You knew in your bones you could make it on your own as a consultant or subcontractor. You were tired of using your skills as someone else’s employee, so you decided to start your own business.
Now you have mixed feelings. You’re relieved, because now you are your own boss. But perhaps you are also overwhelmed. You might have scared yourself, thinking: How do I get started? How am I going to do this? Help!
Is this you? Well, you’re lucky! Until just a few years ago, small business owners had to get it all done using Microsoft Office and QuickBooks. Now, because of the cloud, all kinds of apps exist to help you manage your business. Some of these apps are available for free, others for a low cost.
I believe small business owners should use apps that talk to each other. Having one centralized database where you can see all the details of your interactions with your clients is a great way to manage your business. Helping small business owners achieve this is why I became a small business CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) coach!
© Can Stock Photo / stevanovicigor
Build a list
Keep in mind: small business is community based. That being said, it is essential that you start tracking the people you meet at each stage of the relationship building process from day one.
Start by building a list of the people you meet while you are out there networking and talking about your business. How do you do that? You might as well start off on the right foot, by using CRM – Customer Relationship Management.
Insightly CRM is a great option for consultants. Why? Because Insightly allows you to manage your contacts, create a sales pipeline to track your potential clients, and track your projects and tasks. And you can get started for free. Can’t beat that.
Businesses, whether large or small, often struggle with processes and operations – especially in their implementation. As businesses grow, so do daily functions, and many struggle to keep things running smoothly while still continuing to grow. While this may sound challenging initially, we have learned just how beneficial automation is for long-term and short-term success.
A perfect example of this our ongoing work with a skin care clinic to automate their business, and help them sustain their growth. Prior to our services being engaged in March 2016, this clinic had a few systems in place.
However, none of them were integrated and that made it hard for them to keep up with their rising growth. They continued to receive order notifications at an unprecedented amount… but all of their order notifications went straight to their email inbox. While an inbox is great for email, it is not really an efficient system for tracking order fulfillment.
You’re probably reading a lot about how the cloud and software automation continue to make businesses run more efficiently. What you maybe didn’t know is that there are a lot of cloud systems that provide automation for small businesses. These two together add a lot of value to small business owners who use customer relationship management (CRM) platforms.
CRMs have become some of the most useful tools for customer communication, data organization, and automation services.
One CRM like this is the affordable and powerful Insightly, a program we’ve integrated into numerous businesses. We want to tell you a story about how Insightly helped a travel agency in Colorado, Chalets USA, that targets European tourists coming to the U.S. during ski season. This story should give you insight into how automation and the cloud integrate to aid many tasks otherwise taking hours to do.
© Can Stock Photo / swisshippo
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Subbotina
Our Valentine’s day gift for you is a cloud software match making tip.
At Mocko Consulting we match our CRM with an Email Marketing solution.
How does this integration help us? It saves us time. When we add a new contact to our CRM database, the same contact is automatically added to our Email Marketing software. We use tags in order to segment our contacts in CRM, and this segmentation is maintained in the Email Marketing platform, making it easier for us to target our communications.