In a Business Where Time is Money

I’m sharing this with you because it’s been such a problem for me.  You’d think that if people make appointments, set the time at their convenience and ask you to set your time aside – that they’d show up. When someone doesn’t call, we not only don’t get our work done, we lose money.  For me, it’s usually not the end of the world because I can keep working while I wait.  It’s irritating when we give up something important to be there and the time ends up wasted.

Don’t let it ruin your day.  Take advantage of the time and get some things done that wouldn’t have gotten done otherwise. This is your chance to get ahead.

So, how do we get others to honor our time?  I don’t know if that’s possible, but we can set some boundaries.


Cathy Sykora

Cathy Sykora

Founder, The Health Coach Group

Cathy helps health coaches build and maintain successful businesses that improve the lives of others.

Tips to Avoid Being Stood Up

1. One thing I’ve done is not allowed appointments past seven days.  The further away the appointment is made, the less likely it is to be kept.

2.  Confirm dates.  That’s one thing that doesn’t make sense when you send reminders, why aren’t the appointments canceled then?  The best thing you can do is to send reminders and hope they honor them.  I’m going to go back and bold out “IF YOU CAN’T MAKE THE CALL, PLEASE HAVE THE COURTESY TO CANCEL IN ADVANCE.”

3.  If you are going to them, consider collecting the fee up front.  Charge for the call and apply it to their purchase.

4.  Require a form be filled out.  Let them give you some information to save time on the call and get them thinking about the value of the appointment.

5.  Don’t book meetings for Friday afternoon or Monday mornings.  Those are the times most likely to be stood up.

6.  If you want to make another appointment with this person, send them the original email they responded to, to remind them why they made the first commitment and give them a 24-hour window to meet.

7.  Consider that you may not want to work with someone who doesn’t value your time or live up to their commitments.  Do you really want to go through this again and again?  If I’m hiring someone or meeting a vendor, or meeting someone, I’ll be required to meet with repeatedly.  I consider the missed appointment a sign of things to come and consider myself lucky.

8.  Use an online scheduler. If not repeat and write down their times.  Ask them to get their calendars and write it down.

If they apologize, accept the apology.  Sometimes things happen that can’t be prevented.  Once.

“A man who dares to waste an hour of time has not discovered the value of life.” Charles Darwin


What do you do to deal with missed appointments?


  1. Jennifer Quisenberry

    I have some doctors who are really good about this and others who are not. Luckily, I’m well organized! I have one doctor who sends a form you must fill out, but he sends it on Friday at the end of the business day, and the form expires in 24 hours. I need to pass this on surreptitiously to his staff…. not so subtle hint, right? 🙂

    • Cathy Sykora

      Yes, I’d never get that Friday night form filled out. A lot of doctors have the text reminders. I started using those, but am not so sure because a lot of people text back.

  2. Angela Brooks

    Good points – and yes Monday and Friday are not good business days – one is a dread day and the other is ready for the week to be over

  3. Geniece Brown

    Hi Cathy,

    I’m careful to honor the time of others so I feel I reflect that and haven’t had too many times where I’ve been stood up at an appointment. Usually I’m contacted in advance and we do a reschedule. I always avoid scheduling Monday appointments and will do appointments on a Friday as long as they’re not too late.

    • Cathy Sykora

      That is good. I wish everyone did. Everytime I think I honor other people’s time, I mess up and feel awful and humbled.


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