

  • A regular subscription to use the system, either monthly or annual 
  • A commission taken on each booking, worked out as a percentage of the total payment
  • Payment processing fees

Make a note of each of these as you’re doing your research, and then figure out roughly how much you will pay to use the booking systems you are considering each month. This will tell you how many extra class bookings you need to generate to make a profit on your investment.

Worth noting: some booking systems will bundle all these costs together in one flat subscription (whether that’s monthly or annual), while others – like Happity – will break them out, meaning that if you take fewer bookings in a given month, you will pay lower fees. This can be useful if you’re not sure how many bookings you will take, or if you think it might fluctuate, for example in the school holidays.

About pricing on Happity

Use of our booking system is included in your annual Membership, which costs just £60 for the year (non-inclusive of VAT), and we’ve kept our commission as low as possible. Find out more about pricing here.

Ready to get started with bookings?

We hope you’ve found this article useful in deciding which booking system is right for you. We may be biased, but we happen to think Happity’s is one of the best in the business!

With 2.6m parents a year using the site to find amazing classes and activities, we can help you grow your audience, keep those lovely families coming back week after week, and save a ton of time on admin, too. Our system was built specifically for baby and toddler providers, with everything you need, and none of the faff. Plus, our super friendly support team are always just an email away if you need anything.

The booking system is available to everyone on our Membership plan. Find out more and get started here.

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