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CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. This tool will help you understand your existing clients and even your prospects, helping you provide outstanding service. In addition, it will give you the tools to plan and make decisions in order to grow your business.
For client management, I use Dubsado and for project management, I use ClickUp - I will be doing a few tutorials for each one of them on YouTube so make sure you subscribe to my channel.
The biggest mistake that I see business owners make is not setting up a proper business model from the start. Just because you are working on my own doesn't mean that you don't need a CRM tool, a project management tool or that you don't need to set up systems and processes.
Setting your business up the right way from the start is going to save you time later on and allow you to focus on tasks that make you the most productive.
You should be doing all of this within the first year.
Lead Capture & Follow Up
CRM tools are extremely effective at tracking new leads and that's something that I was missing before I got a CRM tool. I had multiple spreadsheets and I'd always forget to keep track of the people who were interested in my services. As a result, I would never follow up with them and most likely lost a few opportunities to get new clients.
Having a CRM tool will also be helpful in tracking where these leads come from. Let's say that, for instance, you use multiple forms to capture leads (website / social media), you'll most likely be able to increase sales as you'll be equipped to analyze the data and improve your lead generation strategy.
In Dubsado, the lead only becomes a new project or a new client once they've paid an invoice so it is easy to always know what the status of a client is.
Automate & Save
A good CRM tool helps you automate the boring stuff. There's so much in your business with the potential to be automated and, as a result, save you a lot of money. A good example of these tasks could be marketing, customer support, or prospect follow-up.
The workflows are the best Dubsado feature and it's highly under-used by business owners because it can be a little bit complicated if you have no idea how to set them up; however, they can really make the difference in your business (I hired someone to help me understand how they work so that I can help you).
Workflows will save you time and money - what you automate means that you don't have to pay yourself or someone else to do it. From the moment someone becomes a lead, they outline everything that needs to be done. This includes the onboarding process, all the way to the completion of your project.
You can create as many workflows as you want. You might want to do a workflow for lead capture and all the way through onboarding.
To get started, map out all the steps of everything that needs to be done within a project lifetime.
Getting on a two-hour mapping call with someone who is experienced can help you figure out a lot of what can be automated within your business.
Another cool feature in Dubsado is the client portal. Having a CRM tool really makes the client experience smoother and your experience as a business owner much more efficient.
You'll improve your customer service by ensuring that your prospects and existing clients get emails, forms, contracts, and invoices when they are supposed to get them instead of waiting on you to have time to send them.
On your site, you'll be able to access each client's invoices, contracts, emails, documents, etc. If your CRM tool offers the possibility of having a client portal, it's going to be very convenient for your clients to access all those documents themselves.
Almost all the forms in Dubsado can be customized to match your unique brand (your logo, your brand colors, fonts). Create templates in Canva to add them to your forms will make it easy to customize.
All your questionnaires, welcome packets, signature, and sub-agreements can be customized; the contracts are the only forms that remain 'standard'.
I will be doing more videos on Dubsado and how it can help you build a scalable business. Make sure you subscribe to my YouTube channel for tutorials and business growth videos for small business owners.
See you next time!
Kristell Valentina Mouriès
Director, KVM Design