I’ve put off more than one (very important, very necessary) doctor’s appointment because I hate calling to make an appointment that much. Whenever I can’t scheduled something online I wonder, “It is the year 2014, right? Why the @#%@ do I need to make a PHONE CALL?”
That’s why I’m excited when I hear about sites like BookMyCity, which lets you make appointments for a huge range of services, right from your computer. No more back and forths with receptionists, no more “Press zero to speak to an operator,” no more waiting on hold for what is actually five minutes but feels like fifty.
MUST READ: 9 Simple Lessons For Entrepreneurial Success
I spoke with Ela Mezhiborsky – BookMyCity’s biz dev executive, the PR and communications expert, the customer support and activation lead, HR, and sometimes, the corporate masseuse – about living the startup life and, I have to say, her answers were pretty funny. Check it out!
What’s your company about? What do you do? Who are your customers?
BookMyCity is a free online service directory. We makes it easy to find all kinds of services around you and book appointments online. Whether it’s a haircut, an oil change, dog grooming or a dentist appointment, we’re getting rid of the dreaded phone calls just to figure out availability. Businesses owners (that’s our paying clients) get to promote their services and get discovered. We also incorporated appointment scheduling, online payments, and awesome client management to make the whole process really easy to manage.
What’s the greatest thing about your company/website? Why is it better than the competition?
Our UX is amazing and our customer support is out of this world – two things that our competition seems to underestimate. The concept of online booking and appointment scheduling isn’t revolutionary on it’s own, but we’re bringing local customers and businesses together, making it easy for everyone – and that is the absolutely best thing about BookMyCity. Customers finally get to book ANY service online, while small businesses get a smooth transition to the web-based system, making their lives easier, and we make sure to hold their hand whenever they need the personal attention. BookMyCity is also packed with integrated features like online billing, email campaigns, CRM and booking/revenue history trends, making it super convenient for any service provider to make BookMyCity their default booking/scheduling and management system.
How’d you come up with the name for your company?
We rolled a dice to determine the # of words (3 came up), which was followed by a 3-day brainstorming session where we refused to eat, drink or sleep until we came up with a name… a couple of us fainted, so the last one standing got to make the call, and he’s not very original..
What was your first computer? How old were you when you first got on the world wide web?
I have no idea.. I just knew how to put in the huge ass floppy disk, and Pac-Man came up!
When’s the last time you went on vacation and where did you go?
End of April, kite surfing in Hatteras, NC. BookMyCity vacations are scheduled based on milestones! 1000 biz signups, 1st credit card collected, first sales hires, etc.
A lot of people have big ideas. What gave you the confidence to actually go after yours?
The demand and the frustration that, in this day and age, we still need to call the dentist or the cleaning lady and ask “When are you free? Can I do Wednesday? Do you have anything after 7? How about next week?”
The initial proof of concept was an interesting challenge that Kristaps decided to pursue, and when it started rolling out, we really saw that business owners are loving it, and consumers are just waiting for this simplicity to be introduced. We couldn’t disappoint the world – had to go for it!
How do you handle frustration? What has been your biggest professional frustration?
We try to share frustration, debate it, and get over it. Professionally, finding yourself wasting time on things that end up not working is extremely frustrating, but that’s what taught us to be much more critical and analytical, examining and quantifying the cost/benefit of every activity.
How do you picture your company in 5 years?
In 5 years ‘BookMyCity’ will be rolling off of people’s tongues whenever there’s any mention of a service appointment that is to be booked. Haircuts, dentist, dog grooming, helicopter flying lessons, cooking classes, personal trainers, plumbers, makeup artists, chiropractors, real estate brokers, (I can go on..). But more importantly, business owners will know that BookMyCity is the only way to go in order to integrate appointment scheduling and business management with a client front end and amazing exposure.
Three people (other than you) we should follow on Twitter and why?
- Richard Branson – cuz he shares good insights, witty comments, and awesome pictures.
- Evan Williams – cuz he’s the cofounder.
- Miley Cyrus – So you learn how not to raise your children.
Please share some specific numbers (funding, revenue, visitors) that highlight your growth.
Find all of those in our beautiful investor deck.
Where can our readers find you?