In today’s hectic commuting-based world a second job would be a welcome source of extra income to any household if only time would allow for it – there are only 24 hours in a day after all.
That said, wouldn’t it be great to have a steady, stress-free home-based, less than part-time job that could bring in some extra cash? A job you could spend less than an hour a night on. A job that could bring in an extra $1,000, $2,000 a month – not breaking the bank by any means, but it’d come in handy. A job you could do completely in the quiet and tranquility of your home, or, if you have kids, the quiet and tranquility that comes after the kids have gone to bed.
Wouldn’t that be great? Well, there is such a job out there. I’m talking about becoming a part-time appointment setter.
More than a Receptionist
Let’s lay out some very basic groundwork: most businesses live or die based on their customers. Customers demand quality service. Quality service demands organization. Organization is what keeps a business profitable.
But you’d be surprised how often businesses will neglect this very basic model of success. I can’t tell you how many stories I’ve heard of doctor’s offices losing hundreds of thousands of dollars through poor appointment organization, or how many restaurants go under because they’ve overstaffed certain hours and understaffed others. Or a law office who bungles important court cases because their secretaries got days mixed up in the schedule.
The source of the problem is overworked and stressed out managers and administrative staff. With all the other important tasks they’re involved in, organizing schedules and setting appointments is often given short shrift … almost an afterthought.
There’s a very simple remedy to this type of problem: outsourcing this job to a highly-organized appointment setter. And that’s where you come in.
This role is needed in all sorts of professions and industries. Here’s a small sample: real estate agents, doctor’s and dentist’s offices, business owners, accountants, lawyers, electricians, plumbers, property management companies, and much, much more.
And by the way, by the time you finish this article, you’ll probably think to yourself, “Heck, I already knew all that. Don’t all these businesses?” You might be wondering if there really are jobs out there for you. Funnily enough, most of these businesses have no idea how straightforward this process can be. Or they just don’t want to take the time to do it properly.
That spells more opportunity for you.
What You’ll Need to Succeed
For you to succeed as an appointment setter, here are the tools you’ll need:
• A database program (Microsoft Excel is the standard and still the best, though your employer might have an in-house system you must adopt)
• A reliable internet connection
• An hour or two of free time in the evening and the ability to stay completely focused during that short time
And if you have just those three tools, and an aptitude for organization and an eye for detail, you’ll be saving business large and small huge sums of money. The cool thing is no experience is necessary.
Where to Start
A good way to start finding clients is to advertise your services specifically as an appointment setter on websites like CraigsList or Careerbuilder.com. You can also scan the online job boards, like Monster.com or Indeed.com under the Admin/Clerical category to find businesses looking for someone to handle schedules. You could also search those sites for the keywords “appointment setter” or “scheduler.”
This opens you up to jobs nationwide… even worldwide.
Another way is to go to a business directly. One way to do this is by cold-calling businesses in your area. But this route can be tough. You’ll make a lot of calls without a response.
This is where networking can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re not a member of a church or social club or service group or professional organization, join one. They’re great ways to meet folks in professions other than your own. And in a social setting like those, they’re much more likely to open up about their business in a frank and honest way.
Here’s a great example: back in Orlando, I attended a local young professionals group and became friendly with a fellow member and his wife. My friend was a dentist who had just started his own practice two years ago and had hired his sister to do the bookkeeping and administration, including scheduling appointments.
Long story short, organization was not his sister’s strong suit and the practice was quickly losing money. My friend was afraid he’d have to close down business shortly. After some more talk, I learned that many of his patients loved the care they were getting once they got in the dentist’s chair, but there was the trouble: appointments were missing from the schedule or double-booked or just plain wrong.
That is a perfect example of where you, as a part-time appointment setter could offer to take some of the load off the secretary (his sister) and handle all the appointments separately. The office could have customers phone or email you directly to setup your appointments, you take a few calls throughout the day and then spend that hour or two in the evening imputing that into your database. Then you send that off to the business.
Their calendar is suddenly error-free, owners are happy, and customer-retention – and profits – grows to high percentage.
And believe me, once a business owner sees the power and profit of having a well-organized and dedicated appointment setter, you’ll soon be making that extra $2,000 a month.
I wish you the best of luck!
P.S. I just have you the tips you need to start becoming an in-demand appointment setter. But here are a few resources to help you get started and stay profitable.
Appointment Setter Job Boards
Appointment Setting Job Tips