Are you wearing all the hats in your business and feel like you’re running a bit ragged? I hear you! When I started my photography business years ago, I quickly realized that I needed to get organized if I was going to stay on top of everything for my clients AND hold down a full-time job. Now, I’m a fairly organized person by nature, but it was obvious that I needed something to help me keep all the balls in the air, so I started looking into CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems. That was back in 2015, and I decided to invest in a software program called 17hats, and it’s the same system I use today. When you’re just starting out, you think you can’t afford to spend the money, but I can say with full confidence that you can’t afford NOT to! It’s the only way I was able to manage a full roster of clients and all aspects of my business effectively.
If you’re not familiar with CRM systems and what they can do for you, I’ll give you a little rundown. The biggest advantage is that you can keep all of your client data in one place, from incoming leads, emails, and workflows, to invoices, contracts, and follow-up. Here’s a typical example of how I use it to manage my photography business today:
My workflows don’t end there, but I hope you can see how helpful and efficient it can be to have that entire process laid out and ready to function with the help of a little automation. Having these processes and emails all prepared ahead of time will save you a ton of time for each client, and will also ensure that each client gets a consistent and quality experience from you each and every time. You decide when and how things will be done and can choose if steps are done automatically or if you need to approve them first. It is all customizable and up to you. There is some work on the front end, but once you’ve got your system set up, you won’t believe how easy it is and how well it works.
I have always said,”if you think there should be a more efficient way to do something, just ask, there probably is!”. That definitely holds true in the small business world as well. You often just don’t know what you don’t know, right? I could never have handled my business as effectively as I did in those early days if I hadn’t invested in 17hats, and I still feel the same way today. It helps me manage my entire business in an efficient and professional way.
Having a system like this can save you an enormous amount of time. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re in – service or product based – having a CRM system will make your life so much easier. I have been with 17hats since 2015 and am an ambassador for them because I love their product so much. There are lots of different options out there, but I would encourage you to do your homework before committing. They all look similar on the surface, but the details really do matter – a lot! If you’re interested in getting started with a CRM and need some direction, or are currently a 17hats user and need some help to take your utilization up a level, please let me know. I’m happy to help!
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