There’s a tool (or ten) for everything these days, and it’s easy to feel like we need ‘one of everything’ to be successful.
The reality is, you only need a few key systems to run your service based business well.
Client management – Dubsado
IMO, your client management system (or CRM) will become the most important tool in your business. At a minimum, it’ll be where you’ll track your leads and clients, and send proposals and invoices. And if set up well, it can also become the structure around which you automate your client processes – saving you a truckload of time every single week, and ensuring an amazing client experience. Win, win!
Dubsado is the CRM I consistently recommend (and use myself) for a whole suite of reasons. I dive into them in this blog post, but all you need to know for now is if it’s set up well, your client experience will be stellar.
Scheduling tool – Acuity or Dubsado
Every business that schedules meetings with clients should be using a scheduling tool. You might not think it takes that much time to line up a meeting, and sometimes the stars align and it doesn’t. But I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this story: “I just had an awesome discovery call with my ideal client, and she paid her deposit right after the call! She told me that she still hasn’t even booked a time to talk to the other people she’s reached out to”.
We need to make it easy for people to buy what we’re selling. And, if we can put something in place that makes it easy for us AND our clients, then why wouldn’t we!
My scheduling tool of choice is Acuity, and if you have a Squarespace site you can actually get the Emerging Entrepreneur plan for free! If you don’t need your scheduling tool to be too flexible (and you know you’re going to use Dubsado), then the Dubsado scheduler might be all you need. I’ll be writing a post about this soon, but in the meantime feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about which might be right for you.
Project management software – Asana
Even if you’re a one-woman show, putting a project management system in before you actually need one is a good move. In addition to helping you manage your client work, it’s especially helpful for keeping you focused on the projects that will move your business forward. You know, the ones that you’ve been thinking about working on for a while!
Asana and Trello are the big two you’ll hear people talking about, and it might also be worth looking into ClickUp. When you’re choosing between PM systems, ease of use and the ability to create task templates is something to consider, especially if you have a sequence of tasks you go through each and every time you work with a client. Personally, I find Asana to be the most intuitive PM system to use, and I love that you can create projects in a task list or board format. The key is – choose what feels right for you, or it’ll become another thing you have to manage.
If you’re tired of feeling like a trainwreck behind the scenes, putting these fundamental systems in place will help lift the busywork off your plate so you can finally start feeling like you’re in control.
If you still don’t know where to start, or there’s 1001 things you need to do before you can find the time to make this a priority. Let’s schedule a virtual coffee date, and we can talk through your options and see if I’m the right fit to help you whip your systems into shape.