MyTime, launched in 2013, was CEO Ethan Anderson’s follow up to RedBeacon, which was sold to HomeDepot. He took some of the same ideas on display in RedBeacon and refined and smartly expanded upon them.
MyTime began as a destination local services marketplace with online booking and payments as central but subsidiary features. There were also some marketing-related services for SMBs (tied to inventory management using AdWords), which have come and gone.
The model has evolved and been refined over the past two years. And while the marketplace is still a central component — Anderson says there are 1 million monthly unique users — MyTime has become something more compelling for business owners and industry observers.
MyTime has essentially evolved into cloud-based business management platform that handles everything from scheduling and payments to employee tracking and automated loyalty marketing. It can even generate customized pricing.
Roughly a week and a half ago the company introduced its new MyTime Scheduler. Like others in the local space, MyTime says it has become a “mobile first” company and the new tools launched simultaneously on iOS, Android and the mobile web.
The upgraded product includes a range of features beyond appointment booking:
- Full client history and notes (with the ability to set customized prices)
- Online or mobile chat (Anderson says this is a wildly popular feature)
- Automated reminders and new appointment prompts (email, text or notifications) based on customer appointment history
- Review solicitation from verified customers
The company also offers a merchant POS system with credit card processing fees of 2.69%, which undercut many of its competitors (e.g., Square at 2.75%). With all these features at these price points Anderson argues MyTime is “the low-cost leader with high quality product.”
Anderson pointed out to me that most of the SMB-booking and CRM-style platforms don’t have a corresponding consumer application and audience. MyTime addresses both sides of the equation accordingly.
Where both merchant and consumer are using MyTime (online, apps) there’s a much richer experience available for both. For example, Anderson says that merchants can make personalized pricing (or discounts) available to individual customers or customer segments based on their status or history. This is pushed through the app and can be communicated directly to the customer or customer segment privately.
Anderson said that in roughly two weeks during the Scheduler beta period earlier this year MyTime saw about 1,000 signups. Otherwise Anderson has about 10,000 businesses actively using the platform (if my notes are correct). There are two million more SMB profiles in the system.
MyTime has about 60 sales people who stand ready to call businesses that aren’t yet on MyTime but receive appointment requests from consumers using the MyTime marketplace site. These salespeople call local businesses with “warm leads” — one way to break through the clutter — and use that opening as an introduction to MyTime. Needless to say close rates are high, but aggressive pricing helps.
Anderson and I spoke about his effort to reduce friction in the SMB sign-up and adoption process. As you might have heard if you attended LSA 15, SMBs are typically held back from adopting platforms and tools such as MyTime Scheduler by the pain or hassle of making the transition to online booking.
MyTime addresses that SMB inertia with a team that will do the “migration” for free. The merchant just sends a spreadsheet with client information to MyTime and company reps do the entire setup. Anderson is trying to remove barriers to adoption bring as many SMBs into the platform as possible.
Though I haven’t used the product directly the range of capabilities here is impressive. The challenge is to get business owners to “see what they’re missing” and understand the benefits, cost savings and improved efficiency that come with adopting a platform like MyTime.