Big Big Book introduces smart booking system

- August 29, 2013 4 MIN READ

Don’t like doing things the hard way? Neither does CEO of Big Big Book, Ben Smith! Adelaide-based startup Big Big Book makes managing bookings and clients fast and simple for health and wellness professionals who can’t afford to be tied down doing the grunt work.

Administrative tasks are ones that cannot be avoided if you want your business running smoothly. But it’s certainly a hassle!

Ben Smith and his team decided a solution was overdue, especially for health and wellness professionals who need to focus on what’s important – their clients!

“It may sound strange, but I really love the automation and simplification of tasks,” says Smith.

Big Big Book’s booking and client management system automates administrative processes and integrates online services for businesses. They offer a complete mobile and online practice management solution with high levels of automation and task simplification.

Ben Smith, CEO of Big Big Book

Ben Smith, CEO of Big Big Book

But this is not Smith’s first product offering such a service. He and Patrick Galbraith, CTO of Big Big Book, previously created a system that allowed Smith’s band rehearsal studio to run itself.

“The online component of that system (Bandwax.com) was expanded to allow other band rehearsal studios to do the same. We’re now applying what we’ve learned to a bigger market and have joined forces with Deana Sizer, CMO of Big Big Book, originally from the US, who has worked in the health and wellness industry for many years,” says Smith.

The reason for moving into the health and wellness industry is because “it’s ripe for disruption”. Smith says that health and wellness professionals are starting to realise the benefits of implementing online systems and integration into their practice.

“The ability to do their CRM, accounting and even simple automating of reminder messages and other daily tasks without having to input data each time is of huge benefit to practitioners who want to spend that time growing their practice,” he says.

Building the product

Much of the mechanics behind the smart booking and client management system is the efforts of Galbraith, who is a talented coder.

“I was lucky that our CTO Patrick was with me from the beginning. He’s a great coder who is able to really grow any idea I throw at him. All the web development work has been his – either new or taken from previous work with Bandwax, so the price has been equity,” says Smith.

Smith credits Galbraith for his “amazing work with the back-end of the website”. He says Galbraith built it with a first class API, which the team will be using themselves to run Big Big Book.

“The aim is for developers wanting to integrate a world class booking and client management system in their own site to be able to use the Big Big Book back-end to power their site,” says Smith.

“As we’ll be using the API to run our own site they can be assured that it will be very well maintained, easy to integrate and will include any function they will need! Big Big Book has been developed with collaboration and integration in mind.”

Raising money and bootstrapping

Big Big Book has been completely self-funded up until they were accepted into the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator program – which is being hosted in their home town of Adelaide. Each team of participants have been given a $20,000 stipend.

“We are in the program mainly for the mentors. The money is a bonus,” says Smith.

They may seek investment in the future – but are currently focusing on testing their product and establishing a solid fan-base of health and wellness practitioners and developers across Australia.

“Regardless of how strong you think an idea is, it needs to be tested properly and proved before spending too much money. Since I’m right at startup phase I’d like to have some stronger evidence and some raving fans as clients before I look at asking for investment,” says Smith.

Business & Marketing strategy

The Big Big Book team will continuously “develop, test, and repeat – with the focus always on what’s going to be used and loved by our clients to keep them coming back”

“I feel that building a strong, open and honest relationship with clients is important right from the start.

In similar sentiment, their main marketing strategy is to provide a solution that makes practitioners “very happy” so that they’re inspired to pass on the message to their colleagues. 

“We feel that if we focus on retention rates from the start we’ll be able to have a much stronger base to grow from,” says Smith.

However, being accepted into ANZ Innovyz START has inadvertently opened up a lot of publicity opportunities for the business.

“We’re the happy recipients of a whole lot of buzz around just being here. We’re at the stage of business where a lot of milestones come very quickly,” says Smith.

They also plan on keeping with the trend and using social media channels to celebrate their wins and engage with their audience. But in the mean time, meeting people one-to-one and spreading the word about Big Big Book is seen to be the best place to start in terms of marketing.

For revenue, Big Big Book will be employing a monthly subscription model that will align with most of the services the team are looking to integrate in the future.

There are exciting times ahead as Big Big Book makes it debut into an enthusiastic Nutritionist and Naturopathy clinic next week.

For more information, visit www.bigbigbook.com.