The New Setup Checklist: your guide to getting yourself ready to take bookings

 

You can click on any of the links highlighted in green below to get to the relevant help sheet.

The booking process comes in three parts, each of which corresponds to a separate page on the booking form.

To watch a video which explains how bookings work, click here

STAGE 1

This section below is about configuring Stage One of the booking form and is all about setting up your basic account framework.

Before you start, watch this video on setting up your categories (the types of bookable units), units (the individual things your customers will book) and sub-units (the numbered pitches under each pitch type).

* All the areas marked with an asterisk must be configured into the system in order to be able to make or take a booking.

Then, by following the articles highlighted in green below, you can start to set up your:

  • Categories*
  • Units*
  • Sub-Units (touring/camping only)
  • Rates*
    Setting up your rates can be one of the bits of the process which requires the most thought. While daily rates are the quickest and most flexible way of adding rates, they’re not suitable for everyone.  Please read this article on how to choose the right kind for your business.  Once you’ve decided, learn how to set up your daily rates here, ‘cascading’ daily rates here, or weekly and short breaks here. If you’ve got time-based units and want to set the price of an activity, read our article here.  To copy rates from one unit to another in a super quick way, read more here. 
  • Party Members Use this feature if you want to know more about the party making a booking. By introducing party members you can see how many adults, children, infants etc are coming to stay and you can also charge per person using this feature.

STAGE 2

This section below is for configuring Add-ons, Deposits and Discounts

  • Add-Ons (optional). You can use this feature to take money for or simply record the extras that people want, whether this be bringing their dog, ordering a welcome hamper or for you to take a security deposit. Add-Ons require details, rates and dates to be set.
  • Deposit (optional). You can set the deposit rates you want to use for each unit and for different dates. This can be based on the number of days of stay, a flat fee, a or a percentage of the total booking, depending on your preference . You can also set how far in advance of your customers’ arrival the full balance must be paid.
  • Discount Codes (optional) if you would like to apply a discount or special offer to some bookings.

STAGE 3

This section below is for configuring Your Party

  • Referral options * How to set up the mandatory field on the booking form – How did you hear of us?
  • Party Details (optional) to take additional information about who’s coming

The next section configures your documentation, automated emails and who can alter your bookings and system.

  • Emails and Documents* of all types for all units and stages  – how to set them up and turn them on
  • Terms and Conditions * and your cancellation policy – how to insert them
  • Third Party Cancellation policy (optional) If you use a third party cancellation insurance provider, you can include their details in this section. This allows you to offer cancellation insurance to your guests and set a price for this service.
  • Staff members* to assign pins and access levels to the people working with you

STAGE 4

The final section is all about planning ahead to get ready to take bookings and money. How quickly you can go LIVE often depends on how much time you can set aside to deal with these steps.

You’ll need to consider:

What Payment Gateway to use to allow you to collect online payments and how you’re going to manage placing your existing bookings into your new booking system. You’ll need to choose which calendar availability widget you want to put on your website to show customers what availability you have left. and finally, you’ll and need to choose which channels you want to push bookings your way once you’ve gone LIVE.

 

  • Payment gateways: If you want to get set up quickly and if you’ve not taken online or telephone payments before, our advice is to sign up for PayPal or Stripe in the short term and then move to a merchant account and payment gateway later. Both PayPal and Stripe are quick and easy to set up and are economical ways of collecting initial payments. Applying for a merchant account or a payment gateway can take a matter of weeks and can mean a lot of paperwork, so if you need to go down this route, research your options and apply very early!
  • Putting in your existing bookings: If you have plenty of existing bookings, it’s well worth creating a plan early on how to deal with them. We can offer you helpful advice. 
  • Website widgets: A calendar or search widget on your site allows your visitors to see what availability you have left.  Placing these on your website is the very last part of the process and this happens just before going LIVE. We offer a wide variety of calendar availability widgets we can provide so visitors to your site can see when your various units have remaining availability. Please discuss what options you’d like with us.
  • Channel management: You can only synch with the various online booking channels once you’ve gone live. We therefore suggest you set these up once you’ve gone live. If you need advice, please speak with us as we can help you link to almost any booking channel.

 

If you need any help on any section of this guide, please contact support@anytimebooking.co.uk or ring us on 01326 574660, option 1.

 

Once you have everything configured, you can now test your account before going live.

To do so – read this article http://kb.anytimebooking.co.uk/going-live-checklist/ 

 

How bookings work

When you are configuring your Anytime Booking account for the first time, think of it as collecting the information you need from your customers. All the configuration settings are focused around making the booking.

Tip: Open two browsers, have one with the New Booking tab open in the Anytime Booking back office and another in the settings (Setup) area. As you configure each element, you should flick between two to see how you are progressing. 

There are four stages in the booking process:

1. Booking: This is where you or the online customer are selecting the appropriate category (the type of thing people will rent) e.g. property, pods or touring pitches), unit (the actual thing people will book) or sub-unit (camping), the start date of the holiday, the number of nights and finally, if you want to know, who’s going to be coming – the Party Members.

2. Extras: This section is designed for all your upselling, whether welcome hampers or electric hookups, for example. You can organise this section to be a series of questions or items to purchase. This section is about taking money for Add Ons and also taking money for Deposits.

3. Your Party: As default, the system will skip this stage unless you want to specifically know the names of each additional person coming on the holiday. You can switch on this feature by going in your back office, then setup / configuration / party details and un-ticking the ‘Main Party Member Only’ tick box. If you have Party Members set up you can then ask more information about each person coming on holiday.

Within this section of the booking process, there is an area for ‘Other Details / Terms and Conditions’ where you or your online customer will tell you how they heard about you (referrals), write any notes, apply a discount code and confirm your company terms and conditions.

4. Checkout & Payment: At this stage either your online customer will be logging in or registering (by adding their name, email address and address) and adding in their card details into the Payment Gateway, or you will be searching for your customer and adding a payment record. If you haven’t already, Watch this video on how to make a booking.

Once the booking is complete, a booking reference number is given. Once it’s turned on, the email and documents (invoices/receipts) sequence will kick into action automatically whenever you subsequently take a new booking.