Are you looking to save time?
Ask any small to medium business owner, and they will tell you that Time Management is one of the most challenging aspects of running their business. How much time are you spending with your head glued to the phone or email answering inquiries from your customer base? Do you find you are spending huge chunks of your day answering what seems like the same question you answered 100 times earlier in the day?
Entrepreneurs are victims of their own success. You have done the leg work, made those connections and now, now when you should be managing your business you are still in the thick of it. Perhaps you started your business being able to put the focus on the one or two loyal customers you had, and now that you are acquiring more and more clients, you are not able to give the same level of personal attention.
Personal Trainers and Fitness Instructors start out this way much of the time. With one or two clients, they are able to routinely keep in touch, and provide personalized workouts and dietary ideas. Now that their business is expanding, this proves to be unsustainable.
So what's the solution to these Time Management problems? Automation or using the current fancier description Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Using our example from above, as our customer, we would be able to create a website or use an existing website that allows our Personal Trainer friend to tailor and assign an exercise and diet regimen to each of their clients. The CRM Software will send out automatically scheduled reminders with tips and suggestions. This would also allow clients to engage with Personal Trainer as well by providing a mechanism to ask questions, and receive responses. Clients will stay engaged, on track, and ultimately be more successful without the Personal Trainer having to run ragged managing the whole show!
CRM is not a new concept. Having worked in the IT department of two major Canadian banks, I can assure you that very little is done by hand anymore. Almost everything is done by computers, and there is good reason for it; there is no way companies could manually process the information they have to - given time and money constraints - as efficiently or accurately as computers do.
Ask yourself how much time you could save by automating some of your business processes.