When I first started my business, I had one client and things were easy.
I could keep track of information using my email and notes on my computer. Then I added another client, and another, and another, and things continued to grow. This was great for business, but not so much for my brain.
I could only access so much information at one time.
Soon I had notes in Evernote, tasks in ToDoist, saved emails, events on my google calendar, time tracking in toggl, invoices in Wave, and my brain could not keep track of what was going on. I had heard about CRM (which stands for customer relations management btw) and I knew it was something that would help me stay sane, but I wasn't sure where to start.
One of the most well-known CRM companies is Salesforce, here's what they have to say about:
At its simplest, a CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them.
With CRM, you can store customer and prospect contact information, accounts, leads and sales opportunities in one central location, ideally in the cloud so the information is accessible by many, in real time.
I saw an add for insightly, so I gave their free trial a go. Only it didn't go. I tried to watch tutorials and uploaded contacts, but it just wasn't intuitive and I was struggling, which is something I normally don't do when it comes to technology. I just wanted to organize all my client data into one place and keep track of what was going on with each client.
Not wanting to waste anymore time on the hunt I went to one of my favorite Facebook groups for entrepreneurs and asked around. Someone mentioned 17hats*, so I went to check it out. My world has been forever changed! Ok I may be a little dramatic, but seriously I love this program. It is more than just a CRM, it's a complete business management app for solopreneurs. I can FINALLY say that I fell organized and have a big picture view of what is going on in my business. I'm not even utilizing all the features of this program yet and I'm in love.
Why I love 17hats:
- All-in-one capability: it allows me to manage all my info in one place instead of many. (Can we say headache relief?!)
- It integrates with my gmail and google calendar. (You can email from within the program if you want.)
- TIME TRACKING! (I use it constantly)
- I can add tags to my clients and projects (so I know little things like who is using what software.)
- Price point is set right for small businesses like mine.
- Built-In Lead Capture Forms
- Quotes, Contracts, and Invoices all connected
- Pretty Graphic interface (see below)
Is 17hats perfect? Well, no, there are still kinks to be worked out. It does have an invoicing and “bookkeeping” feature, but I'm not sold yet on that element. I'm sticking to Wave for my bookkeeping.
The program itself is about 1yr old and they are adding features constantly. They just launched a mobile app for iOS and Android in 2016, they've added an integration with Quickbooks Online so you can have more powerful accounting that syncs with 17hats.
If you want to give it a test run for Free Click Here*.
Here's their video:
Now go and get organized!
*The links to try 17hats are my referral link and I earn free months on my account for referring people to them at no additional cost to you*
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