The biggest challenge we’re tackling today is how to keep our clients’ schedules full,” says Roger Sholanki, founder and CEO of spa and wellness software brand, Book4Time.
“The aim of spa and wellness businesses is to achieve 100 per cent utilisation, but on average, we’ve established that spas are 40-50 per cent under-utilised across the industry.
“Our goal is to figure out innovative ways to keep the books full at the highest profit margin and we’re in the process of launching a new solution to address this problem,” he confides.
As the creator of the first ever cloud-based spa software, Book4Time has a reputation for being fast to respond to the changing needs of the industry, as Sholanki explains: “We’ve pivoted the company four times and launched a stream of new releases of our product – as well as bringing new products to market and uncovering gaps in the market that weren’t being met.
“Book4Time is committed to the wellness technology industry. We’ll continue innovating and bring new solutions to market that help advance the global wellness cause,” he says.
“Our aim, as innovators, has always been to find solutions for our clients and today, we’re working on a unique new product offering that’s currently under wraps, but which will connect spas and wellness businesses with a leading marketplace – more news to come on this soon.”
Launching in 2004
“As we celebrate 15 years of Book4Time and look back at the journey we’ve been on, we could never have imagined when we started out that we would have been on such a journey,” reflects Sholanki.
“Our initial purpose was to build a simple software booking system and sell it to anybody anywhere who wanted to book an appointment,” he explains.
“In the early days we had clients such as car services and veterinary clinics – a mix of businesses – and that’s when we created the name Book4Time.
“Then an opportunity came up to work with a day spa chain which had four locations. They were trying to grow the business and wanted to have a centralised call centre to book their appointments, which wasn’t possible with the on-premise software they were using.
“I investigated, but couldn’t find anyone with a cloud-based solution for the spa and wellness market and it inspired me to solve that problem,” he says.
“The early vendors of spa and wellness software had been focusing on independent business owners, so we developed our vision to become the standard for more complex businesses and enterprise hotel and resort chains,” he continues.
“We saw immediate interest from hotel and resort spas and quickly realised how unique and different their processes and requirements were. We decided to pivot the company and focus on the wellness and spa industry, within the hotel and resort market and large day spa market.”
As the market has grown, so has Book4Time, with no end in sight for what’s possible, as Sholanki explains: “According to the Global Wellness Institute, the global wellness economy is at US$4.2 trillion and we’re finding there are lots of new trends emerging and those, in turn, are creating new business challenges and opportunities for us to work on that still haven’t been solved.
“The outlook for wellness is very positive,” he says, “with lots of room for new and innovative services and products that have yet to come to fruition.
“We’re already seeing AI playing an important role across many industries and I believe it will make a huge impact on the wellness market over the next decade,” he says.
“Wellness is also reaching almost all industries in some way or other, to help improve lifestyle choices and overall physical and mental wellbeing.”
“The businesses that benefit most from our solutions are typically hotel and resort chains, multi-location day spas, as well as beauty and fitness chains that require enterprise-level capabilities, such as centralised client profiles and reporting,” says Sholanki.
Book4Time’s strong client list reads like a who’s who of the spa and hospitality industry, with locations from Shangri-La and Fairmont using the system and properties such as Four Seasons Toronto, Hyatt Zilara Cancun, and St Regis Saadiyat Island on board.
Software features include online booking for single and group reservations, central reservations across multiple visits, booking for activities and classes and a native app for iOS and Android.
Book4Time also offers an API which enables operators to build their own branded online booking experiences or mobile apps.
So how does Sholanki stay on top of such a fast moving business? “I have a daily exercise regimen that I cannot go without,” he says, “regardless of how busy I am – It keeps me focused on the bigger picture.
“I also learned some valuable lessons in my last business that I still use today. It comes down to making sure your team is aligned and that they understand the ‘Why?’ behind your passion. It’s also critical to keep focused on your vision and purpose.”