Hour Town is an online scheduling service designed for small businesses and upwards. It looks like a great way for small biz service professionals, like plumbers, dentists, teachers etc, to set up an inexpensive and efficient way for their clients to book time slots. What I particularly like about it is the way the designers have included a bunch of useful features which add value.
For one thing, it copes with multiple members of the service staff, and gives each their own calendar. There’s also Paypal online payment integrated into the system, and phone and SMS notifications so you can accept/decline bookings efficiently. There’s even a slightly dodgy ‘fake it’ filter which lets you pretend your company is busier than it is by locking out a percentage of your working hours as though they’re booked. Hey, it’s useful if you’re just starting out in business and need to look popular.
There are sections for customer reviews to show off how cool your service is, a built in customer database and an online calendar which can sync with iCal, Outlook or Google Calendar. There is also an interesting advertising feature which lets you publish your service on Google Base and other services. It’s a bit of a gimmick though, it would be much better if you could easily set up a Google Adwords campaign from within HourTown.
All in all you have to give the designers top marks for producing a pretty comprehensive service and really giving value in the whole feature set. There’s a free version available which offers a limit of 10 bookings a month and a cut down number of options, and there’s also a free 30 day trial of the full business service. Nice!
HourTown makes it easy for new and existing customers to connect with your business and schedule an appointment online. It helps manage your schedule, markets your services and notifies you when someone schedules an appointment. There’s nothing to install and it works on any computer.