I’m free to do what I want, but I can’t be bothered

Everyone likes something for free. At least, we do when it’s truly free.

But how often is there a catch?

If the ‘free’ thing requires some effort on your part, do you not bother because it’s not worth the effort? What’s more, if the thing is being given away for free, what does that say about its value?

Does ‘free’ have more value if it’s something you want or need?

It’s an interesting thought isn’t it? Say I’ve skipped breakfast and a promotional company is giving out fruit on my way into the office. Does the fruit have more value to me because I now don’t have to pay for a breakfast (plus I’m hungry and want something to eat) or less value because it’s being offered for free?

Are we like that with our time? Especially our free time. How valuable is it to you?

Are you inclined to book a hairdresser’s appointment when it suits you or when the hairdresser can fit you in?

If it’s when your hairdresser can fit you in, then maybe you value the hairdresser’s time more than your own.

It’s the same for a plumber, dog groomer, favourite restaurant that’s always busy… you make do with when they can fit you in. That’s just the way it is. Right?

No, it’s not right and it’s been wrong for far too long!

Let me give you and your hairdresser/plumber/physiotherapist/dog walker/etc another option and I’ll show you how it can help you all.

First task: think of the local businesses that you use regularly where you have to book an appointment. You probably have at least five that come to mind immediately, so stop at five or choose the ones you use the most.

Second task: tell them to download the me:now app. Actually tell them, either the next time you are walking past or the next appointment you book. It’s going to help them and it’s going to help you. This is why:

  • They register their business
  • They can now advertise when they have slots available – the actual day and time
  • When they do this you get to know about it. No more being added to a list – just a notification on your phone (which you can turn on/off)
  • You call them to take that appointment (if it suits you)

You see how this works? They say when they’re free and you get notified. That’s it.



Here are real-world examples:


A local restaurant near me only has 10-12 tables and it does amazing food. So you can imagine it’s always busy. They posted a tweet on Saturday evening that they had a couple of cancellations thanks to the bad weather. Due to the speed at which Twitter moves this tweet only received seven likes and nine retweets. They didn’t fill the tables.

With the me:now app those cancellations would have reached all their customers who wanted to be notified – directly on their mobile phones. The business could also have posted on to Twitter and Facebook from the app so their followers could recommend them to their networks of friends and followers.

Dog groomer

It’s been snowing a lot this week, and because of all the salt and dirt on the roads, our family dogs are filthy (one of them stinks). But the dog groomer we use is busy and I now need to have a back-and-forth conversation to find out when she can fit both dogs in. This usually means she’ll have to drop them back to me because the time isn’t mutually convenient.

When our groomer starts using the me:now app, I’ll see when she can fit both dogs in, and as I’m picking the day that is most convenient for me, I’ll be able to pick them up. The groomer isn’t losing money because she’s transporting my dogs and I’m in control of which day they get groomed.


My wife uses the same hairdresser all the time and has to book about six weeks in advance (I have no hair so don’t suffer the same problem). However, her favourite stylist will have cancellations (due to sickness, work priorities, etc) that are either going unfilled (losing the business money) or someone has to be paid to contact a waiting list of customers to see if they’re free.

me:now alerts all the customers following the stylist on the app that she has had a cancellation. The salon doesn’t need to manage a waiting list anymore, the customer chooses the appointment they want and the stylist is kept busy. Everyone’s happy.

Three examples with one thing in common: it’s the same app

Not one app for your hair, another for your gardener, and your physiotherapist, and a different one for your dentist.

Just one app for all of them.

Want to know the best bit?

It’s free for you and it’s free for all those favourite businesses you thought of earlier.

If they register before 30 April 2018  they’ll get the premium tier free for a year. So give them a quick nudge.

What’s the catch for you the customer? You have to download the app for iPhone or Android and tell your favourites that you want to know when they’re available.

It’s time to do things differently and think about whose time you value more.

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