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The Chief Marketing Officer Matters! — Institute for the Study of Business Markets

Summary of research paper by Frank Germann, Peter Ebbes, and Rajdeep Grewal (2015), The Chief Marketing Officer Matters!, Journal of Marketing, 79(3), 1-22

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RT @NGATEConsulting: Do your employees belong or fit into your company? #diversity #inclusion https://t.co/iF7yEEaG6d


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“Promoting Someone Who’s New To Management? Here’s How To Make Their Transition Easier” by Kamyar Shah https://t.co/ixXjofaY4B http://twitter.com/kshahwork/status/1147132328516497408)

What’s the Best WhenIsGood Alternative? Check these out


Imagine that you need to arrange a meeting with 5 colleagues. You send an email to them all to ask what date suits them. They all reply, you reply to each of them, you send another email to the whole group. Then each person writes back to your individual and group emails…. That amount of emails is enough to drive a person crazy, and that’s not even including the cancelation emails that are bound to come once in a while.

Luckily, there is a better way. It’s time to try a meeting scheduling tool!

Sites like Doodle for scheduling are becoming more and more commonplace. A popular software option for meeting scheduling is whenisgood.net. It is a simple tool that assists you in finding out when all necessary group members are available for a meeting. With the WhenIsGood poll, users can highlight the best time choices for them and let you know what time best suits them. They can add comments too if required. You don’t need to register to use this tool. Registering for an account does give you some extra features though: no result codes for events and the ability to delete events.

While a lot of people used this software in the past, there’s at least one WhenIsGood alternative that is better and better. They have more features and options available. So, we conducted a thorough review of the WhenIsGood alternatives to see which are the best other supplementary options.

The best WhenIsGood alternative?


Collect up all the sticky notes on and around your computer and throw them straight in the trash. Rub out your whiteboard filled with reminders, too, while you’re at it. Amelia is here to solve all your meeting attendance problems. It is a booking management system that you can set and forget.

Appointments are synced from Amelia to you and your colleagues’ Google Calendars. If you already have an appointment, Amelia won’t double book you. Scheduling an appointment in Amelia means your appointment pops up automatically in your Google Calendar too.


Skedda is another appointment scheduling software option. It works well for co-working spaces and gyms as well as other businesses. There are two main benefits to using this one: it’s super user-friendly and it has amazing customer service. The reviews back us up on this! It’s also lower on the price scale than many similar options. You can snap up a paid subscription for just $5 per month. There’s a free option too and those with a smaller team will find this perfectly functional for them.


Half the battle is getting your prospective clients into a meeting or on a call. Cogsworth can help you out with this. Enter your availability, set up the service and send the link in your email to your prospective clients or associates. The booking page can come in any language and lets you ask attendees questions with the easy-to-use form. After an appointment has been set up, Cogsworth sends SMS and email reminder to ensure attendance.


Rally is an amazing open-source product that will help you manage your meetings. Creative collaboration has ensured that the best ideas have been used to create the product you see today, so you can put your trust into it.

Rally lets you create and share an event page with other participants. On this page is where the best time and date for all attendees is selected. You can also write meeting minutes on the event page in order to create an agenda. This makes it easier to remember later what was discussed.


Timetrade can do a lot for your business. It does everything from queue management to appointment scheduling to analytics. Timetrade works on the cloud for all sizes of businesses. Whether you’re using it for individuals, teams or companies, it’s very effective. The services provided are targeted to those in the financial services industry.


Fullcalendar is the most popular free option for event scheduling in a web application. It’s a plugin that displays events and a timeline view. Time zone support is available too.

It is a jQuery plugin and can give you a drag and drop event calendar. It gets events with AJAX and can be customized to suit your feed. Customize how it looks any way you like with API.


Plenty of scheduling tools make arranging 1:1 meetings super simple. However, as soon as more parties are involved, that’s when things start getting complicated. FreeBusy helps you find time with multiple people quickly – think 1 minute rather than 3 days. It also seamlessly integrates your web conferences to automatically create a conference call.

With FreeBusy, you can also create meeting polls which makes for a good alternative to WhenIsGood polls. Set up all the meeting details beforehand and suggest a few times. Then the attendees can enter on the poll which options suit them the best.

Grapple Meetings

One of the newest ways to schedule meetings is using the Grapple Meetings Software. Created by Grapple, a previous IMPACT client, it lets you create polls. Those looking for a WhenIsGood poll alternative will love this brand-new option.

Attendees will see what other people voted for in the poll which is a great function we never knew we needed. This makes it easier to see if you’re the outlier and reschedule accordingly.


NeedToMeet helps you enter all the meeting details online to create your meeting. Add the length, location, and dates you propose. Then you will get a link you can email to participants or you can automatically send the invite on the site. Once all attendees have picked the times that suit them best, you can see these in a table format. This makes it easy to see what the most suitable time for everyone is.


If you want an appointment scheduler that works 24/7, TimeTap is a great option. You can use it for unlimited numbers of appointments, services, and clients. It even has total appointment management, so it sorts everything out for you.

Main benefits: constant access, automated waitlists, easy to use, email and text notifications. it’s also a platform that will work on all kinds of devices; phone, tablet, and computer.


If you struggle to book a meeting room, Robin is the booking solution made for you. You can use it to map out your office space and it offers a way to view the status of the room online. With on-demand booking, this is a very useful tool for those who encounter trouble booking meeting rooms.

Robin charges by the room so if you’re a small enterprise, you’ll pay less. They have a sleek easy-to-use mobile app. On this, users can report room issues. Doing this will help Robin keep their app working problem-free, which will make it possible for you to continue using Robin to book your meeting rooms in the future.

Google Calendar

We know, it’s not rocket science, but yes you can book meetings using Google Calendar as a WhenIsGood alternative. This works best of course if your office uses Gmail. You can send automatic emails about changes and details to attendees. You can even share this calendar with people who don’t have it themselves.

Some Google Calendar features may surprise you. You can have it embedded on your website and create a link through which clients can schedule meetings with you.


If you wish you had an assistant because you have so much to manage – Clara could be your virtual personal assistant. It can understand the questions you have and help email participants to find the best meeting time for everybody involved.

You can ask it “Clara, can you find a time for us to meet next week?” and it will email your attendees to find a day, time and location.

Clara is more on the expensive side of WhenIsGood alternatives, but it does use human involvement to schedule your appointments. So, it makes sense that it’s a little pricier.

If you enjoyed reading this article for finding the best WhenIsGood alternative, you should read these as well:

The post What’s the Best WhenIsGood Alternative? Check these out appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

The Best Open Source Scheduling Software


If you own your own small business or start-up, you’ll know that it’s a challenge to juggle everything that goes along with running a business. That’s why it’s so important that you choose the right open source scheduling software. Making the right decision can save you time and money in the long run.

Businesses from small, local mom and pop shops, right through to large, international corporations still need to book reservations or schedule appointments. You might be a service company with reservations as your main source of work. Or, you might be another kind of company who takes meetings and appointments. Regardless, open source scheduling software will help you immensely.

This software can help you with all your scheduling needs and replace whichever outdated method you’re currently using. Your customers will appreciate the flexibility to book appointments online at any time rather than having to stick to your business hours. The purpose of this post is to uncover the best open source scheduling software options. Once you read through the list created by our team at Amelia, you can choose which one is best for you.

The Top 11 Open Source Appointment Scheduling Software

Amelia Lite

If you want to opt for the free version rather than the premium plugin of Amelia, you’ll still find it amazingly helpful. The free option gives you plenty of great features and will support your booking needs.

If there is a change in appointment status, Amelia sends the customer an email notification to let them know right away. You’ll see a handy calendar on your end. Here you can see all the appointments that have been made with your company in one easy visual.

Amelia Lite has been designed with both the user and the customer in mind for the best experience possible. It utilizes the latest enterprise-level technology to ensure smooth business transactions. Plus, the ability to be used on mobile has been prioritized. Your customers will enjoy being able to book from anywhere with their phones.


Easy!Appointments is an appointment scheduling software free to download. It allows your customers to make web appointments. It can sync up with your Google Calendar to avoid double-entry of information. This is a better way to manage your time and make sure you don’t double book yourself.

It can be installed in just one server folder and will run well with your site.

Booked Scheduler 2.8k.

Booked Scheduler is a very in-depth and detailed software. In fact, it is one of the most advanced software that you’ll find that’s free and open source. It has a myriad of features; resource status and time blocking are just the beginning. It also gives email notifications, custom fields, and time slot booking options. There are many other features as well but too many to list here, so you’ll just have to check it out for yourself.

The more recent versions of Booked Scheduler offer integration for payments made with PayPal and Stripe. This gives users credits that they can use to purchase services from your company. These are used up when they make a booking.

It uses PHP programming language as well as the Smarty template engine. The underlying technology is a little older, so it works best when you don’t want to make too many modifications to the software.


If you are looking for the best appointment scheduler template, Meetin.gs can be your new savior. It’s a tool that helps you create meetings. You make meetings by creating your own meeting page. Visitors can then view when you’re free and request a meeting at a time that suits you both. It has the ability to create different kinds of meetings, such as a 20-minute Skype meeting or a 15-minute long catch-up. You can also add the location, so people know exactly when and where you’re meeting.

Sync up your calendar and you can either keep this private or make it public. Customize your own Meet Me link to share with your colleagues and clients.


Calendly is a very popular open-source scheduling software option. You can use it to make web appointments available to your clients. By connecting your calendar, Calendly makes it easy. You can set the length of meetings and send your customized Calendly link to meeting attendees. You can create different types of meetings to send to different kinds of people. For example, maybe your client meetings are half an hour long. You can send a link where only half an hour is bookable to your clients.

Calendly features include calendar integrations. It can sync with Outlook, Google, iCloud and Office 365. You can set secret event types, add buffer time and manage different time zones, too.


Reservio is the way that many service-based businesses stay organized. It was created to be used by gym, salons and doctor’s offices. It lets you make easy appointments from any device, including mobile. The really useful thing about Reservio is that it comes in 13 different languages. It is easy to use for your customers and easy to manage on your end as well.

It doesn’t take long to learn how to use it as it only takes a few clicks to book events and manage appointments. It can send reminders to your clients either by text or email. It can also accept bookings through Facebook as well as on your website. Get access to all your client information, including booking history too.

Seantis Reservation 469 

The Seantis Reservation system was written with Python. If you’re not after PHP scheduling software, then this is a great option. It was designed as a plugin for Plone CMS (a turn-off 21). However, it has become pretty independent of Plone.

Seantis is helpful for any booking situation — for restaurants, gyms, meetings, classes and more. There’s no way of making online payments with this system but you can mark an appointment as paid once the customer has paid in person.


Setster is a widely-used open source calendar management system. It is used by companies in the construction, retail and education sectors. It syncs up with your calendar to avoid double bookings and double entries. It can accept payments, create notifications and manage staff schedules too.

You can access your calendar on your mobile with Setster so you can find out what’s next in your day from anywhere you happen to be. You can also set up advance notifications for your appointments, so you remember what’s on and when. Add time buffers, reminders and confirmations to your appointments to ensure the smoothest process possible.

Acuity Scheduling

If you want to maximize your productivity and efficiency, Acuity Scheduling can help with this. Spend less time on back and forth emails trying to schedule an appointment and more time on what’s important. This appointments system can also let you receive payments and show clients your availability. Clients can book appointments, reschedule and get reminders online so they’ll never miss another appointment.

Acuity is customizable according to your needs. It can automatically adjust time zones, taking the guesswork out of international meetings. It serves businesses with numerous staff and locations very well. It can even be embedded into your own business’ website.


Plantune was designed to work cohesively with Windows. It is an advanced planning and scheduling (APS) software that will help you with production planning.

It can design an analysis and production plan for you to help you enhance your business productivity. It can make you more efficient by using lean business concepts. It can introduce things like customer pull and controlled WIP to your business.

If you have questions about production, this software can answer them all. Whether it’s about quantities or delivery dates, this app is completely on top of it.

Pro Schedule

CyberMatrix Pro Schedule Standard makes it simple to manage multiple users. If you are in an industry where you have multiple staff taking appointments, Pro Schedule is designed to help with this. People can even book recurring appointments with you at once. This is very useful for a range of industries, from offices to salons to gyms. Set the recurring appointments monthly, weekly or daily depending on your needs.

Ending thoughts on the open source scheduling software in this article

That’s the end of our open source scheduling software list. You can choose one of these depending on your business requirements. Look carefully at the list to see which one most closely matches your business needs.

If none of these match your requirements, you may consider paying for a premium software that will offer more features.

In this case, you may consider Amelia, because it is one of the most advanced booking plugins on the market. It allows your whole team to manage their appointments in one place. It is easy to use and intuitive to navigate so your staff should have no trouble when they start to use it.

With this system, you can manage payments, customers, locations and much more. It is highly customizable which is why it is loved by a range of industries. These include salons, gyms, spas, law companies, and mechanics.

If you enjoyed reading this article about open source scheduling software, you should read these as well:

The post The Best Open Source Scheduling Software appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

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What’s the Best When2meet Alternative? Check These Out


Having an efficient meeting isn’t only about what occurs in the meeting, but what happens beforehand as well. If you have a really efficient process for scheduling your meetings, you’ll find that you have a lot more time available to you. When defining a time for your meeting, a lot of time is often wasted. That’s because you’ll end up emailing back and forth multiple times, or playing phone tag before finding a time.

If you’ve never considered using a meeting scheduling app before, you probably should. They give you the ability to poll your coworkers and clients on when the best time for them is to meet. You can also show your availability to these people so they can book in a time for you to meet without having to call or email you first.

A very popular meeting scheduling app is When2Meet. Lots of people use this to manage their appointment scheduling and day to day meetings.

However, there are more up to date apps out there. If you are interested in the When2Meet alternatives, keep reading for a list of the best apps out there.

Pick up the best When2meet alternative from this list


Amelia is first up on our list because it’s a great choice. It is one of the best plugins you’ll find for managing your meeting scheduling and appointment bookings.

You will have an interactive calendar with multiple views available. See it daily, weekly or monthly. Or choose the timeline or list view for something different. It has a scheduling wizard to make appointment booking even easier. This feature’s filtering options help to find a meeting time with a certain employee or service.

Amelia can easily be embedded onto your WordPress site. Customers will be able to see the calendar and book appointments without needing to go anywhere else. It offers demo sites as well if you need a bit of assistance with the design of your website.

Boomerang Calendar

Boomerang Calendar is another great When2Meet alternative. It’s a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. It syncs with Google Calendar and Gmail to see your schedule. This makes it simple to arrange meeting times with your colleagues and clients.

When you’re arranging a time to meet, you can pull up this calendar to take a look at what times you are free for appointments. Then you can send this calendar to your workmates to show them when you have free time.


ScheduleOnce is a comprehensive option for your appointment scheduling requirements. It is focused on the financial services industry. If you work in this industry, you’ll find it useful to have this software as it’s tailored to the specific requirements of your job.

ScheduleOnce features widgets that you can embed on your website for ease of use. Users find this system very intuitive and easy to figure out. It supports different time zones, including changes for daylight savings.

Pick A Meeting

If you just want a simple software that will help you schedule meetings and that’s it – Pick A Meeting is for you.

Rather than going back and forth time and time again over email trying to arrange a meeting time, you can use Pick A Meeting. It analyzes your calendars to find the time that everyone is free. This takes all the admin work off your shoulders, saving you a lot of time.

This is a convenient software to choose because it doesn’t matter if you and the others you’re meeting with have different email domains. It can still get your calendar information to determine a common availability. You can even use this one on your mobile device.


Sales teams love using Appointlet because it has CRM features. This helps you keep track of client information and interactions to provide a seamless customer service experience. It has web conference integrations to make it easy to contact clients no matter where they live. Every single step of the booking process is made easy with Appointlet. You can create a custom URL to send to people from your account. Then they can click the unique link to get online and see your availability.

One of the best things about Appointlet is that it has a great customer support team. There is also a great deal of information online, including videos and blogs. These can help you maximize your use of all this product’s features.


With Calendly you can show clients and colleagues alike your availability. Then they can book in a meeting with you at the time that suits them the best. If you get many meeting requests as part of your job, this software could save you a ton of time. That’s what makes it a great When2Meet alternative.

Calendly has an easy to use design. You can set up your time preferences and create a customized URL to share with others.

Connect Calendly to your calendar to experience its full functionality. It syncs with iCal, Outlook, Google Calendar, and Microsoft Office 365.


If you’ve always dreamed of having an assistant, Assistant.to is here to be your perfect virtual assistant. Go straight from Google Calendar to choose your available time slots and use Assistant.to to share those slots with others.

When you’re composing an email in Gmail, you’ll be able to choose a meeting length and place to meet. This will be within the email itself and the reader can click on the time that they want to meet. Once everything is agreed upon, the meeting will be added to your calendar. This includes all the details, including length and location.

Currently, Assistant.to does not have the capacity to handle group scheduling.


If you enjoy using AI such as Siri or Alexa, you will likely enjoy using X.ai as your virtual assistant. It features two AI characters called Andrew and Amy Ingram. Once you have set up your X.ai account, these assistants will help you with your emails related to scheduling. Then they will email your clients until an appointment is agreed upon.

The dialogue does remain very personal although it is AI. Visit the X.ai site to see the stories from users who thought that Andrew and Amy were real people. It syncs with Outlook, Google and Office 365.

HubSpot Meetings

If you have a lot of meetings per week, using HubSpot Meetings will save you time spent in meeting scheduling. Let it handle all the administrative tasks for you and avoid the endless rounds of phone tag. Common users are those in business, sales, customer relations, and business owners.

HubSpot will sync with the HubSpot CRM, Google Calendar and Office 365. This means that people can see your current availability.

It can even organize group meetings so you can book time with multiple people at once. Potential clients can even book meetings with whichever sales rep who is free at the right time for them. This can really add a personal touch to your business.


Calendar is a free software that integrates Apple and Google Calendars. It is a successful company that recently took over Timebridge.

With Calendar, you can choose between two options for scheduling meetings. Outbound lets you select your availability, add attendees and email everyone for times that suit them. The app will then select the best time for everyone and set up the meeting.

It’s a When2Meet alternative that functions well with Outlook, Google Calendar, and Apple Calendar as well as many other software.


Appointment bookings are made easy with Bookafy. It will automatically send reminders and confirmations by text on your behalf. It can create and add Skype, Zoom, 24 Sessions or GoToMeeting links for web conferences. It can sync client information to your CRM and your own personal calendar as well. Bookafy offers a branded booking page for each one of your sales reps. They can add a profile picture to this to individualize it.

While Bookafy offers many advanced features, it remains simple to use and manage. It’s very flexible and customers and business people alike love using it.


Doodle is one of the most basic schedulers there are. This makes it incredibly effortless to use. Instead of doing a When2Meet poll, you could try Doodle. Whether you’re looking to make time for a business or personal event, Doodle makes it easy. Book meetings, arrange dinners or set up a client meeting. It’s a scheduling poll tool that shows the results in a visual calendar. You can clearly see who’s free and who’s not, with a tally of available people.

The person who sets up the event poll can then choose the time that was best for everyone and let them know when the event is going to be. It is a polling app designed just for scheduling meeting times.

The race between When2Meet and Doodle is too close to call. It’s up to you which you think is best for your needs.


Setster is a more advanced scheduler, which makes it a little tougher to navigate. It is fantastic for collaboration and is great for working with multiple employees. This calendar tool will support more than one person on one login and offers many options for its customers. There are multiple widget styles for you to choose between.

The focus of Setster is on customizations. It gives a way of remotely managing data and you get to experience a personalized customer booking method. You can also add your own branding, so customers see only your logo when they schedule appointments with you. If you want your customers to have the best possible booking experience, Setster is a great way to do it.


Presdo has a sleek design but many people find it harder to use than other software. The features it offers are in-depth and perhaps that explains the complexity of the software. If you want something that looks fantastic, Presdo is there for you, but you may need to put in a bit more effort.


The free When2meet alternative, WhenAvailable, is great because it works well for setting up meetings with groups. As a When2Meet alternative, it functions really well. If you need to plan a team meeting, group dinner or other group activity, WhenAvailable can help with the scheduling. By using the free account, you can schedule events with up to 20 people. It even lets you schedule an unlimited number of events.

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The post What’s the Best When2meet Alternative? Check These Out appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

How to Set Google Calendar Appointment Slots


Setting appointments with your clients has never been easier than with Google Calendar appointment slots. With its click and drag feature, you can quickly set up the times that you’re unavailable, as well as time that will be spent in events. You can even add information about the events with ease.

In fact, Google Calendar is one of the best tools to use to book times for your clients. You can easily create appointment slots that the clients can look at and choose according to what time works for them. Instead of you entering each and every appointment separately, clients will do it for you now.

It’ll work wonders for your business, especially if you have a business that depends on appointments. For example, you can set a specific period for appointments, and within that period, a client will be able to book appointments themselves. Once all the appointments are fulfilled, the client will see this and have to look for another appointment period.

Google Calendar appointment slots are also perfect for teachers – students who need office hours or class-presentation appointments can easily book a slot within your calendar when you have time.

Booking ahead of time can solve the issue of having long waiting lines and you’ll know what client you’ll be dealing with beforehand.

Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

Google Calendar Appointment Slots for Regular Events

Appointment blocks can be especially beneficial to business owners and practitioners who are usually busy but still want to book appointments with employees or clients.

You can set an appointment block within your schedule by making an event an appointment block. You can do that easily by clicking on the Appointment block button on the left upper corner of the schedule.

Then, the event will show itself as a block. Clients and employees will create appointments, and you’ll only see these appointments as slots within the block that you created.

But how will they know what slots are free? Well, you can add an additional option that will only show available slots to your clients. Once the slot is taken up, other people won’t be able to book the appointment in this slot.

Time zones can also be confusing, especially for users who don’t have an account. You will need to ask those users to set their time within their time zone to avoid misunderstandings.

Google Calendar appointment slots can help you set up appointment slots, add people to appointments, and invite people to book appointments.

How to Set up Appointment Slots

Creating appointment slots with Google Calendar is straightforward. You will need a computer for this, and a Google account. Here’s how to do it.

  • Open Google Calendar. Then, choose from the Week view or Day view, depending on your needs.

  • Click on the date and time you want the appointment to be. A dialogue box will open up; click on appointment slots. Then, you’ll need to enter the details such as the title, and the date and time.
  • Set the appointment type to the correct type. You’ll also want to add additional information by pressing on “More options.” From here, you’ll have the ability to set the location and the description of your event.

  • You can also add a custom message and give the clients the ability to leave their numbers or addresses if the appointment will be in their home.
  • If the meeting is virtual or online, you can leave the location blank. You will have the ability to add a “virtual conference” option at the end.

  • Useful tip: to prevent double booking, you can repeat the appointment blocks or slots before clients book their appointments twice.

How to Add Others to Appointments

We already said that you can add other people to Google Calendar appointment slots, but how do you do that?

Keep in mind that this is not the same as inviting people to book appointments. You will only want to add people to appointments if they will be present at every appointment, which is handy if you have an assistant or the like. Basically, the people who are added will automatically be booked to all the appointments. This isn’t what you’ll want to do if you’re having a one-time meeting with a client or partner.

So, you won’t want to add the clients you only get to meet for individual appointments with this method.

  • Go to the “Add Guests” field to the right of the “Title” field. From there, enter the username of the guest you want to be added.

How to Invite People to Book Appointments

You can always invite people to book appointments very easily. This is best used for individual clients that will be making one or more bookings. Inviting a client to look at your calendar and book an appointment at the time that best suits them is much easier than you might expect. All you need to do is the following:

  • Go to your event in Google Calendar, click on the appointment, and click on “Edit details”.

  • Copy the link found at the top of the page (the calendar’s appointment link) and send it to the people you want to invite via e-mail.
  • Click “Save”.

Useful Tips & Tricks

  • You can always change the time of Google Calendar appointment slots, just as you would for other events in the calendar. The change will be visible on both person’s calendars.
  • You can also change other details about the appointment. To do this, go to “Edit details” on the event page. There, you can change the time, location, or other details, and the booked persons will be notified.
  • Copying events and appointments to other calendars can also be done. This presents you with the chance of a better organization.

Can I Book People in an Easier Way?

Of course, Google Calendar is a very useful tool for creating appointments and managing your events. But, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea; besides, there are plenty of very good online booking systems that can automate the whole process. That’s especially true for WordPress; a good WordPress plugin will minimize the work you have to do with your appointments exponentially.

For this, we recommend the Amelia plugin. The Amelia plugin was started in mid-2018 with business owners and those who use a booking system in mind. You’ll get a booking calendar that you can use in an automated fashion or that you can choose to update manually.

Best of all, you can get the best of Google Calendar with Amelia as it offers easy Google Calendar integration. How does it work?

If you update the date or time, or any detail about your bookings in Amelia, those details will get instantly updated in Google Calendar as well. Alternatively, every change that you make in Google Calendar will also be visible in the Amelia plugin.

How Can This Integration Boost Your Business?

You get the best of both worlds: a very powerful, beautiful-looking booking system provided by Amelia, and the ease-of-use and practicality of Google Calendar. It would take your schedule management to a whole new level. People spend hours every day to manage their bookings and schedules, but this integration will allow you to manage it in a matter of minutes.

Best of all, you can do it anywhere and anytime. Google Calendar is known for providing a quality mobile platform, which can be used to access your schedule anytime.

If you enjoyed reading this article about Google Calendar Appointment Slots, you should read these as well:

The post How to Set Google Calendar Appointment Slots appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar


One of the most useful things that Facebook does is show you the events happening around you. The tool that does this is called Facebook Events. It is a powerful tool that lets you see nearby events and organize events, as well as coordinate events with other people. There is also the possibility to integrate these events within your Google Calendar.

You might wonder why you would add Facebook Events to Google Calendar. Well, there are many great reasons for that. The top reason is that you can stay up to date with everything that is happening around you via Google Calendar.

Maybe you want to know what you are doing this weekend, or next week. Nowadays, it’s so easy to forget what we have planned with everything that’s happening around us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the events that we see on Facebook. Even if we accept to go to an event through Facebook, we might forget it eventually and end up not going.

Well, the solution to that is to add Facebook events to Google Calendar. Even though the Android and iOS apps won’t offer you the option to add them directly, you can always do it via the browsers.

Let’s take a look at how to add Facebook events to Google Calendar in this article created by our team at Amelia.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar

Sure, Facebook is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is useful for some things. Most importantly, you can create, manage, and respond to events on Facebook, and you can reach out to more people there than with other platforms. Knowing how to add Facebook events to Google Calendar from various platforms is important if you like efficiency.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar via Desktop

  • In your browser, go to facebook.com. Log into your account.

  • In the left toolbar, select “Events”. Then, click on the event that you would like to add to Google Calendar.
  • To do this, you must have answered to the RSVP with “Going” or “Interested”. Open the dropdown menu by clicking on the three dots. From there, select “Export Event.”

  • Under the “Subscribe to all upcoming events on your calendar” section, you’ll see a URL. Copy it – you’ll need to add it to Google Calendar.
  • Then, go to Google Calendar and log into your Google account.

  • Click on Settings, and then on the “Add Calendar” option. Then, click on the “From URL” option.
  • A field will appear. In this field, enter the URL you copied from Facebook.

  • From now on, all of the events you have marked as “Going” or “Interested” on Facebook will also appear on your Google Calendar. You can disable that option by unchecking the boxes next to Upcoming Events and Birthdays.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar with an IOS Device

For this, you’ll need to access Facebook from your browser and not through the app. Here is how to do it very easily:

  • You will want to open the desktop version on your phone. Go to the bottom of the page and tap on Desktop site. You may be required to log in again.

  • Then, tap on Upcoming events and Birthdays. This is located under the text “You can add your events to Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar or Apple Calendar.” Then, you’ll see a pop-up asking you if you accept the calendar invite. Press on “Allow”.
  • Lastly, tap on “Add All” to add each event to your calendar.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar With an Android Device

For this method, you will need a special app that will organize your events for your Android device. You can get it from the Google Play Store.

  • First off, go to the Google Play Store, and search for “Event Sync for Facebook”. Once you locate it, you will want to install it onto your Android device.
  • This will add the app to your home screen. If you can’t locate it, try searching for it using the search bar at the top.
  • Open the app. From there, you’ll want to find the pink + button (it should be on the bottom right side).

  • Then, log in to your Facebook account. You’ll need to tap on allow to add all the Facebook events to your other calendars.
  • Next, tap on ☰ in the upper left side of the screen. A menu will open up. From there you’ll want to select Configure Calendars.
  • Turn the Calendar Sync option on. You can always turn it off or on, based on your needs. Now, the events should be added to your Google Calendar.

How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar Individually

Perhaps you don’t want to add all the events to your Google Calendar at once, and you only want to see those important events. You can do that very easily. Here’s how to do it:

  • Go to the Facebook event you want to export. You’ll only be able to export events you are going to or are interested in.
  • Next, press the 3 dots next to share. To start exporting events, select Export Event in the drop-down menu.

  • Then, click on Save and then Export. You’ll get an .ics file that you will be able to download.
  • Go to Google Calendar, and click on the + icon, and then Import. Next, click on Select File from Computer.

  • Locate your .ics file and select it for import.
  • Now the event should be imported to your Google Calendar.

Ending thoughts on how to add Facebook events to Google Calendar

Syncing events and important dates between our social media platforms and accounts is vital for keeping track of all the events that take place around us. Nowadays, we tend to use multiple solutions when it comes to social networking sites and Web-based utilities. That is especially the case with Google Calendar. We want to have everything organized flawlessly so so that we don‘t miss a thing and can keep up with our schedule.

A good solution to all this is to use a good appointment and scheduling software. Here, we’d like to mention Amelia, the perfect tool to organize events and bookings without too much needless back and forth communication.

Not only will your calendar look appealing and attractive, but it will be extremely functional. It can be a very valuable addition to your WordPress site, and you can manage and organize the schedule exactly the way you want it.

Creating events, managing bookings, and online payments, and displaying events in an attractive way has never been easier than with Amelia.

You can even manage your employees and their schedules. This plugin will make sure that no information within your calendar and the calendar of your employees will overlap, and that clients will get their appointments easily and without hassle.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to add Facebook events to Google Calendar, you should read these as well:

The post How to Add Facebook Events to Google Calendar appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

How to Embed Google Calendar in Your Website


Let’s say you have a website, and you want to have a nice looking calendar on your website that will allow your visitors to see your schedule and book appointments. In this case, you’ll want to embed Google Calendar to your website. But why Google Calendar? Well, it’s free, it’s easy to use, and most importantly, it’s one of the most functional tools out there.

If you want to show your events to your visitors, and you want to encourage them to attend your events or appointments, embedding a Google Calendar into your site is definitely the thing to do. With the various CMS tools out there, embedding most calendars into your website has become something of a hard job.

With Google Calendar you’ll get countless capabilities; it will help you organize your events, keep on top of your schedule, and share your events or schedule them online for everyone to see. You can also add a live calendar so that others will be able to edit it along the way.

Visitors to your site will be able to see all of your updates and changes. Google Calendar will display these updates automatically. Plus, if you have several departments within your company and want to have separate calendars, you can do that too. Also, you can give the visitors the option to add an event with a couple of clicks.

Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Embed Google Calendar in Your Website

When you add Google Calendar to your site, you’ll allow hundreds or thousands of visitors to see your events and your calendar.

You can also add an interactive version, as well as the buttons that will allow the users to save the calendar.

Embedding Google Calendar

Embedding Google Calendar in your website only takes a couple of very simple steps. Here is how to do it:

  • Access Google Calendar, and sign in to your Google account. If you don’t have one, make one.
  • You’ll want to get to grips with the Google Calendar interface and the tool itself before embedding, so you’ll want to read some helpful articles by Google
  • Then, once you are logged in, go to Google Calendar, and click on the triangle next to the calendar you want to embed. From the list, click on the calendar you want to embed, and select Calendar Settings.

  • Copy the code or select More
  • If you don’t wish to customize the calendar and want to leave it as is, then simply paste the code from the Embed This Calendar section to your website. You’ll get a default 800×600 pixel Google Calendar on your website if you do this.
  • If you want to customize the calendar first, then follow the next step.

How to Customize the Calendar

So now you know how to embed Google Calendar in your website, but how do you customize it?

  • Click on the Customize link within the calendar settings.
  • Then, customization options will open. You can now customize the calendar as you want; you can change the background color, set the correct time zone, set the language, and the first day of the week.
  • You can customize which elements will appear on the calendar, such as the title, print icons, as well as the navigation buttons.

  • One of the more important customizations is the size. The default is 800×600 pixels, which is ok for most webpages or websites. However, for blogs, you might want to adjust the size before you embed the calendar.
  • Lastly, you’ll see a live preview before you confirm the changes. Here is when the HTML should be updated in the upper right corner. If it doesn’t, click on Update HTML.
  • If you are ok with your calendar, copy the HTML link in the upper corner and embed it to your website.

Where to Paste the HTML?

Here, we are pasting it into the Blogger blog; however, you can paste it wherever you have the ability to embed new objects. For example, if you can embed a Youtube video on your website, you’ll most likely be able to embed a calendar as well.

In any case, you’ll want to paste the code in your HTML of the page, or it won’t appear. For Blogger, select the HTML tab and paste the code in it.

It’s as simple as that; now, the code is embedded.

You Can Always Make Adjustments

This is how a live calendar would look like. The changes you make will be updated automatically.

However, if you don’t like the size of the calendar or some other aspect, such as the color, you can always go back and change it. If you change the events, it should update automatically, but if you want to change the calendar itself, you will have to copy and paste the HTML code of the updated calendar again.

If you want to display multiple calendar updates into this embedded calendar, then you can do so. Follow the instructions above and access the Google Embeddable Calendar Helper. Then, go to the Calendars to Display section, and tick the checkboxes next to the calendars you want to be displayed. The Weather Calendar changes won’t be displayed.

Allowing Visitors to See the Calendar

The calendar will now be visible for people you shared it with. To make it visible to everyone, make it public.

Allow the Visitors to Save a Calendar Event

One good option that Google Calendar offers is to allow the users to save the calendar events to their computer or their calendar. There is a special button that allows that. First, make the calendar public, and follow these steps:

  • Go to Google Calendar. Note that you’ll only be able to sort this from a computer, not a mobile phone.
  • Go to the public calendar, and create or edit an event.

  • Then, click on More Actions, and select Publish event.

  • Copy the HTML code that is displayed here.
  • Paste the code wherever you want it displayed in your editor.

Ending thoughts on how to embed Google Calendar in your website

While it’s clear that Google Calendar is a great choice for people who want a free embedding tool for calendars, there are also some downsides to this tool. Quite clearly, the embedded calendars are not a priority for Google, and it shows; it has limited customization options, it’s not updated regularly, and doesn’t have the best functionality.

To solve this issue, there are many new appointment plugins that include all of those functionalities and more, and for a bargain price. It’s all about choosing the right one, especially for WordPress.

That’s where we would recommend Amelia. Obviously, that’s a bit biased from us, but we really think it offers the most for the money asked. You get an incredible amount of customization options along with a high level of functionality. You can kiss goodbye to all of the mundane tasks that you would have to do for booking appointments and creating events.

Plus, the plugin will make your calendar look stunning, something that Google Calendar alone is not able to do.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to embed Google Calendar in your website, you should read these as well:

The post How to Embed Google Calendar in Your Website appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

How to Send a Google Calendar Invite Quickly and Easily


Google Calendar is a fantastic tool for managing your schedule. With it, you can create events, keep your schedule organized, and send invites to an event, all from one place. And sending an invitation has never been easier than with Google Calendar. However, many people still don’t know how to use it. Here is a guide on how to send a Google Calendar invite quickly and easily.

Google Calendar is designed in such a way that you can reach out easily to a large number of people. All you need is the e-mail or a phone number of the person you want to invite . Plus, it’s free to use and can be used on the desktop or from a mobile device.

Once a person receives an invite, Google Calendar will automatically enter the invite into their schedules, which allows for easy and straightforward invitations and communication. Keep reading more in this article created by our team at Amelia and learn how to send a Google Calendar invite.

Sending Google Calendar Invites From a Desktop

Here is a step-by-step tutorial of how to send a Google Calendar invite using a desktop computer.

  • First, you’ll obviously need a Google account. Then, you’ll want to open the Google Calendar feature.

  • Next, you will have to create an event on your calendar. This can be done by pressing the “Create” button in the top-left corner. If you already have an event, disregard this step.

  • Select the event you want to share. You should see a pop-up showing you the details of the event. On the right side, you will see the “Guests” section.
  • Open the “Guests” section. You can start typing the name of your desired guests; if they are in your contacts, this step is extremely You can also search for guests by e-mail address. If the guest is optional, click on the person’s icon and mark them as optional.
  • As a default setting, guests will have the ability to invite other guests. If you don’t want that function enabled, uncheck the option to invite others before sending it.
  • Once you are satisfied with the event and the invitations, click “Save” in the bottom right corner.

  • You will get a pop-up message asking you if you want to send an invitation to each of the guests. Once you click yes, the invitees will receive an e-mail notification, and you’ll also get the chance to send an RSVP.

What If an Invitee Doesn’t Use Google Calendar?

This is a common occurrence: people wonder if invitees who don’t use Google Calendar will receive the invitation. The answer is yes. You’ll be able to invite them, as long as you know their e-mail address.

All you need to do is enter their e-mail address, and they will receive a notification. They’ll also have the ability to let you know whether they are coming by clicking on the Yes, No, or Maybe links in the e-mail.

Invitations With Google Groups

For inviting larger masses and more people, invitations via Google Groups make more sense than with Google Calendar alone. That’s because you can invite up to 200 guests with Google Groups.

Although the limits of the invited people vary, they are limited to prevent spam. That is true for external invitations especially, although they do vary according to the type of event. The limit is normally between 100 and 300 people.

Once the members of the group are part of the event, they will see it on their calendars, even if they join the group later on. If a person leaves the group, then the event will disappear from the calendar.

Here’s how to send a Google Calendar invite via Google Groups:

  • Enter the e-mail address for the group, just as you would for any guests.
  • If you want to view the responses of the members, click on the arrow next to the group. Note that you may not have permission to view that. If so, you won’t see the arrow.
  • For those who have access to the “View members” area, they will have the ability to send invitations to individual members. If you don’t, then the invitation will be sent to the group as a whole.
  • Once a user accepts the invitation, they’ll be able to see the event on their calendar.

The Suggested Times Feature Lets You Coordinate Schedules

When adding people to an event, you can check if they are free, but only if they have shared their schedules with you beforehand. First, you’ll need to open Google Calendar.

Then, click “Search for people.” From there, type the name of the person you want to meet with. In the top left corner, click on “Create.”

From there, you can click on “Suggested times” to see when the person has time to meet you. Again, they will have to share the calendar with you first, though.

Time Zones

What about users from different time zones? Well, they’ll still be able to see when the event takes place, just in their current time zone. The time stays the same.

How to Forward Invites

As we already mentioned, you can allow your guests to invite other guests. If you don’t want that, you can disable it by editing your event, and find the section where it says, “Guests can:” From there, uncheck the box “invite others.”

You can simply add your own guests to the event, if you have the permission to do so, of course. Simply forward the invite via e-mail, and the guests will be able to respond to the invite. If they accept, they’ll be added to the guest list and will receive updates about the event.

Note: when you forward invitations, the guests might be able to see the updated details about the event and change your RSVP.

Response Tracking

You’ll be able to easily track the response from your calendar. The guests will have the ability to respond to the invitation by opting for Yes, No, or Maybe. You can track the responses by clicking on the event, where you’ll see the RSVP status of each invitee.

What if the person hasn’t received the invitation?

You can try a couple of things:

  • Remove and add the guest to the event again. Check if they have now received the invitation.
  • The guest should check their spam folders, which is where the invitation might be.
  • Maybe the guest has notifications turned off for new events. If so, tell the guest to check their notifications while on the computer to see if they received the invitation.

How to Send a Google Calendar Invite from Android or iPhone

Sending invites from a mobile device is a simple way to stay productive from anywhere and at any time. Although you won’t have the same capabilities as you would on a desktop, the process Is very similar here. Here’s how to send a Google Calendar invite from your mobile device:

  • Select the event you want to invite people to. You’ll now see the details about the event.
  • Then, select the “Edit” option in the top right corner. From there, you’ll be able to add people to the event. On Android, that option will be displayed as “Invite People,” while on iPhone, this will appear as “Add guests.” You can add them by name, e-mail, or phone number.

  • The guests invited will receive an e-mail notification and the ability to respond to the invitation. Note: you won’t have the same settings for events as you would on your desktop. These include the option to allow guests to modify the event and determine whether they can see other invited guests.
  • Click “Done.” Then, the invitees will receive details about the event and will have the ability to respond.

This is how to send a Google Calendar invite from your mobile device. The process is simple, but if you’re hoping to do more than send invites this way, you will be disappointed; the other Google Calendar invite capabilities are not available on devices. For some devices, this option will appear as a toggle option above the invitee’s name.

Ending thoughts on how to send a Google Calendar invite

Now that you know how to send a Google Calendar invite via both desktop and mobile devices, you can kick your productivity to even higher levels.

If you find that Google Calendar doesn’t offer you all the functions that you need, Amelia is a great booking plugin alternative that allows you to manage bookings and also has an events module. You can create events easily and display them in a beautiful front-end calendar. What’s more, you’ll also be able to automate online payments and manage your employees’ availability.

Amelia is a no-brainer for bookings and events in a variety of industries: medical, beauty, automotive, and many others. Plus, it’s constantly updated, meaning that it is well-maintained and up-to-date.

If you enjoyed reading this article about how to send a Google Calendar invite, you should read these as well:

The post How to Send a Google Calendar Invite Quickly and Easily appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

Looking for a Calendly Affiliate Program? Here’s a Better Option


Affiliate programs are one of the best forms of passive income that will allow you to earn money while you sleep.

Nowadays, many companies (especially the bigger ones) offer affiliate programs for publishers that are looking for an affiliate link. One of them is Calendly. If you’re looking for a Calendly affiliate program for you, then we might have something more interesting to offer.

It’s perhaps one of the better ways of monetizing blogs, especially for people who don’t sell physical products or services. You get exclusive access to new content and products, plus you can give your customers special deals. The benefits of an affiliate program work both ways.

Learn below more about this topic in this article created by our team at Amelia.

What Exactly Is an Affiliate Program and How Does it Work?

Affiliate programs are a type of revenue sharing. Practically, it’s an agreement between a company that is selling a product or service and a promoter who has influence on their followers. The promoter can be a social media account, a blog, a Youtube channel, or any other similar type of influencers that have a big base of followers.

The way these programs work is that the company that sells the products will pay the promoter a commission for the traffic that comes their way from the promoter. This way, both of the parties have benefits: the company gets more traffic, and the promoter gets paid the commission for the traffic.

Normally, the size of the commission depends on various factors. In most cases, it depends on the number of people that signed up to the mailing list, or registered an account at the target company. In other cases, it’s dependent on the sales that were made through the affiliate link.

These affiliate links get tracked to the promoter via cookies. Usually, the promotion is done through web content, through social media posts, through Youtube videos, or by product integration.

But for the company, this tactic doesn’t necessarily translate to more traffic: it depends on the person or the affiliate they choose, and if the product is actually relevant to them. Mostly, it works.

Are You Looking for a Calendly Affiliate Program?

Are you wondering whether you’ll be able to get a Calendly affiliate program? Well, at the moment, it looks like they don’t offer such a thing.

If you use Calendly as the main scheduling app for your business, then it would make sense to ask them for an affiliation. But it appears that they aren’t offering one at the moment. We have checked almost every affiliate network (Awin, Pepperjam, Rakuten, Conversant) but were unable to find it. It just doesn’t exist.

You might be disappointed and even surprised to learn that, in this day and age where a lot of business is done through affiliate links, a company of the size of Calendly still doesn’t offer them. You might have left other types of programs such as Asana or Wrike exactly for this, only to find it’s the same here.

So, it’s probably time to look for alternatives again, as much as you don’t like it.

Here’s a Better Option

Yes, the lack of affiliate programs from Calendly is disappointing, but there are plenty of better options for appointments and bookings. Instead of the Calendly affiliate program, consider other options.

We recommend you to use Amelia. Here’s why:

  • You get a 30% commission on every sale that is made from your referral link. That can amount to up to $176 for just a single referral, so imagine the long-term possibilities!
  • You’ll get high-quality banners in different sizes that you can then use on your website.
  • The cookie will last for 90 days, which means that even if the referral comes back again during those 90 days and converts, you’ll still profit.
  • There is an intuitive dashboard where you’ll get all the important stats and information, such as the number of clicks, purchases, and pending payouts.
  • You will be notified of new affiliate links from TMS.
  • The payments will be made monthly through safe payment platforms such as PayPal, Bank or wire transfer, and Payoneer.

There are also various pricing plans to choose from when you pick Amelia.

  • Amelia Basic – you get $17,70 for each conversion through your referral link.
  • Amelia Pro – it brings you earnings of $32,70 for each conversion from your affiliate link.
  • Amelia Developer – a more advanced affiliation that will get you $74,70 for each conversion.

Then there are the lifetime choices.

  • Amelia Basic Lifetime offers you $56,70 every time someone buys something through your links.
  • Amelia Pro Lifetime earns you $116,70 for each conversion through your referral links.
  • Amelia Developer Lifetime will earn you a whopping $176,70 for each purchase through your affiliate link.

There’s a tremendous amount of possibilities with Amelia referrals, and here are some of the best ways of how to make the most of them:

Write a Blog Post

You can write a blog post on your blog or website comparing Amelia and other appointment or booking software tools and then share it in your social circles. Or, you can send it through your mailing list.

You can also write about Amelia in any of your blog posts or through other online avenues.

Collaborate With Them Through a Webinar

Webinars are an awesome way to collaborate and explain the pros of using Amelia.

Mention Amelia on Your Website

You can also mention Amelia as the recommended software provider for bookings and appointments on your website. It can be anywhere: on the main page, or on one of the subpages.

Share the Amelia Affiliate Link

You can utilize your wide social circles for sharing the link and giving your followers the chance to utilize it. It can be through social media channels, or through emails.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

Affiliate marketing is an effective marketing strategy that spreads the capabilities and the possibilities of a product or service. That way, the service or the product gets more buyers as they are convinced from your part that it is a ‘must-have,’ and you will get a part of the revenue. So, everyone’s a winner in the end.

  • The sellers or product creators will benefit through more sales.
  • You, the affiliate, will get a share of the revenue.
  • The consumer will get an awesome product or a service (in this case, Amelia).

There are plenty of affiliate networks out there nowadays. They act as a sort of a marketplace where companies list their products or services, and the affiliates get to choose them. These networks will get some of the commission that should rightfully be yours, so it’s not really the best place for affiliations.

This is basically how it all works:

  • First, you agree with the company about the affiliation. Then, you get the unique URL and the ID of an affiliate. You can share this link with your visitors.
  • If a customer clicks on the link, they will get a cookie in their browser that will tell the browser that you are the affiliate.
  • Lastly, you’ll receive monthly commission payments based on the sales that were made. Your payments will vary from affiliate to affiliate program.

So Why Become an Affiliate?

Usually, affiliates are individuals, but they can also be companies. The most common affiliates are successful bloggers with a decent following. But even if you’re a beginner, you should definitely consider affiliate programs.

Blogging is perhaps the most cost-effective way to get into affiliate marketing. Sure, it takes time to get the hang of it, but it requires almost no investment. You just have to put in the time and effort to make your business work.

Using affiliate programs comes with a wide range of benefits. Here are the top reasons to become an affiliate:

  • You don’t need a product or a service.
  • The startup costs are very low – all you need is a positive mindset (and a computer, of course).
  • No merchant accounts are needed.
  • The sky is the limit for the revenue potential.
  • It’s a good additional stream of income.
  • There are countless strategies and tactics to use.

If you enjoyed reading this article about the Calendly affiliate program and the better alternative for it, you should read these as well:

The post Looking for a Calendly Affiliate Program? Here’s a Better Option appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

The Top Spa Scheduling Software You Must Know About


Spa business owners are often overwhelmed by the number of appointments they get on a daily basis. That’s why many of them have to employ people for the sole purpose of dealing with appointments, which results in additional costs.

These costs can be easily averted by using spa scheduling software. During peak hours, it’s almost impossible for a spa business owner to handle the demands of the customers. Plus, the customers are usually relatively demanding and give meticulous instructions as to what they want and how they want it.

With spa scheduling software, the users are able to manage their own schedules and manage reschedules easily. Appointments are made easily and flawlessly using the software, and it’s all done with just a couple of clicks.

The focus of these types of software is on the customers. They get a nice, simple interface for creating appointments without the need of making calls. It can all be done from their home, and from either desktops or mobile devices. These types of software continue to evolve on a daily basis as the demands grow constantly.

Reading this article created by our team at Amelia is a fast way to get an overview of the best spa scheduling software that every spa business owner should consider.

Top Spa Scheduling Software


For spa owners looking for a robust and reliable spa scheduling software, Amelia is the best way to go.

Amelia stands out from the crowd with its many useful features that are not available on the market at the moment. One of the great features Amelia has is that it allows you to manage and book appointments for one business from various business locations, which is fantastic if you are looking to spread your business or if you already have two or more business locations.

If you offer multiple services in your spa, Amelia is there to help you. Users can specify the type of appointments they wish to make and what service they exactly need. You’ll be able to offer various services on your scheduling system, and the customers will have the freedom of choosing their preferred ones.


Another type of spa scheduling software that you should consider is Booker. It’s one of the best tools to completely transform your business into one that will offer appointments 24/7.

Plus, it’s specifically intended for spas and salons, so it was created with people like you in mind. It features a cloud-based platform with an intuitive user interface, and it will allow you to take care of bookings, online payments, marketing, and improving customer relations.

There are many packages to choose from with Booker, and you can easily choose the one that suits your needs best.


This WordPress booking plugin will allow you to create a professional booking interface that gives your customers the ability to see everything your business offers and choose exactly what they want. It’s often a recommended type of spa scheduling software, as it allows you to book customers and collect payments at the same time.

That’s fantastic if you want to do most of your business online. All that has to happen in person is the treatments you offer your customers. Another very useful feature that BirchPress offers is that it integrates and syncs with other calendar systems, such as Google Calendar, iCal, Outlook, and other major providers.

It also has a customizable notification system and a reminder system to remind both you and the customer about the appointment.


With FlexBooker, you’ll first need to set up an account before you get going. Once that is taken care of, FlexBooker allows for straightforward and easy bookings without the need for back-and-forth communication. It’s easy to use, and it is a time saver for both you and the customer.

Customers can arrange a booking and pay through the booking system alone. This will drive your business to a whole new level. As you sleep, customers will have the ability to make appointments, pay for them, and get automated confirmations of their bookings. They’ll also receive automated responses and reminders of the appointment they made.

All the data that’s collected with FlexBooker is saved and can later on be exported as an Excel file. This will help you manage your bookings and see exactly what it was and who made the booking at one point in time. In short, it’s one of the best spa scheduling software types that you can choose from to grow your business.

Full Slate

It’s a cloud-based appointment tool that allows users to create easy appointments in a matter of minutes. The best thing about it is that it won’t use up unnecessary storage, as it’s cloud-based, and no downloads will be required at all to get it set up. This feature makes it very beginner-friendly.

It also has some other great features that make it stand out: email and SMS notifications, syncing to other calendar providers, flexible bookings, scheduling widgets, integration to Facebook, and automated reminders. It’s a lightweight scheduling tool that should certainly be seriously considered.


Another cloud-based tool for making your appointments streamlined and very simple is 10to8. You can easily manage your bookings and appointments with it, and it’s suitable for all business sizes and types. For spas, it’s great as it allows you to avoid miscommunication and double-bookings.

Also, it will minimize the amount of missed appointments you’ll have as it will send reminders and notifications for bookings. It’s a relatively robust tool, too. It has currently about 42,000 clients worldwide, and the database is only growing.

If you’re looking to simplify and streamline your appointments, it’s one of those tools that should certainly be considered by all sizes of spas.


MioSalon is also specifically targeted for spas and salons, as you might have gotten from its name. It’s a cloud-based solution for businesses in the salon and spa industry, as well as from the health industry.

It offers SMS and email notifications, customer loyalty management, appointment booking, point of sale, and other useful tools. In addition, you’ll be able to collect data from the bookings and track the feedback of your customers.

In essence, it’s an online portal where your customers will see when you’re available, and when they can make their appointment. It also supports mixed, partial, and pre-paid payments. The only downside is that the site will have to open on a separate page.

There’s also a customer database where the information of all your previous customers is collected. This allows for easier management of recurring customers.

Easy Appointments

Easy Appointments is one of the most popular spa scheduling software tools out there, mostly because it’s free. But, it offers great opportunities despite that fact.

You can manage appointments for several of your locations, which is an awesome feature to have. Plus, you can manage your staff and the specific services you provide, as you can always add them to the appointment page. Forms with this app are easily customizable, as you can add custom fields at any desired point.

Adding appointment forms is therefore pretty straightforward; all you need is the shortcode connected to the form. Another good thing is that you can manage the emails that are sent to your customers upon confirmation.


With Shedul, you get an easy-to-use software that will allow you to manage and track all of your appointments with just a couple of clicks. You can access it from anywhere — but you will need an internet connection.

This tool is mainly used by businesses that offer appointments, such as spas, salons, massage parlors, gyms, clinics, beauty salons, and other types of businesses. Therefore, it’s perfect if you own a salon. Plus, you can also get a free version, or you can opt for a premium version with more features.

It’s a cloud-based solution that saves you the cost of additional storage hardware. It’s flexible, lightweight, and easy to use.


Streamline all of the appointments and bookings you get into one place, and save hours upon hours of time, and thousands of dollars in the process with Timely. It’s a booking software that will let you manage your schedule from anywhere, be it on your desktop, or on your mobile device.

It’s easy to use, effective, and integrates with various important tools, such as Xero, MailChimp, Google Calendar, and many others.


This tool is used by many hotels and hostels, but also by many spas, salons, hairdressers, and similar businesses that require appointments. It’s a great type of spa scheduling software that will let you manage and streamline all of your schedules from anywhere and at any time.

Of course, it offers a platform for making appointments, but that’s not everything. You get premium functionalities with it, including being able to track your businesses’ success. You will engage with your clients easily, and you won’t need to spend time managing schedules anymore since the software does it all for you.

Shortcuts Software

Shortcuts Software is an appointment tool for both big and small businesses. It offers appointment scheduling, customer relationship management, marketing, and much more. It’s available for both Mac and Windows systems.

With Shortcuts Software, customers get a configurable calendar where they will have the ability to make bookings and appointments for upcoming events themselves. Everything is done online. There’s also a house renting module that allows those who rent their home or house to control their schedule and bookings.


Next up is BookSteam — one of the simplest and easiest-to-use tools on this list. You can schedule appointments, collect payments, sell packages, and build excellent relationships with your customers, all with this simple tool.

You get a database manager, a customizable booking webpage, syncing with other calendars, the ability to send SMS and email notifications, class scheduling, and much more.


If you’re looking for something easy, simple, effective, and versatile, look no further than Milano. It’s a great spa scheduling software made to collect payments and bookings online, making your business much easier to manage.


Yocale is simply one of the best scheduling tools that you can currently find on the market. With it, you can create a smooth appointment operation that will work on a daily basis. You get online scheduling, client relationship tools, promotion of your appointments, reports, and more.


Last but not least, we have Schedulista. It’s a great tool for small businesses and freelancers. Scheduling appointments can be done via emails, Facebook, website, or even SMS. Bookings are also personalized, and they can be made to fit your whole design of the page. It’s a great spa scheduling software to consider.

If you enjoyed reading this article about Spa scheduling software, you should read these as well:

The post The Top Spa Scheduling Software You Must Know About appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

A Useful Guide for Starting a Fitness Business


Starting a fitness business can be intimidating, especially for someone who hasn’t done anything similar before. But for making profits and making the most out of your facilities and skills, you should definitely consider it.

A fitness business is centred around personal training and coaching, a general fitness instruction, and the use of fitness facilities such as a gym or a personal training room.

It’s a difficult business to start; it takes a lot of organization, dedication, and management to get everything up and running. But in the end, all the effort is worth it. It’s one of the most satisfying businesses to own; not only do you get to help clients get in shape and obtain their body goals, but it’s also profitable if done right.

Just like with other businesses fields, the fitness industry is full of various niches that you can choose from. It gives you the chance to go down different paths.

This article created by our team at Amelia, is a useful guide for those who are considering starting a fitness business.

Specialize in Your Niche

One of the most important tips for those starting a fitness business is that they should find a niche and specialize in it. There are too many fitness businesses who try to focus on everything, and they end up not getting the benefits.

If you do a little bit of everything, even though you might satisfy your customer with activities and information, you’ll get next to nothing in return. That’s because your customers will prefer learning about specific types of exercise from businesses that specialize in those niches. They’ll trust those businesses more, and will find their information more credible over yours.

For example, you can specialize in becoming a personal trainer; or, you can use your own fitness facility to perform your business. You could also try to teach classes and post lectures about what and how to do stuff.

Additionally, you’ll need to consider what type of fitness business you’ll be; will you focus on bodybuilding, on calisthenics, or on general improvements of health? Those are the questions that you’ll need to know answers to before you start your business.

Research is Key

Just like with any other type of business, you’ll have to do proper and thorough research before starting.

Who are your competitors and how do they go about their business? What do other business owners do, and what methods do they use?

It might be helpful to contact other business owners in your area or across the country. You can try to call them, which is probably best. But today, there are so many options for contacting people. You can try Skype, or other online communication tools.

It also wouldn’t hurt to see everything live in action. Try to visit as many businesses that you aspire to overtake or at least base your business on. You’ll find that this part is perhaps the most important piece of planning.

Get Training

If you want to be a personal gym trainer or a business owner, you naturally want to have some type of certification.

How will you be trustworthy for your customers if you don’t have the necessary training? Sure, you might have a lot of knowledge, but how will the potential customers believe you?

You’ll need a certificate from the NSCA, or the National Strength and Conditioning Association. They offer a lot of programs for personal trainers (CPT, or Certified Personal Trainer). Other institutions that offer training are NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), ACE (the American Council on Exercise), or the ACSM (the American College of Sports Medicine).

Develop Your Business Plan

No good businesses became successful without a proper and thorough business plan. If you want to have any chance of success, this is a part that you won’t want to miss. Starting a fitness business takes a lot of research and planning.

It’s better to take it slow and develop the proper plan first rather than rush it and regret it later on. You’ll need to know every detail before you start operating your business. A Lean Business Plan is perhaps the first step you should take. It is the collection of the main points and pointers about how the business will work. Every company or business has one.

This Lean Business Plan is relatively simple, but it still covers a wide array of questions that every business owner faces at the start:

  • What will the company’s name be?
  • What are the goals of my business?
  • Industry Placement
  • Marketing Strategy
  • Pricing
  • Gym operation
  • Budget

All of these aspects are key to establishing a healthy business from the ground up.

What’s Your Target Market?

You’ll need to know who your business is targeting. Normally, it will be the people in your area of up to 3 miles around you. Ask your friends and influential people in the area to spread word about your business and help you with the promotion. It might cost you, but it’s definitely worth it.

Naturally, the radius around you is the area that you should primarily target. But what about people from outside your area? How can you attract them?

You’ll need to know exactly who you’re advertising for. Is it older people who are looking to improve their health? Or is it the young population that wants to build their ideal physique or lose body fat? Perhaps it is people who are looking for a personal trainer?

These are the things that you’ll need to know exactly.

Take Care of the Financing

You might not be able to start a business without the proper financial backing. You’ll either need to have the financial means on your own, or you’ll need to find investors who are willing to help you.

Usually, it takes up to $50.000 to get everything set up properly. That’s of course, just an estimate, and it varies from area to area, and the type of operation you are looking to run. For New York, for example, that sum might be significantly higher.

Within the budget, you’ll need to consider various things: you’ll need a location for your business, a marketing strategy is also going to cost, and of course, let’s not forget about the equipment. There are also the costs of insurance, accounting, attorneys, cleaning services, and utility services.

You can try to lower the finances needed by buying used equipment, for example. While this is not a bad strategy for someone starting out, it can also be a double-edged sword; some people might be turned off by the old equipment.

Choose the Location

Your location might be more important than you think. Not many people will want to drive too far out to go to a gym, and there will be less competition in some areas than others. Based on the location, you can also set different prices for your services.

Another thing that a location set is the way your gym should look. If you are in a more formal location, then the gym should suit that style. In other cases, the gym might be more casual and kicked-back.

You’ll want to consider the population that you target. In some areas, the population that you wish to target is more common, while in other areas, the population is more specific and defined. For example, in suburban areas, you’ll be able to target older people as it’s a higher likelihood that they’ll live there. What you really need to take away from this is that you will lose out on clients due to your strategy.

Choosing Your Equipment

The next step after you have found your location, figured out your financing, and devised your business plan, you’ll want to buy the right equipment. But that goes for the design as well; you’ll want to create a more relaxed vibe with a vibrant feeling, rather than a boring place.

You’ll want to create an environment that the customers will want to return to. This also includes the equipment that you’ll use. You’ll obviously need free weights, as well as other equipment pieces, such as a bench, squat racks, treadmills, bikes, mats, and other racks.

This is just the minimal equipment; the more, the better. It’s a high initial cost, but you can always upgrade your equipment later on. Of course, it also depends on the space you have. Another good type of equipment is isolation machines, such as leg press machines, or chest fly machines.

Take Care of the Licensing

Before you start, you will need some sort of permit or license to do your business legally. That way, you’ll avoid the various fines that you can get if your business is deemed as illegal.

You will need the certifications that almost every other business owner needs. This includes the Employer Identification Number, and also the permits or licenses for ensuring the taxing requirements. A federal business license will probably not be needed, although you’ll need to comply to the laws of your state.

This could easily be under the research category, as you’ll need to know which exact licenses you will require before you start. Read more by visiting SBA’s reference to state licenses and permits.

Do Your Marketing

After you do all the basic stuff, it’s time to do some marketing.

You’ll need to get yourself known; but first, it’s important to establish a marketing strategy. What are your unique selling points? What is something that you offer that your competitors don’t?

You can use guerrilla marketing which has been proven to work countless times, but you’ll also want to use co-marketing with other businesses from your area. There’s no need to necessarily spend thousands on billboard advertisements, though it can be fairly simple, and can get the job done.

Don’t forget the importance of online marketing. Make your presence known on social media. Also, investing in a nice-looking website would not hurt. The marketing that you do online will need to be consistent with the rest of your business goals and strategies.

Get an Appointment Booking App to Boost Your Business

Next, you will need to allow your clients to book appointments with you from anywhere and at any time with an appointment booking app. Many of these apps are free, and they can really help you to boost your business.

Appointment apps are suitable for all business sizes, as many of them come with a free version. This is a crucial step in which you can get customers on board from their computers or mobile devices.

Amelia is one of the best WordPress booking plugins which gives you a simplified solution for bookings and appointments. It’s completely automated, so you won’t need to worry about appointments that much, and you won’t need to spend your time and money on it. Clients can do the bookings on their own, and from anywhere.

How Does a Gym Make Money?

The main source of income for gyms comes from memberships, but there are also other streams of income, which include:

  • Personal training
  • Juice bars
  • Tanning beds or saunas
  • Supplements
  • Massage services

Starting a fitness business is not easy, but once you get up and running, it’s extremely satisfying. You just need to take your time when you start out.

If you enjoyed reading this article about starting a fitness business, you should read these as well:

The post A Useful Guide for Starting a Fitness Business appeared first on Amelia WordPress Booking Plugin.

Update online reviews to increase trust in your business


This article was originally published on March 26, 2020, and was updated on April 1, 2020. 

Having an accurate, up-to-date online presence has always been important for earning and maintaining your customers’ trust. Given the instability COVID-19 has introduced to the market, upholding the promises made to your customers by your advertising content is absolutely vital.

Upholding the promises made to your customers by your advertising content is absolutely vital.

COVID-19 is creating an environment where news is constantly changing, even by the hour. People are distracted, and they need products and services from companies that they can trust.

You can alleviate customer concerns with user reviews.


I’m going to give you the steps for how to feature reviews on your site, or social media, so your customers can buy with confidence.

Before we dive into how to add reviews, let’s go over why they add value.

Related: 8 ways to get more product reviews

Trust is hard to come by

Brand loyalty goes beyond confidence in transparent data practices or fair pricing, the same way that trust in romantic partner goes beyond faith in their fidelity or financial responsibility.

Sure, those are big-ticket items, but there are smaller, more mundane things that matter just as much.

  • Will they be where you expect them to be, when you expect them to be there?
  • Will they answer the phone when you call?
  • Will they take steps to make sure you’re safe when you’re with them?

We may not have the benefit of partner reviews (million-dollar idea alert), but we do have endless options for reviewing businesses online.

Respond to all reviews

Personally, I don’t do business with anyone who doesn’t have a few reviews out there. What might seem counter-intuitive, is that I’m more inclined to trust a company if their reviews include one or two negative posts as well. Someone who’s been around and has no negative reviews appears to be hiding bad feedback, even though that’s certainly not always the case.

Pro tip: Don’t delete bad reviews, reply to them.

Responding to a negative review shows that you care, that you’re honest, and how you react to unhappy customers. That kind of candor earns a lot of goodwill. I cannot stress enough how far that goodwill will carry in a social climate like the one we’re experiencing now.

The other thing I pay close attention to is the dates on the reviews. A review that’s 3-years-old does nothing for me. That business may have changed ownership, gotten a new manager, or even closed.

In the age of COVID-19 closures, depending on where you live, and your proximity to new confirmed cases or community spread, there are tons of additional variables to consider.

Reduce the variables for your customers

Businesses are closing their doors, running out of inventory, or moving to remote service models faster than your average consumer can keep up. Everyone is inundated with news alerts and new information. They are scrambling to sort through what’s changed, what’s right, and what they should ignore.

A visible review, posted in the last few days, could be the difference between a sale and a scroll down to the next vendor.

By showing the trust of your current customers, new customers are far more likely to gamble on you.

Manage your reviews

With Websites + Marketing

If you have a site with GoDaddy Websites + Marketing, you can manage product reviews, Google reviews and Facebook business reviews all in one place.

  1. From your product page, scroll to Websites + Marketing and click Manage next to your store.
  2. On the dashboard, open your products.
  3. If you have:
    • Websites + Marketing Online Store – Select Overview. Then select Enable Reviews in the Track & Capture Sales section.
    • Premium Online Store – Expand the Promote drop-down and select Promote.
  4. Select Turn On next to Product Reviews.
  5. Enter the email address where review approvals should be sent, and then select:
    •  Sign Up (Websites + Marketing)
    • or Enable (Premium Online Store)
  6. Once you’re set up, return here to Manage Reviews as they come in.

You can read the full instructions to enable reviews on your store here.

When Google re-launches Reviews capabilities on Google My Business Profiles, you’ll be able to manage reviews posted on Google, as well.

Using the WooCommerce plugin on WordPress

WordPress has options for managing reviews, as well. If WooCommerce isn’t already active, you may need to enable it.

Pro Tip: If your WordPress installation doesn’t already have WooCommerce, you can install it for free. Click Plugins on the left, select Add New, search for “WooCommerce,” and Install.

To enable WooCommerce:

  1. Scroll to WooCommerce in your Plugins list, and then select Activate.
  2. Use the Setup Wizard to Get started, or fill in your business info manually.

Once WooCommerce is enabled:

  1. Click WooCommerce on the left navigation.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. When the General information is complete, go to the Products tab.
  4. Under Reviews, adjust the settings to meet your needs and Save Changes.

Read the full instructions to get started using WooCommerce here.

Certain extensions may require additional steps. For example, here’s how to manage customer reviews using Yotpo. When in doubt, check the help documentation for your extension.

On Facebook and Google Business Listings

Don’t have Websites + Marketing or WordPress? Not to worry. You can enable reviews on your Facebook business page and ask users to review your products and/or services in clever ways. You could:

  • Host competitions with discounts for the best unboxing videos of your product.
  • Give prizes for the best before/after photos from a customer who used your service(s).
  • Work with an influencer on your social app of choice to do a video product review.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 conditions have led to Google suspending all new reviews (and review responses) on Business Profiles as they prioritize critical services. On the plus side, your competitors are in the same boat. Pushing social media recommendations may give you the edge you need.

At the end of the day, even amidst all the uncertainty around us, people trust people. Transparent, real-time reviews written by customers are far more impactful than any marketing communication you can craft for people impacted by COVID-19.

You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.


The post Update online reviews to increase trust in your business appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Returns and refunds policy templates for online shopping sites


This article was originally published on Sept. 29, 2018, and was updated on April 1, 2020.

In the world of ecommerce, we know this much is true: If you sell online, you’ll eventually encounter a customer seeking returns and refunds for items purchased at your store. But don’t panic, take it personally, or assume shoppers are unhappy with your product or service. Returns also occur when a delivered item is damaged, clothing doesn’t fit, or the item that arrived is not what customers thought they were buying.

Refunds Graphic

No matter the reason, your policy and strategy for handling returns and refunds will impact customers’ shopping experiences, shape their level of satisfaction, and influence the likelihood of them becoming return shoppers.

Once you have such a policy in place, extenuating circumstances might necessitate a Returns Contingency Plan (noted as RCP below) to accommodate unpredictable — perhaps even previously unimaginable — scenarios.

When might a contingency plan be put into action? Naturally, the current COVID-19 situation is on everyone’s mind, but once that is behind us, there may be other such situations. Consider natural disasters (e.g., earthquake, hurricane), or perhaps the situation that occurred in my Northern California hometown last fall, where the utility company was forced to shut off power for days at a time in hopes of preventing fires.

Having a plan positions you to take immediate action, allowing you to help customers sooner, and more appropriately.

Related: How to reshape your return policies to maintain trust and customer satisfaction

Why have a policy for returns and refunds?

There are quite a few reasons you’d want rules in place for returns and refunds. These are some of the biggest ones among ecommerce merchants:

  • You want to inspire shopper confidence in your business, products and services.
  • You need to demonstrate your commitment to customer satisfaction — immediately implementing your RCP demonstrates that commitment at a time when customers are already experiencing heightened concern and stress.
  • You have an obligation to inform customers about their rights as part of the purchasing process at your business.

Related: 7 things to include in an exchange policy

What is included in a policy for returns and refunds?

A quick search will return several quality results for a return policy template. Keep these basics for inclusion in mind when you craft your own policy:

  • What form refunds take
  • The eligibility time frame for a return or refund
  • Any limitations on returned items
  • Additional costs associated with returns

While not articulated publicly in your policy (online or in print) during normal times in the business world, you’ll want your RCP at the ready, so you can put it into practice on a moment’s notice.

Be sure to identify a plan to put the RCP into place.


Who will update the website, and when? Will you send an email message to all customers? And when you are ready to unveil it to customers, you’ll want clear language on your website as to what is precipitating the change.

Related: 5 ways to keep customers informed about changes to your business

25 tips for implementing a policy for returns and refunds

Follow these tips to implement a returns and refunds policy that will work for both your business and your customers.

Policy format

1.Avoid complicated legalese. Readers should be able to understand it without consulting a lawyer or dictionary.

2. Steer clear of demanding language implying a burden on the customer. Avoid terms such as “under any circumstances,” “under no circumstances,” “you are required,” or “we are not responsible for.”

3. State an effectivity date for returns and refunds. If you update your policy, plan ahead for a transitional grace period, and be prepared to honor the policy that was in effect at the time of purchase.

This is a key point to include in your RCP.

Allowing a longer time period for returns makes sense when mail service and shipping carriers experience delays — not to mention customers’ inability to get to a mailing location quickly and safely.

4. Maintain your brand voice. Whether casual and conversational, or formal and precise, make the policy consistent with your overall messaging style.

Other website considerations

5. Make your policy for returns and refunds easily accessible: Don’t hide it where it can’t be readily found.

6. Minimize the potential for returns and refunds resulting from the product not being what customers saw on your site. Accurate product descriptions with photos can minimize accidentally purchasing the wrong item.

7. Share your flexible and accommodating policy on the home page, product pages, shopping cart and checkout pages. Your flexibility could influence shoppers still on the fence. And under extenuating circumstances, the flexibility resulting from your RCP likely becomes a key influencing factor.

Related: What to include on 5 core website pages

Customer interaction

8. Even in a clear, concise and well-written policy for returns and refunds, include customer service contact information for additional questions. If the situation activating your RCP affects your contact methods or hours, post that prominently on your website. For example, phone hours may be reduced, or customers may be asked to use chat capabilities instead of phone calls.

9. Make sure all staff members processing returns and refunds or interacting with customers are up to speed on your policies.

10. Enable customers to arrange their own returns and refunds or exchanges. Help them do it online and minimize their need to contact customer service.

11. Email customers when their returns and refunds have been processed.

12. If the return is prompted by your mistake (such as shipping something other than what was ordered, or it arrived broken due to your poor packaging), immediately take full responsibility and offer resolution without hesitation or argument.

Related: Key messages to share with your customers during a crisis

Time frames

13. Specify refund eligibility timeframes with typically-used round numbers such as 30, 60 or 90 days. Make the timeframe reasonable and long enough for the customer to actually receive, open and try out the product.

When extenuating circumstances hit, major retailers are often quick to extend those timeframes, and your RCP should follow their lead.

14. Specify whether the return eligibility clock starts ticking on the date of purchase, shipping or receipt of the item.

15. Limited return time frames can discourage shoppers from planning ahead for holiday shopping, knowing that the item might not be gifted for a few weeks. Consider extending the holiday season return timeframe to mid-January.

Financial details

16. Specify how refunds and refunds are compensated. Do they receive a store credit or credit on the purchasing credit card? A replacement item? Is a restocking charge or processing fee subtracted from the refund amount

During times of crisis, customers may also be financially impacted. If you’re in a position to waive these fees during the period your RCP is enabled, thankful customers will remember that small, kind gesture.

17. Specify the time frame in which a credit or refund will be applied. Store credit can usually be available quickly. However, credit card issuers have their own policies affecting how quickly refunded money will be available.

If the situation demands RCP activation, smaller businesses may quickly experience cash flow concerns, and will need to extend the time period in which the refund may be applied. Another option may be to encourage customers to take a store credit instead of a refund by offering a small incentive, such as a coupon for a future purchase.

Related: Using coupons and promotions to help customers dealing with COVID-19


Shopping Cart with Receipts18. Notify customers if they must include a receipt or proof of purchase.

19. Specify if authorization is needed prior to an item’s return. If authorization involves interaction with staff — who may be overloaded, working limited hours, or temporarily on furlough, depending on the situation — be prepared to communicate
changes to this process.

20. Include details about the expected state of the returned item. Does it need to be in its original packaging? What about the original condition (e.g., unworn, unwashed, with tags attached)?

21. Stipulate if sale items are eligible for return.

22. Indicate whether digital products are eligible for refund under limited circumstances, such as when a download link isn’t working.

The physical return process

23. Don’t sneak in unanticipated return costs. Articulate clearly if customers must pay for return shipping.

24. Make it easy for customers to find return shipping labels. Consider including them with shipped items, or offer the ability to print their own labels.

25. Specify if an online purchase is eligible for return at your retail outlet.

Under adverse conditions that put your RCP in place, your retail outlet may be closed to the public. In that case, you’ll need to clearly advertise that you’re unable to process in-person returns. If customers have no option but to return in person, make sure to extend the deadline to after your retail outlet is back in business.

Related: What to include in your shipping policy for your retail business

Return policy templates

Several excellent online resources can help you create a policy that works for you.


TermsFeed is a provider of trusted legal agreements for a number of business scenarios. They offer both a template and policy generator, allowing you to create a custom policy using their template. In addition, they offer both free and paid accounts, where premium (paid) accounts include additional clauses that can better protect your business interests.


Termly also provides a free template and generator for a comprehensive policy. The generator runs through a number of questions to gather specific details, and you’ll need to create an account to receive the final product.


ReturnRefundPolicyTemplate.com provides a generator, as well as a number of examples in different formats, including word counts. The final document is downloadable as HTML or text.


Template.net provides different templates in a variety of formats, downloadable as PDF or Word files.

Rolling out your RCP

When it’s time to put your Returns Contingency Plan in place, be sure to use clear language on your website. Consider these examples:

  • We recognize these are challenging times for everyone, and we are committed to the health and safety of both our customers and employees. Thank you for your patience as we navigate new and uncharted waters.
  • Our stores and online businesses are temporarily closed in order to help prevent further spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • In support of our national effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, our retail locations are temporarily closed. If you need to return an online purchase, please use our mail-in process.
  • Due to the disruption caused by [COVID-19, the recent earthquake, extended power outages, etc.], we will extend our returns policy from 60 days to 90 days from purchase date, to allow flexibility for our customers choosing to return products.
  • We will process returns once it is safe to reopen our store. At that time, we will extend our returns policy to 30 days after the re-open date, regardless of your original purchase date.

In conclusion

Make sure your comprehensive, accommodating, readily found and easily understood policy for returns and refunds addresses the following:

  • Refund formats and options.
  • Limitations related to the item, its purchase and the return time frame.
  • Shopper responsibilities, including possible costs.

There’s no need to publish your RCP in advance. However, having it defined and reviewed before it’s needed lets you update your website immediately when extenuating or extreme circumstances hit.

This allows you to quickly allay customer concerns and better serve your faithful audience, while emphasizing your ability to understand the need for flexibility, and willingness to make the best of whatever situation intrudes on normal business operations.

While you hope never to see returns and refunds, having your policy and strategy ready from the get-go will facilitate a painless process that keeps loyal customers coming back to shop another day.

The post Returns and refunds policy templates for online shopping sites appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

How to host virtual community events


There’s a massive shift towards virtual events in the wake of Covid-19 cancellations.

Since our community team started experimenting with virtual events last year – we host online meetups through Crowdcast – we wanted to share what we’ve learned so far.

I’ve also had the privilege of organizing in-person meetups for the last 10+ years. Our local meetup groups serve a large region, so we started adding options for members to participate remotely way back in 2017. I’ve baked some of those experiences in here as well.

Feel free to take this guide and repurpose it for your own use. If there are points you think we should add, let us know: a Google Docs version of this article is open for comments.

How to host virtual community events.

  1. Why should you virtualize your event?
  2. Planning your event
  3. Managing communications
  4. Creating evergreen content
  5. Running your event day-of

Why should you host a virtual event?

Lower costs for organizers.

Physical venue rentals are expensive. Rooms can cost hundreds of dollars per session. Even spaces designed for community functions, like room rentals from your local library or city hall, require payment.

Costs can go well beyond what’s affordable to a community group, especially in metropolitan areas. Organizers are often stuck paying out of pocket to cover these costs. As their group grows, the booking price goes up. It’s not a great motivator.

That’s one reason we love virtual events. A virtual event can support the same number of attendees, or even more, at the same or lower price.

For example, when I was organizing WordPress meetups in Toronto, we’d pay around $150 to book a room for a few hours. That’s $1800 per year. Meanwhile, if we had a Zoom Pro license, it would’ve cost us only $240 for the year.

They’re more accessible for everyone.

Accessibility is another common issue with physical venues, especially free meeting space. Even if the main area is accessible, washrooms often aren’t. We’ve frequently run into this problem in Toronto, where older commercial spaces have their washrooms in the basement.

Physical access isn’t the only issue, though. Attending an in-person event can also be challenging for people with anxiety. And if the event includes presentations, a poor screen setup can be hard to see, while poor acoustics make it hard for people to hear.

Then there’s the trouble with transportation. How long does it take to reach the venue? What if it isn’t easily reachable via public transit?

Virtualization overcomes these challenges to make your community event more accessible and inclusive. Attendees don’t have to worry about the physical environment. They can participate at a level that’s comfortable to them. They have control over their own display and audio settings. And people can hold side conversations during the event without disturbing the rest of the group.

People can join from wherever they are.

Virtual events aren’t restricted to only those who can be present in person. Attendees can join from wherever they are. All they need is internet access. Depending on the platform you use, they could even dial in on their phone.

Letting people join from anywhere means you can bring in speakers from anywhere, too. You could reach out to people who haven’t presented to your group in the past and invite them to do it remotely for the first time.

New connections are one of the greatest upsides to a virtual event.

Sending an email, friending on Facebook, following on Twitter, or connecting on LinkedIn is all just a click away.

You get evergreen content.

It’s easier to pull evergreen content out of a virtual event than it out of an in-person event. The idea of recording or streaming a local in-person meetup is a lofty stretch goal for many organizers. But virtual event platforms are perfectly set up for it.

Video: Virtual event platforms are video platforms. Attendees join to watch and interact with other remote participants. The event recording can then be edited and/or uploaded for on-demand playback by those who weren’t able to join the event in real time.

Audio: The audio from a recording can also be extracted, e.g. to published as a podcast. It’s another way for people to discover and benefit from your virtual event.

Written: A written transcript of the event, along with a summary of takeaways or other notes, makes for a good companion blog post. This becomes the canonical “artifact” of the event, the one place a person can go to find everything.

Embed the event recording(s) along with relevant links, e.g. to download the presentation deck, in a companion blog post. You could then handle follow-up discussions in the post comments.

Planning your event.

Now that we’ve covered the upsides of hosting a virtual event, let’s get into the weeds on actually putting an event together. You’ll need to consider the following: The event platforms you’ll use; the technical setup; scheduling; finding presenters; and a persistent group backchannel for participants to chat between events.

Platforms for event and registration.

How will people find & register for your event?

Meetup.com is a popular option, but it’s not your only option. Eventbrite, Facebook Events and LinkedIn Events are other platforms that you can use to get in front of new people.

What features do you need for streaming & participation?

Crowdcast was built specifically for virtual events. It runs in the browser, no download required. Crowdcast handles all of the logistics around registration, reminder emails, tracking attendance, recording, etc. Only four participants can be on video at a time, and there’s no private messaging between attendees.

Zoom is the most popular standalone option at the time of writing this guide. Designed for meetings, it’s a stable platform with great audio/video quality; lots of connectivity options; breakout rooms; whiteboard support; and more. Zoom runs as a standalone app on desktop and mobile.

Restream is another option. It helps you set up a simultaneous stream to sites like YouTube Live, Facebook Live and Twitch. There’s a steeper learning curve here, and you’ll need to use a separate app like Streamlabs to manage your video output, but you’ll also have more creative freedom.

How will you get in touch with attendees before, during and after your event?

You can use the email functionality in the registration platform to email attendees. This is fine for one-off events, but for a group, you’ll need ongoing comms. Meetup.com handles this well because it’s designed for groups. You can do some of that with Eventbrite if you set up the events as a recurring series.

An even better option is to get a separate email list going for your group members. This keeps all of the formal email communication in a single tool. It’s especially helpful if you’re publishing your event to multiple registration platforms for maximum exposure.

Related: Beginners guide to starting an email list

Where will you save the event recordings?

You can upload raw recordings to a file sharing service like OneDrive or Google Drive.

+ We cover recording, editing, and publishing in a later section of this guide.

Will you have a dedicated website for the event?

We highly, highly recommend having a standalone website for your event. Preferably one built with WordPress.

Your event website is the central go-to hub for your event participants. It’s where they’ll find blog posts for every event session; registration forms and email signup forms; and your persistent backchannel, like a Facebook group, Slack team or Rocket.Chat instance. (Rocket.Chat is an open source alternative to Slack.)

Example scenarios:

  1. Event discovery & registration on Meetup; streamed on Zoom; recap published on the site; persistent backchannel on a Slack team.
  2. Event discovery & registration on Eventbrite; streamed on YouTube Live unlisted; recap published on the site; persistent backchannel in a Facebook group.
  3. Event discovery, registration, and streaming on Crowdcast; recap and persistent group on the site.

Video participant setup.

Video: All video participants need a webcam. A built-in laptop cam will work in a pinch, but the quality won’t be great. A dedicated camera, like the Logitech Pro Webcam or StreamCam, are a better choice.

Audio: As with video, a laptop’s built-in microphone will work, but you’ll have lackluster quality. A USB headset will give you much better audio. You could also use a combo of an external microphone and headphones. For example, the Blue Yeti mic is a popular entry-level USB microphone. You can plug a regular pair of headphones directly into the mic.

Physical environment: Every video participant should be mindful of their surroundings. Consider what’s in the background. Is there sensitive information? Photographs? Distracting clutter? Set up the physical environment so that it looks and sounds good on camera. Choose a space where there’s plenty of light and minimal background noise.


With the setup taken care of, we need to turn our attention to the schedule.

Activity calendar: This is a central document outlining all the upcoming events. We recommend using a spreadsheet with columns for:

  • The event topic
  • Dates and times
  • Names of the host/presenters
  • Links to the event registration page and companion post (more on that below)
  • The working document
  • Other notes and details

Every event will be a row within the spreadsheet.

We also recommend creating a working doc template for your events.

Duplicate the template for every new event and fill it in with details as the plan evolves for the event. Our working docs include:

  • Title of the event
  • Description of the event
  • Date
  • Agenda
  • Host’s name and bio
  • Speaker(s) name(s) and bio(s)
  • Registration URL
  • Event session URL or ID (where people will go to attend the session)
  • Companion post URL

Prep your events well in advance.

The details within each event’s working doc should be fleshed out as you get closer to the event date. We generally follow this structure:

  • 6 months out: Rough idea of the dates and times
  • 3 months out: Dates confirmed, tentative topics & format
  • 1 month out: Topic & format confirmed, tentative speaker & agenda
  • 1 week out: Everything’s finalized, grab a coffee

Finding your speakers/presenters.

Finding presenters is one of the hardest parts of putting together a virtual event, and it’s one of the reasons we recommend planning so far in advance.

You need to give your presenters plenty of lead time so they can comfortably commit and prepare for the session. The sooner they’re confirmed, the sooner you can build your agenda and promote the event.

To make your life a bit easier, you should publish a call for speakers on your group or event’s site. This is an evergreen page that covers the FAQs for potential speakers. It describes what you’re looking for and what speakers/presenters need to know. Update the page as your needs change. When potential speakers ask for more information, point them here.

Include a speaker application form on your call for speakers page. Only capture the information you need; you can ask for more details from your speakers after they’re confirmed.

We recommend asking for:

  • Speaker name
  • Email address
  • Website URL
  • Social media URLs
  • Short profile bio
  • Overview of the topics they’re interested in presenting about

After publishing your call for speakers, start reaching out through your personal networks. Do you know anyone who’d be a good fit as a presenter? Do you know anyone who might know anyone? Get in the habit of identifying and inviting potential speakers when you’re out and about. That way you can start building a backlog of potential speakers to call on when the need arises.

Beyond your personal network, put a call out to the community at large. Announce your call for speakers in a blog post. If you have priority topics coming up in your schedule, call those out so speaker applicants can adjust their pitch based on what you need.

Managing communications.

Announce your event a month-ish in advance.

Four weeks is enough lead time for people to prepare and lock it in on their calendars. Do it immediately after the previous event while interest is still high.

Publish the registration pages on whatever platforms you’re using. Even if details are tentative, people can still register. Update the pages as details are confirmed.

Announce the upcoming event through your website and social media channels. The announcement post will become your companion post after the event is over.

Promote your event.

Your event promotions should be a steady drumbeat. If you’re hosting a series of sessions, like a meetup group, even the recaps from previous events should build interest & drive registrations for upcoming sessions.

Get in touch with other groups whose members might be interested in your event. If you share a similar audience, offer to promote their events as well to your group.

Update your social media profiles. If your group has a Twitter profile, for example, post a tweet announcing the event with a link to the companion post on your site. Pin it to your profile so it’s the first thing people see.

Encourage members to share the event and let others know about it.

Don’t forget about the system emails.

Transactional/automated emails are usually handled by whatever platforms you use to handle event registration.

System emails typically go out in the days leading up to the event.

Customization options depend on the platform you’re using. For example, Crowdcast lets you customize the system email templates.

Write your own follow-up emails.

Send a follow-up email to your attendees immediately after the event. Thank them for joining and link to the companion post as the go-to page for finding the recap, recording, etc.

If you’d like to gather feedback about the event, consider including a survey link in the email.

The event recording and recap should be ready a week later. Send an email out to the entire group pointing them to the recap (companion) post, along with the announcement and link to the upcoming meetup.

Create your evergreen content.

We already mentioned evergreen content as an upside to going virtual with your event. In this section we’re going to look at each type of content in more detail.


Video is an obvious choice because it’s how everyone participates in the call.

Recording: Crowdcast, Zoom, and streaming sites all support some kind of recording. Crowdcast sessions are automatically archived to your profile after the session ends. Depending on your license, Zoom will either save the recording to the cloud or to your local machine. Archived streams need to be configured on a per-site basis.

Editing: While you can upload the raw recording, you may want to do some editing first. For example, if you took a break during the meeting, or if you have multiple recordings that you’d like to merge together. OpenShot is a free, open source and cross-platform video editor.

Publishing: When you’re ready to upload, you’ll need to choose a destination. YouTube is a good choice if you want to make your sessions easily findable via search. You can also set the video as “unlisted” so it’s not findable in search, but you can still share it and embed it elsewhere, e.g. in the session’s recap post.

Note: If you’re hosting a WordPress meetup, consider submitting your videos to WordPress.tv. It’s a central repository of WordPress event recordings from around the world.

Audio is a good fit for events that don’t need visuals.

For example, if your event was a presentation where the speaker covered all the main points and you didn’t need to see the slides. The audio recordings could be published as one-offs, or you could turn them into a podcast.

First, you’ll need to extract the audio. This is easy with Zoom because all recordings produce both a video file and audio file. For other formats you’ll need to extract the audio from the video recording.

A quick Google search brings up a variety of tools and methods for handling audio extraction. If you’ve uploaded your video to YouTube, there are additional tools and services for pulling audio from YouTube videos.

As with video, you can either use the raw audio as-is, or you can do some editing to clean it up. Audacity is a reliable and free open source audio editing app that works on both Mac and Windows.

If you’d like to publish your audio as a podcast, two free and easy options are Soundcloud and Anchor. You could create a Soundcloud profile specifically for your event or group and upload audio recordings of every session. It’s a straightforward solution. If you want more features, try using Anchor.

Related: How to podcast – a guide for beginners

Written content is a must-have for every virtual event.

Publish a companion post to go with every event session. Before the session takes place, the companion post serves as a preview of what to expect, encouraging people to register for and attend the event. After the session is over, the companion post contains the recap. Embed the video and audio recordings within the post, alongside the presentation deck, if there was one.

Want to include a full transcript within the companion post? Check out Descript, Trint and Temi. These services offer automated transcription. (Descript also supports video editing based on transcript edits, which is pretty cool.) Because it’s all automated, you’ll likely need to do some cleanup afterwards.

We prefer to share takeaways instead of full transcripts. Transcripts take a lot of time to produce, and we’ve found that most people aren’t interested in reading a full conversation word-for-word. To find the Listen for soundbites: punchy quotes, insights, statistics and actionable advice. Feel free to paraphrase and add context.

To help you focus, consider limiting the written recap to include a handful of the most important takeaways from the session. If people want more, they can watch or listen to the full recording.

Social media nuggets are small, shareable slices of your recap content.

They’re great for raising awareness of your event and reminding attendees of the experience:

  • Short clips from your recording as standalone social media posts.
  • Slides from the presentation deck as an image post.
  • Custom images with text overlays based on quotes and takeaways.
  • Even the plain text, without media, can be highlighted as callouts for sharing on Twitter.

Be creative! You’re sitting on a treasure pile of potentially great content coming out of every session. Think about all the ways you could repurpose what’s been created already to get even more mileage out of your event.

Prompt follow-up discussions to keep the conversations going.

You can prompt conversations in the companion post by asking a question or inviting feedback. You could also add a form as an option for people who don’t want to post publicly.

Running your event day-of.

We’ve covered everything before and after your virtual event. In this final section we’re going to cover a checklist of what to cover during the event itself.

Update the session’s working doc.

We mentioned the working doc already as an essential planning tool. Reference it throughout your session. The agenda and main talking points will help everyone stay on track and on time. As the event proceeds, you can update the document with follow-up questions and items to discuss after the session wraps.

Tech rehearsal.

Crowdcast includes a “green room” feature to let presenters set up before the event begins. For other platforms, jump into a video call before joining the session.

Are all devices plugged in and working properly? Is the physical environment ready to go? How’s the lighting? Check the audio and video feeds. Are all participants coming through clearly? How’s the lighting? How’s the background? Are levels good? Is there any static? Background noise from an open window?

Check the slides and prepare for screensharing, if applicable. Close any apps that might trigger notifications. Use a private/incognito browser window to avoid auto-filling inputs and suggested searches. Hide your bookmarks bar. Open your examples

Host duties.

The host is usually one or two people responsible for MC’ing the virtual event. The host welcomes attendees to the event and introduces the presenters. For a multi-session event, like a virtual conference, the host also serves as a familiar face who provides some continuity between the different sessions.

Depending on the format of the event, the host may stay on camera, participating in the session and engaging with the presenter. The host could also hand off to the presenter and take on a moderator role.

Moderator duties.

While the host is mostly concerned with what’s happening on video, the moderator is paying most of their attention to the attendees/audience. They’re monitoring the chat, keeping conversation going throughout the session.

If attendees are having issues, the moderator can help troubleshoot. If they have questions, the moderator can answer the questions or flag them for the host/presenter to answer. If people are joining via audio and making noise when they shouldn’t, the moderator should be quick to throw them on mute.

The role of the moderator is to silently keep everything running smoothly.

The moderator can also assist the host/presenter by sharing relevant links in the chat. For example, if the presenter mentions a resource or tool, the moderator can grab the links to share so the attendees can stay engaged with what’s happening in the session.

Video participant/presenter duties.

The presenter comes with information to share. That’s their focus. The flip to virtual can be challenging if they’re not used to it. They’re talking to a camera instead of a room full of people. It’s a lot harder to “read the room” when there’s no actual room.

The presenter needs to speak clearly into their mic. That means minimal background noises, slurping or sniffing or chewing or coughing.

They presenter to be engaged with the audience. There’s a bit of a performance factor here as well. Consider the difference between a droning, monotone voice reading slides and an emotive personality. Asking questions, mentioning people in chat

Recap & closing thoughts.

Virtual events are great. They can be more affordable, accessible and inclusive than in-person events. Attendees aren’t limited by a physical venue, and you can bring participants in from all over.

That doesn’t make them a replacement for in-person activities, though. There’s a sense of community & belonging that can only come through face-to-face shared experiences.

In prepping for a virtual event, you’ll avoid a lot of stress by planning well in advance. Look weeks and months ahead to give yourself plenty of time to prepare.

Template everything you can, creating a system that’s easy to follow with events that are easy to replicate. Document as you go, so you can bring other people into the process.

Remember: every event is an experiment. Keep learning, iterating and improving on what works. That’s how we’re running our own virtual meetups on Crowdcast.

Good luck – you’ve got this!


The post How to host virtual community events appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Add donation and payment tools on your site


This article was originally published on March 26, 2020, and was updated on April 1, 2020. 

In the wake of COVID-19, everyone is looking for ways to support their businesses and their communities.

If your business is a traditional brick-and-mortar setup, enabling online payments on your Websites + Marketing or WordPress site can be a viable option to keep business moving — and it’s social-distancing friendly.

It’s also a great way to accept donations, either for yourself or to support a group or person that needs help during the COVID-19 crisis.

Accept donations and payments on your website

Accepting payments online may be traditionally used for selling products. But here are some alternative ways to serve your customers and community.

    • Restaurants. Haven’t set up online ordering? Your customers can call in their order and make their payment using a PayPal button or payment plugin. Then they can pick up the order without exchanging money or credit cards to maintain social distancing.
    •  Local churches. Many churches are moving their services online to avoid large gatherings of people. Set up a PayPal button or donation plugin to accept donations on your website. You can set specific donation amounts, or leave it up to your community members.
    • Personal services. Offer a video demonstration or online class for something you would usually do in person. Then use a PayPal button or payment plugin as a way for your customers to pay, or set up an “online tip jar” where people can contribute if they liked your video.
    •  Grocery or food delivery. Pick up groceries or food for people who can’t get out. Add a PayPal button or payment plugin to your site to accept payments.
    •  School lunches. Raise money for kids whose schools are closed and no longer have access to meals.
    • Online tip jar. Give your customers a place to support you through donations and tips.


Just like the tip jar at your local coffee shop, a PayPal button or donation plugin can be a way for customers to say “thank you”.


The technical details

In Websites + Marketing, adding a PayPal button is a safe and secure way to transfer funds from your customers and site visitors to an account you specify. On your WordPress site, you can use different plugins to accept payments through your site. But, there are a few things to keep in mind before you get started.

Websites + Marketing plans

A PayPal button can be a quick and easy way for you to accept payments on your website.

  • You can have up to 15 PayPal buttons per site.The button is ideal for highlighting your highest priority product or services.
  • If you’re selling a product, you need to enter a specific price.
  • Donations can be set amounts that you designate, or you can leave the amount up to the donor.

WordPress plans

You’ll need to add a plugin to your site to enable a way to accept payments.

Some plugins require the free WooCommerce plugin. The top 5 payment extensions for WooCommerce are:

Related: 8 top donation plugins for WordPress websites

Take care of yourself and your community

We want to help our loved ones and those in our community – but we also need to take care of ourselves. The PayPal button or a payment plugin are great options for both small business owners and community members to help with payments and donations. Stay safe and watch out for those around you. We’re in this together!

You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.


The post Add donation and payment tools on your site appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

6 ways to use your website to build trust


With the rise of COVID-19, people around the world are on high alert. Not only are they worried about potential sources of infection, but they are concerned about price gouging, scams and other economic risks. This means that your target audience might be more wary than normal and need extra convincing that your brand is reputable, reliable and the best choice for their needs.

Fortunately, there are a few steps you can take to make your website look more trustworthy and win customers over. These small alterations are inexpensive but can have a big impact now and after this current climate of uncertainty is resolved.

How to use your website to build trust

Consider taking the following steps to use your website to build customer trust.

  1. Make sure your website is HTTPS secure.
  2. Introduce your team to your customers.
  3. Add testimonials and reviews.
  4. Add your social media accounts.
  5. Add alternative ways for your customers to contact you.
  6. Keep your website updated with current information.

These sensible steps will go a long way toward developing a relationship of trust. Let’s dive in and explore them in detail.

1. Make sure your website is HTTPS secure

Your customers will likely make a decision about your brand before your homepage even loads.

You’ve probably noticed when looking at the URL displayed at the top of a browser screen that some websites start with “HTTP” and some with “HTTPS.” The “S” stands for “Secure” — and it comes from securing your website with an SSL certificate. Sites with HTTPS have an additional layer of protection for any sensitive data that is exchanged.

Most people expect brands to have a Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) URL on their website.

The HTTPS URL helps to assure customers that it is safe to give out their personal and credit card information.


It encourages people to trust your brand, even if they aren’t providing sensitive information.

Related: SSL security — Why it matters and how to add HTTPS to your website

2. Introduce your team to your customers

A lot has changed across the web over the past few decades, but one hypothesis continues to hold true: human faces build trust and increase conversion rates.

When people see photos of your CEO, your employees and other company partners, they can put faces behind the corporate brand. A smiling face can lower defenses and make customers feel safer in their choices.

Use this time to add photos, even if they aren’t professional headshots, to your website to introduce your team. Avoid using stock photos as this can have the reverse effect.

Related: How to create an About page for your ecommerce website

3. Add testimonials and reviews

Testimonials and reviews also allow you to add a personal touch to your website.

Personal testimonials allow customers to explain your products and services to each other. These customers won’t use the branded buzzwords and industry jargon that you might add to your site copy.

Reviews and testimonials sound less like sales pitches and more like personal recommendations, which increase trust.

Consider including a variety of testimonials and reviews on your website. You can add text bubbles with customer quotes, or ask your customers to film short videos explaining why they love your products. This also adds a face to your website along with a review.

Related: How to ask for testimonials and reviews from your clients

4. Add your social media accounts

One of the best ways to show that your brand is active and operational is to keep your social media accounts updated. You can share news, post advice, and provide customer service through sites like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

To build trust on your website, add your social media accounts both as widgets and as feeds.


You can add a Twitter feed with your latest tweets at the bottom of your website or in the sidebar, depending on your website design. This shows people that your brand is active without asking them to click on your social channels and leave your website.

Related: Using social media to engage with customers in a crisis

5. Add alternative ways for your customers to contact you

Most ecommerce platforms and email marketing tools will require your brand to have at least one form of contact information listed, if not multiple forms, to use their services. This includes your email address, phone number and physical mailing address.

However, you may want to add multiple ways for people to reach you, especially if you offer multiple customer service channels.

Customers like to connect with brands in different ways. For example, 62% of customers say they prefer email customer service, while 48% want access to a phone number as well. If you don’t offer multiple ways for your audiences to reach you, potential customers may be less likely to reach out.

Related: How to make it easy for customers to contact you

6. Keep your website updated with current information

The business world is changing rapidly during the COVID-19 crisis. Most people don’t know what businesses are open and/or how they have changed their operations to address the crisis.

Keep your website updated with any changes as they arise. Even if there aren’t any changes to your business, create a post explaining how you are operating as usual.

This practice of keeping customers updated can turn into a good habit even when the virus passes. Monthly or quarterly updates can help people see that your business is active and available to help them.

Related: 5 ways to keep customers informed about changes to your business

Now is the perfect time to update your website

Many brands across the globe are trying to keep their companies up and running throughout this period of uncertainty.

You can help to build trust with customers and win them over with the right web design and content.

By putting faces to your names, adding testimonials, updating your contact information, and increasing security, you can make meaningful changes that inspire trust and drive sales. Take the time to make these updates on your website and see how they boost your brand.

The post 6 ways to use your website to build trust appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

You’ve registered a domain name. Now what?


This article was originally published on Oct. 20, 2014. It was updated on April 25, 2017, Dec. 7, 2018, Aug. 28, 2019 and April 2, 2020.

You racked your brain to come up with just the right name for your business online. Now you’ve registered a domain name — a name that perfectly represents who you are and what you’ve got to offer.

Maybe you nabbed a .com or went with a descriptive domain extension to name your online presence. So, what’s next?

Want to register another domain name? Here’s your chance.

If you’ve registered a domain name, you probably have some idea of what you want to achieve, but you might not know where to start. Follow along as I break down a few options that might make sense for you and your business.

I’ll bet more than one will fit the bill.

Related: 10 tips for choosing the perfect domain name

You’ve registered a domain name. Here are 4 ways to use it.

There’s more to domain names than websites — you can do so much more (though the website is pretty important).

  1. Use your domain for a custom email address.
  2. Create a website that’s attached to your domain.
  3. Get an online store that’s attached to your domain.
  4. Sell your domain name.

Let’s look more closely at each option.

1. Use your domain for a custom email address

Woman Checking Computer Showing Professional Email

You’re a professional, so why are you still using that personal Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN (you get the picture) email address you created 10 or even 20 years ago?

If the email you’re using to communicate with customers isn’t branding your business, then it’s time you kick that free email to the curb and set up a custom email using the domain you just purchased.

If you register a domain, you can set up a personalized email address such as YourName@yourdomain.com. That’s so much better than YourFirstandLastName_1975@gmail.com, right?

You can put that custom email address on your business cards, the side of your car, everywhere you promote your business.

With Professional Business Email from GoDaddy, not only will you get 24/7 customer support, but you’ll also get as many email aliases as you’d like (so you can have sales@yourdomain.com, support@yourdomain.com and anything else you can think up).

You’ll look more professional, credible, and with so many email address options, you can guarantee that emails are going to the right people.

Related: How to use a custom domain name for email

2. Create a website that’s attached to your domain

Chances are, you had a website in mind when you set out to secure a domain name. Your domain name is the heart of your website address. And everyone keeps telling you that you need a website for your business.

Your website is the center of gravity for your online presence.


A website gives you a branded, dedicated space to share your contact information, a rundown of your services, a snapshot of what your business is all about, a portfolio of your amazing work, customer reviews and links to your social media accounts.

And did I mention it’s perfect for businesses that want to expand their reach and attract NEW customers?

But understanding the benefits of having a website for your business and actually creating one are two very different things. I know, it might feel scary.

Related: How to design a website when you’re not a website designer

You basically have three options:

Hire a professional website designerWeb Designer Creating Site To Illustrate Using Registered Domain Name

This option will cost you more but require less of your time. In most cases, you’ll need to supply the content for your website — including text and images — but a designer can put it all together to give you a beautiful, highly functional website.

Editor’s note: The experts at GoDaddy’s Website Design Service can create a mobile-friendly, beautiful site that reflects your industry while following your lead and input.

Do it yourself with a content management system (CMS)

If you’ve got some skill, you can build a site using a popular CMS like WordPress.

WordPress is an awesome choice for many website owners because the platform allows for a great deal of customization and flexibility.


Want to build a WordPress site but don’t feel like handling all the technical stuff on your own? You might want to check out our easier way to get started with WordPress.

GoDaddy’s Managed WordPress Hosting features a Quick Start Wizard to get your new WordPress website up and running in a snap. Featuring eight pre-built customizable pages, easy drag-and-drop page building, and quick access to thousands of WordPress plugins, there’s virtually no limit to what you can create.

You’ll also get 24/7 support, core software updates and patches, free daily backups and one-click restore, a free domain with an annual plan and more.

Related: How to build a WordPress website for the first time

GoDaddy WordPress Themes]
GoDaddy’s WordPress Hosting offers themes for all types of businesses.

Do it yourself with a simple-to-use website builder

You don’t need any design experience to build a lovely site via the affordable DIY solutions available, including GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing. Choose your industry, customize it, and hit “publish.” Just like that, your website is live.

GoDaddy’s Websites + Marketing also has templates for a variety of industries. You can even give the templates a test run before you decide if GoDaddy’s website builder meets your needs.

 GoDaddy Websites + Marketing Theme Options
From GoDaddy’s Websites+Marketing solution has templates customized to fit your business.

Related: How to plan a website

3. Get an online store that’s attached to your domain

With a custom ecommerce site, you can sell your products, track your orders, collect payments, and manage your inventory all in one place.

You’re looking at basically the same options for creating an online store — hire a pro or do it yourself with an easy-to-use online store builder (like GoDaddy’s Online Store) or an ecommerce plugin for WordPress and the like. We like WooCommerce.

Since GoDaddy’s Online Store is built into the Websites + Marketing structure, you can build your store quickly and start receiving payments immediately. You’ll have easy access to appointment setting, inventory management and more, all while staying mobile-friendly.

GoDaddy Online Store ExampleBut, what if you’ve registered a domain name that’s perfect and invested the effort into launching an online store — and no one ever finds you?

An ecommerce solution like GoDaddy Online Store can help. How? It includes a built-in SEO wizard, smooth integration with Google My Business, and marketplace selling features that enable you to easily sell products on marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart and Etsy and manage your orders and inventory all from one place.


Related: How to start an online store in 3 steps

4. Sell your domain name

Stuff happens. Maybe inspiration struck at 3 a.m., when an amazing new domain name woke you from a dead sleep. And that other domain you already registered? It can still help you out.

Someone, somewhere, might be willing to pay for that domain name.


You can get it in front of interested buyers via domain aftermarket sites that only take a small percentage of the sale.

One such aftermarket option is GoDaddy Auctions.

For an annual fee and a percentage of the sale, you can list your domain name for auction or set a “buy now” price and GoDaddy will handle all the details.

Related: 5 tried-and-true tips for selling domain names for profit

Put that domain name to work!

Your domain name is no use just sitting in your account collecting dust — so take it out for a spin and see what wonders it can do!

You’ll be amazed.

Ready? Go forth and put your domain name to work for your business!

The post You’ve registered a domain name. Now what? appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Reach out to customers through email during COVID-19


As a business owner, you know exactly how essential strong customer relationships are. They’re what turn visitors into regulars, single classes into memberships, and appointments into referrals.

In the face of COVID-19, you might be feeling isolated from your customers, unsure of how to maintain vital connections. But social distancing doesn’t have to mean a loss of communication.

Rather than relying on in-person contact, now’s the time to reach out to customers through email.

Related: 5 best practices for using email to communicate with customers during the COVID-19 crisis

Some important tips to remember:

  • Less is more when sending COVID-19 emails.
  • Be respectful about who’s on your mailing list.
  • Make your point in the subject line.
  • Communicate quickly and clearly.
  • Understand your customers’ needs.

The following advice, while always true, is especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic. Always communicate with others the same way you’d like to be treated.

Respect who you message

COVID-19 emails are filling inboxes, and they’re not all necessary or useful.

Don’t add to the noise.


If you don’t have any important updates, or if you’ve already communicated with your customers, consider whether another email is going to help. If it’s just going to add to the clutter, hold off on sending.

And if someone hasn’t made a purchase or contacted you within the past year, leave them off your mailing list. Even if you have something useful to offer, your recipients still need to consent before you email them.

A good practice is to only email subscribers and recent customers. After all, you want your important message to reach those who’ve asked to hear from you, and who might find what you have to say useful.

As always, make sure your recipients have the option to unsubscribe.

Stay on topic

Your subject line is the first thing recipients see. Make it short and related to your message.

This helps your recipients know why they should want to open your message in the first place, and what to expect once they do.

Also keep in mind that people often check their email on mobile devices, and long subject lines (around 10 words or so) are cut off by small screens. Avoid using all caps or extra punctuation as well, since they can trigger spam filters.

When designing your email, communicate quickly and clearly. Keep your message short and to the point.

No one wants to read a novel-length message, so in as few words as possible, let your recipients know if you’re still open, and if you are, the measures you’re taking to keep customers and employees safe.

Include how they can continue to support your business like through your online store, virtual classes, delivery, takeout, or curbside pickup. As restrictions change, concisely update customers on ways you’re doing your best to ensure everyone’s safety.

Email Showing Open For Curbside And Delivery Orders And Flowers
GoDaddy Email Marketing provides tools to help you retain customers while social distancing.

Anticipate your customers’ needs

Be mindful of your customers and their needs. As this pandemic impacts everyone, understand that your customers are likely struggling too. They might not be able to purchase products or services from you right now, but your business can still provide value.

Be the expert – how is your industry reacting to recent events, and can your business help the community?

Explain what your customers can do with the experiences or products you’ve already provided.  Your email newsletter is an opportunity to build a community with your customers to help meet their needs.

Steps you can take today

Get ready for email communication. If you have GoDaddy Websites + Marketing:

For WordPress sites, add an email subscriptions plugin, such as the GoDaddy Email Marketing Signup Forms plugin, to update customers about any changes.

You can also use your social media presence as a way to increase subscribers, like including sign-ups on Instagram.

As your business adapts to COVID-19 restrictions, be available to your customers.

There might be longer shipping times, or maybe you need to refund an in-person event. Try to respond to any customer messages as soon as possible, and empathize with their concerns.

In these difficult times, continue to foster the relationships you’ve built with your customers. Even when you can’t physically be together, email shows you’re still with them and are ready to help.

You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.


The post Reach out to customers through email during COVID-19 appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

U.S. state and local resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19


This post was originally published on March 27, 2020, and was updated on April 2, 2020.

As we all deal with COVID-19, state and local governments in the U.S. recognize the impact on small business and how important small businesses are to communities. Many governments and agencies have put together web pages to provide small businesses with easy access to information on resources and assistance that’s available. Some include links to assistance applications and hotlines.

These are the best sites I’ve found, so far. I’ll continue to monitor and update this list with new resources. But even with my best efforts, this list will not be exhaustive. If possible, find and contact your local government officials and agencies directly. Their job is to help in times like these.

Business owners can be known for being fiercely independent. Accepting help can sometimes be difficult. My advice, use all the resources available to you right now. Help yourself so that you can help others later.

Disclaimer: These programs are offered by individual governments and not GoDaddy. Please see the linked pages for applicable terms, restrictions and instructions governing all programs. 





























New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota





Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota







West Virginia



You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.


The post U.S. state and local resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Set up online appointments and use video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings


As we’re increasingly encouraged to practice social distancing, and more cities and states around the country mandate that only essential businesses remain open, it’s necessary for businesses to find new ways to interact with and serve their clients.

By replacing in-person consultations with a video chat, teachers, personal trainers, and yoga instructors can deliver a training class or one-on-one lessons with built-in screen-sharing features.

With a little creativity, online appointments and video conferencing can help a wide variety of service-based businesses connect with clients.

Set up online appointments

But before you can serve your clients online, you first need to iron out how they’ll book your time and services.

GoDaddy Websites + Marketing

If you built your business website using Websites + Marketing, you can quickly and easily adapt your website to book appointments, meetings, events, classes and training sessions online.

  1. Go to your Websites + Marketing dashboard, and look at the main navigation bar across the top.
  2. From the Appointments drop-down menu, select Services.
  3. Choose how your clients can book services: availability-based appointments, one-time events, and repeating events.

Website Builder Appointments

As you continue setting up appointments and events, customize it to meet your needs:

  • Price
  • Duration
  • Method of payment
  • Max capacity
  • Description
  • Location (Most businesses may need to choose “Online/Virtual,” for now.)
  • Name of the employee that will facilitate the session


If you built your website with WordPress, there is a strong chance WooCommerce is the plugin powering your online store. If so, WooCommerce can be bolstered with the premium Bookings extension, so clients can book appointments, rentals and reservations directly through your website. Bookings Availability is another premium extension that displays those appointments and rentals on a calendar for you.

If you grab this extension, then WooCommerce has some documentation to help you get started.

If you’re not already using WooCommerce, but want to expand your WordPress website to include an online store, then good news, because it can be installed on any of our hosting plans that support WordPress. In fact, this is largely true, regardless of which company hosts your WordPress website.

Connect to clients with video conferencing

Once you’ve ironed out how clients can book appointments, it’s time to connect online. If you need ideas on how to interact with your clients online, no worries, see the tips below.

Meet online with small- to medium-sized groups

How can you continue serving your clients while maintaining a safe distance? One way is to take advantage of the many video conferencing solutions out there. Zoom and Google’s Hangouts Meet are a couple of popular tools. Both work well for anything ranging from one-on-one sessions to meetings and training with dozens of people conferencing at once.

Zoom’s features make it easy-to-use for both you and your clients:

  • Schedule meetings in advance or on-demand
  • Screen-sharing
  • Use on computers and mobile devices
  • Send clients a direct link to your sessions
  • Or give them a Meeting ID instead
  • Gallery View so you can see everyone in the meeting
  • Clients don’t need their own Zoom account
  • Free and paid options

Check out Zoom’s collection of resources to help users through the COVID-19 situation.

Google’s Hangouts Meet has many of the same features as Zoom, but there are a few differences:

  • Doesn’t require an app to use to on a computer
  • Integrates with other Google G Suite apps

Like Zoom, Google also made some changes to their G Suite products, including Hangouts Meet to help schools and businesses stay connected during this uncertain time.

Related: How to set up a virtual conference website with WordPress

Broadcast live to larger groups

Broadcast services like Facebook Live and YouTube Live let you connect with larger groups of your followers or subscribers.

Facebook Live works best for businesses that have a Facebook group and some followers. You can even broadcast from your mobile device. When you decide to broadcast to your social followers, it’s best to give them advance notice and stay live for a longer period of time to give viewers an opportunity to join.

Broadcasting on YouTube Live works a little differently, and you don’t necessarily need followers to make the most of the service, because anyone can tune into your live stream.

Though if your business has a YouTube profile, and already has 1000 YouTube subscribers or more, then you can broadcast from a mobile device with this service as well.


With so many people distancing themselves for an unknown amount of time, they’ll search for ways to interact, socialize, and try to maintain their daily routines from within their homes.

By enabling people to book appointments, services, and events online, and use video conferencing to interact with them, you may be able to help them do just that. And hopefully, help your own business in the process.

You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Above all, have faith in yourself. We have faith in you.


The post Set up online appointments and use video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Government assistance resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19



OpenWeStand Hashtag

Continue the conversation in GoDaddy’s #OpenWeStand community forum.

Connect with other small business entrepreneurs to share creative solutions, exchange ideas, gather feedback, build relationships and troubleshoot technical issues.

This post was originally published on March 19, 2020, and was updated on March 27, 2020 and April 2, 2020.

Governments everywhere are launching programs to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This list contains government resources and information that you may find useful as you navigate the weeks and months ahead.

This is meant as a starting place. We’ll continue to monitor and update this list with new resources so you can find assistance that’s available. But even with our best efforts this list will not be exhaustive. If possible, find and contact your local government officials and agencies.

Disclaimer: These programs are offered by individual governments and not GoDaddy. Please see the linked pages for applicable terms, restrictions and instructions governing all programs. 

Government assistance resources by region




United States










  • Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland   – Guarantee a loan if you’re a small business with little collateral to borrow money.
  • Belastingdienst   – Help to get through these difficult times include tax payment deferrals, temporary reduction of interest, and more
  • Rijksoverheid   – Temporary provisions are available for 3 months, including income support, deferred loan payments, lower interest rates, and more.



  • Tax relief for businesses   – Businesses may be entitled to defer payment of taxes or pay them in installments for an interest-free period of six months.


  • Verksamt.se  – Read about the temporary changes in laws and regulations for entrepreneurs.
  • Finansdepartementet  – See details about the crisis packages for Swedish companies and employee jobs.

United Kingdom



New Zealand

  • COVID-19: Information for business  – Get details on the government economic response package. It includes a wage-subsidy scheme, leave and self-isolation support, business cash flow and tax measures, and a wider $12.1 billion package.



Hong Kong

  • Hong Kong Relief Burden  – Find out about relief options, such as a concessionary low-interest loan with a 100% government guarantee for enterprises, and more.


  • 経済産業省  – Learn about the latest trade and industry support measures designed to help businesses.


  • Stabilization and support packages   – Learn about different packages, including an 8% wage rebate, government co-funded wage increases for Singaporean employees, a 25% rebate of tax payable, a 15% property tax rebate for qualifying commercial properties, and more.

South Korea

The post Government assistance resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19 appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.