Evergreen: Online appointment software to keep your schedule blooming year-round

What is the name of your business and URL?

The company name is Cycle7 http://www.cycle7.com, and it’s first product is called Evergreen http://www.evergreenhq.com

A brief synopsis of the website / application?

Evergreen: Online appointment software to keep your schedule blooming year-roundEvergreen is online appointment scheduling software for service providers such as massage therapists, spas, salons, independent music teachers, tutors, life coaches, and more.

The service provider(s) enter their staff member(s), services they provide, hours, and other relevant information. Their customers are then able to schedule appointments online at their convenience. This is done either through the website that is created for their Evergreen account, or through a widget that can be embedded into their own website or Facebook page, or anywhere they want. Evergreen also provides various ‘book now’ buttons that can similarly be placed in webpages, Craigslist ads, emails, and more, to drive traffic to your online scheduling page.

Another great thing is that once a client books an appointment online, they are automatically entered into your customer database as well as your calendar. Evergreen is basically automating many of the time-consuming and mundane administrative tasks that service providers are required to perform each day to run their business.

Additionally, Evergreen can send automated appointment reminders to customers by SMS/text message and/or email. Many businesses spend hours each week reminding their customers of their appointments, but Evergreen handles that for you. Just set up your preferences and put it out of your mind.

Online appointment scheduling is convenient for the business members as well as clients, is less time-consuming for both and greatly reduces no-shows.

Why did you start this company?

I spent 11 years working at Adobe and loved it, but I always knew I wanted to start my own business. As a computer programmer, I have always had side projects going on for fun. My sister-in-law teaches music lessons and kept mentioning how tough scheduling students could be, and how disruptive it was when a student didn’t show up, or canceled moments before they were supposed to arrive. I knew this was a problem I wanted to solve. So I started working on the idea, and I eventually launched Cycle7 and Evergreen.

Was your company started on a shoestring budget or funded?

Cycle7 has been completely self-funded on a shoestring budget. It’s actually been very low cost financially, but it’s a taken a lot of thought, time and commitment.

Who is your competition, and what do you do better?
There is actually a bit of competition in this area approaching the problem from different angles for different markets. And it works, because different businesses have different needs. But in my opinion very few products out there solve the problem well. There are so many things that go into making a good product and offering a good service. Some people want a ton of features, others want only what they need and will use but have to have great support. Or vice versa. So, I try not to pay too much attention to my competition, and I focus my attention on my clients instead.

My goal here is really to help these small businesses succeed and be great. I’m doing the best I can to have a great product, listen to what my clients need and provide it for them. I’m here to listen and find ways to make their jobs easier. I try to be as honest and upfront as I can be and let them guide this product.

Why would a small business, entrepreneur, freelancer, etc use your product?

Evergreen can be used by any types of service providers that want to save time, simplify their scheduling process, reduce scheduling hassles and no-shows, make scheduling easier on their clients, and automatically remind their customers about their appointments.

How could you effectively use these tools?

To get the most out of Evergreen, use the tools it provides wherever you can. For example, you could embed one of the ‘book now’ buttons into your email signature so it’s there in every email you send out. You could also put it in Craigslist ads, if you post those. And you can embed the appointment scheduling widget into your Facebook page, your own website, and anywhere else you wish. You can see that if you start down this path, you can quickly reach customers in a great number of places on the web, greatly increasing your visibility and making it very easy for clients to schedule appointment with your business. It really is a great marketing tool this way.

A short bio of your company:

I founded Cycle7 in 2011, in Portland, Oregon. Bootstrapped, and agile. As a small business advocate, my goal with Cycle7 is to really help them grow and be great, and I’m always looking for new ways to do that.

Do you offer free online or offline tools?

There is Evergreen account and various ways you can get Evergreen for free. See the pricing page http://www.evergreenhq.com/pricing/

I also send out a weekly e-newsletter about marketing your business. I offer ways to market and promote your business for those on a budget, thought they are generally things that should be done even if you have a big budget! You can sign up on the Evergreen Facebook page at

http://www.facebook.com/EvergreenAppointmentSchedulingSoftware

Are there different pricing levels?

Yes, there is a 30-day free trial for all accounts, and several ongoing plans ranging from free to $75/month. There are also additional ways that you can get Evergreen for free as listed on the pricing page: http://www.evergreenhq.com/pricing/

Do you have a blog that keeps users updated?

http://www.evergreenhq.com/blog/

Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or ?

http://www.facebook.com/EvergreenAppointmentSchedulingSoftware

http://twitter.com/macmartine

http://twitter.com/evergreenhq

http://www.linkedin.com/company/2449422

How long have you been in business?

Since July 2011.

Number of current users? Estimated yearly growth?

Evergreen just officially launched to the public a few weeks ago and we are at about 40+ sign ups. I’d love to hit a couple hundred by the end of the year.

How do you see your company in the next 2-5 years ?

I have a couple other ideas I’d really like to see happen, but I’m just taking it one day at a time right now.

How many employees do you currently have working with you and/or freelance contractors?

Currently it’s just me and a couple of really great advisors. I occasionally hire out for design work.

Are you looking to hire more people or contractors? If so, what positions and skills are you looking for?

My first hire will be one of my advisors, if I’m lucky! He is great with product design, user research, and support.

What other web based products would you recommend to entrepreneurs, business owners, or freelancers?

­

I probably use Evernote more than anything to keep all my ideas and thoughts straight. I’ve also been using HootSuite quite a bit to manage my social media accounts.

Any Patents Pending?

No patents pending.

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