One of the biggest problems that I’ve run into when working with small business owners is their failure to set up basic administrative systems. I’ve had partners in various past ventures who hated having to deal with any type of client tracking or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution. They opted instead to use a complicated system of Post-it® Notes, emails and text messages to track all their communication with their clients and customers. This inevitably leads to missed calls, miscommunication and more importantly, missed opportunities. It’s also a major time drain having to shuffle through piles of paper and scribbled notes in order to find that important number or detail that a client was asking about.
Like it or not, systems are what make things work efficiently. And as basic as you would think this sounds, not a lot of new business owners get this. They get caught up in the product or service that they’re selling and often overlook the process of tracking and managing their customer relationships. But a good CRM will streamline the process of managing your marketing and outreach and will save time, which translates into more revenue and bigger profits for your company.
My advice for anyone starting a business is to make sure that you have a solid CRM solution in place before you start selling. This will help you keep track of every detail of the client relationship, from the initial point of contact to the close and followup. A good CRM solution will sync with your preferred email client like GMail, Apple Mail or Outlook, and your email marketing software like Constant Contact or Mailchimp.
There are many CRMs available with different price points and varying capabilities. Our company uses Hubspot which syncs with our G Suite account and is free to use for companies that are just getting started. And of course it’s scalable and will grow as our company expands.
Our company’s needs may be different than yours, so before you make a final decision on which CRM to use, do a little research. Make sure that you can try it out for free before you commit. And most importantly, make sure it will scale with the growth of your business in the long term. With a solid CRM solution in place, your business has a better chance to run smoothly and efficiently for years to come.
Courtney LeMarco – CEO