Launched in May 2009, the website Find4me offers consumers last-minute fitness, massage, beauty and natural therapy appointments throughout Australia.
Business owners post their vacant appointments on Find4me to make them available for sale, from seven days in advance, up to four hours prior to the appointment start time. If the appointment is subsequently booked through another channel, suppliers remove the appointment to eliminate the risk of double booking. Suppliers are charged on a fee-per-booking basis and incur no cost if the appointment is not sold.
Customers purchase the appointment online up to seven days in advance and secure their booking via a 10 percent deposit. All bookings are confirmed with the business owner through an email notification and SMS to support real-time appointment management. The customer provides the balance of payment directly to the supplier at the time of the service.
A range of modalities is represented on the website, from massage, fitness and personal training, to yoga, Pilates, beauty therapy, day spas and retreats.
Find4me was founded by owner and director, Kareene Koh. After nearly ten years working in a high pressure corporate environment, Kareene decided to combine her passion for health and wellbeing with her business know-how to create a last-minute solution for the industry to sell discounted appointments.
“It seemed like the logical thing to do. I knew it would have its challenges but my gut feeling was that the idea would work,” Kareene said. “The concept of Find4me appealed to me because I understand how hard it can be for busy people to make time for themselves and often their personal needs fall to the bottom of the list. These types of services can have such a positive effect on every aspect of your life.
“With the growing worry about the economy and jobs, it is even more important to take care of our personal health and wellbeing, whilst recognising that these services need to be cost effective. It is also important that we support the over 8,000 small businesses that need customers in order to survive,” she said.
Koh cited a recent report by website Flying Solo on “Understanding Micro Business, 2008” which found that, “44 percent of business respondents felt that the biggest challenge was finding new customers, while a significant 38 percent also struggled with not enough hours in the day”.
Koh said that Find4me is designed to address these two issues for business owners by finding new customers in a time- and cost-effective manner, whilst still allowing business owners to retain complete control over the timing, price and number of appointments posted.
“Building a successful practice often requires getting people in the door for the first time and impressing them from there. Find4me provides a simple solution to improve business profitability both now and for the future.”
According to Koh, customers love the convenience of the website and service providers see it as a cashflow-friendly way to grow their business.
“Overall, the response has been fantastic! We are signing up new service providers every day because they see the potential Find4me has for their business,” she said.