My secret weapons

Whilst I wouldn’t proclaim to be fully certified geek, I’m afraid that I do get excited when I find out about a new (to me) piece of software that is going to help me run my business more efficiently or make my life easier (I’m all for an easy life … well I can always live in hope!).  I now have 3 pieces of software that are really key to my business and I thought I’d share them with you this week in case any of them can help you.

#1 – www.AllClients.com

AllClients is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management tool) and it helps me to a capture and nurture leads, manage my sales process and manage my contacts.  Some of the key features that I use are:

·         Landing pages to capture prospects details

·         Autoresponders to send out automated emails (this is not one of those!)

·         Flags to categorise my contacts so I can inform them about the right things that are of interest to them

·         Deals allow me to track and a manage sales opportunities

·         To Do plans lets me automate my processes

·         Email templates ensures that the same wording is used every time that email is sent.

#2 – www.TeamworkPM.net

My memory is like a sieve and I was using very low-tech bits of paper to help me keep on top of who was doing what work.  Someone then told me about TeamworkPM which is a team/project management software.  I have only been using this for a couple of weeks but these are some of the things I’m loving about it:

·         Multiple projects can be set up per customer

·         Tasks can be assigned to other users with deadlines, estimated completion times and notes/files attached

·         Timer records time spent on specific tasks

·         Easy for me to see what tasks are due and who should be doing them – I love that screen, I suddenly felt in control when I could see it all in front of me!

·         Create invoices and export into Xero (see next piece of software)

#3 www.xero.com

I have been using Xero for some time to manage my accounts.  This software is designed for business owners who are not accountants but it also gives you the reports that your accountant wants you to have.  Here’s what I love about it:

·         Access can be given to your bookkeeper and your accountant so you are all working on real-time data

·         Bankfeed brings your bank statement into the software and allows you to reconcile your bank account in minutes

·         VAT return takes minutes and it even sends your report through to HMRC (unfortunately you do still have to go online and make the payment!)

·         Email templates stored in the software to send with invoices, statements, etc

·         Repeating invoices can be set to send automatically each week/month

 

These are 3 of my favourites, but as I said at the beginning I always love to hear about new software so please let me know what you would hate to run your business without.

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