Case Study: Children’s Center Uses Scheduling Platform to Streamline Administrative, Marketing Tasks

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Merchant: Roo’s World of Discovery
Location: Kirkland, Washington
Platforms: Front Desk, Facebook, Twitter
Bottom Line: Hyperlocal scheduling solutions are helping to decrease the time small business owners spend managing basic administrative tasks.

Almost half of small business owners (41 percent) say they’re being overrun by basic administrative tasks. When Roo’s World of Discovery owner Michelle Pollak Landwehr found herself in that same position, spending hours each week on basic administrative tasks like tracking member visits, scheduling classes, and managing recurring payments at her Washington-based children’s indoor play space, she began looking for digital solutions.

In order to reduce the time she was spending on administrative tasks that were “important but time consuming,” Landwehr began using a mobile-friendly scheduling, client management, and payment processing platform called Front Desk. She credits the platform, which she uses to automate class scheduling, track member visits, and ensure that revenue is properly accounted for, with freeing up her time to spend on activities that are more critical to the ultimate success of her business — like marketing and customer engagement.

“[Front Desk] allows my customers to reach me and access my business easily from a mobile device — they can sign waivers, check in, and sign up for memberships,” she says.

Decreasing the time she spends on administrative tasks has given Landwehr the ability to dig deeper into her marketing campaigns. Landwehr is active on Facebook and Twitter, and she plans to start using email marketing as a way to grow and engage her customer base in the future, and as Roo’s World of Discovery continues to expand.

“I’ve been using social media as a way to cost effectively reach my new customers,” she says. “Most of my efforts have gone into Facebook and Twitter.”

To increase her company’s social media following, Landwehr recently offered a six-month membership to the business’ 500th Facebook follower. She also promotes her business by posting discounts — like a 25 percent-off holiday sale — and upcoming event information. Although she manages accounts on both Facebook and Twitter, Landwehr has found more success on Facebook.

“I engage my followers with information on early childhood development, child behavior, positive disciple, and other topics that I know my followers appreciate,” she says. “And I interweave ‘news’ out of Roo’s World.”

When she’s researching new social platforms and mobile business management tools, like Front Desk and others, Landwehr says the costs involved are always at the forefront of her mind. Landwehr also looks closely at whether the solutions have the potential to help increase revenue, whether they will further engage her customers, and whether they will make some of her HR duties easier.

“I’m a new business and so marketing with a small budget is my biggest challenge,” she says. “I [need] to find the most economical solutions available. But, I also want to find a solution that fits my specific needs, so I have to consider more than just cost.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

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Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.