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.
This section below is all about setting up your basic account framework.
* 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* (Configuration > Categories)
- Units* (Setup > Configuration > 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. Please read this article on how to choose the right kind for your business. To copy rates from one unit to another in a super quick way, read more here. (Setup > Rates > Daily / Time)
- 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. (Setup > Configuration > Party Members)
This section below is for configuring Add-ons, Deposits and Discounts
- Add-Ons (optional) . You can use this feature to charge for additions 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. (Setup > Configuration > Add-ons)
- 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. (Setup > Rates > Deposits)
- Discount Codes (optional) if you would like to apply a discount or special offer to some bookings. (Setup > Rates > Discounts & Special Offers)
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? (Setup > Marketing > Referrals)
- Party Details (optional) to take additional information about who's coming. (Setup > Configuration > Party Details)
The next section configures your documentation, automated emails and who can alter your bookings and system.
- Emails* all types for all units and stages - how to set them up and turn them on. (Setup > Documentation > Emails)
- Terms and Conditions * and your cancellation policy - how to insert them. (Setup > Documentation > Terms & Conditions)
- Staff members* to assign pins and access levels to the people working with you. (Setup > Users)
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! Please note: if your styling has not been completed please wait on linking in your Payment Gateway as the URL's will change.
- 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.
- Integration into the website: 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.
- Styling of the booking process: our front-end developer will style the booking process to match your website (this included is part of our setup fee).
- Channel management: You can only sync 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or ring us on 01326 574660.
Once you have everything configured, you can now test your account before going live.
Going LIVE Checklist
So, you’ve played around with all of the settings, checked all your rates, chosen and configured your AddOns and had all of your booking pages styled. We recommend at this point that you go through the following ‘test-booking’ steps to make sure your account is ready to be switched on to start taking real bookings through your website and over the telephone.
Top Tip: While making test bookings on your account, always make sure you use an email address that’s not the same as your company address. Use something like email@example.com.
Making a booking as a customer
- Make a new booking as a customer using your booking page URL https://mycompanyname.anytimebooking.eu/place_booking (or your website if you have calendar or search widgets on your website, the first part of the booking process is pre-populated).
- Complete the booking through to the end, and if you can, use another email address as you did in step 2 above to register as a new booker.
- As a new customer, you should receive a Deposit or Full Payment email type after the payment gateway has sent information back to your Anytime Booking account.
- If you registered as a new customer when making this booking, you should have received the New Customer email with information on how to log into the My Account area with a URL of https://mycompanyname.anytimebooking.eu/my_account. Log in and view the details to familiarise yourself.
Always read all of the emails, and make sure all of your pricing is correct.
Once you’ve thoroughly checked through your account, made plenty of test bookings on various units and you are satisfied that you have everything configured, send us an email! We can then pop your account into 'LIVE' mode.