Without a doubt, there’s a lot of jobs for business owners to keep on top of, regardless of the type of business you have. However, using the right business management tools can simplify tasks no end.
This concept is generally easily understood for physical things, such as a tradie having the correct building tools or a baker having the best baking tools. But there’s many other tools that are often overlooked, that can help simplify your business management no end.
Just a little time spent sourcing and setting up the right business management tools will usually save you much more time in the long run. Plus, you’ll often appear (rightly so!) more professional and may improve the service you’re giving to your customers.
There’s a huge range of software, too and apps to help improve your business’ – and personal – productivity. The best one(s) for you will depend on the type of business you run but also on your own personal preferences. There’s some programs that some of my friends and colleagues rave about that just confuse and bore me. I find trying to use them takes up more time than managing the tasks manually.
So based on my personal experiences, what I suggest is that you look for tools that others are recommending and give them a try, but don’t waste hours trying to figure it out. Either find someone who loves that tool and is using it successfully and ask them to show you the basics, or see if the product’s support team have some tutorials that can help you.
If you find it’s not simplifying things for you or making your business more efficient, it may not be the right tool for you.
This 9 Vital Productivity Tools article on Inc.com gives a good overview of some good productivity apps to look at.
Additionally, have a look at the following sites:
Do your customers need to make appointments with you or your business? Do you have regular appointments with others, be that clients, team members or colleagues?
If so, you may find an online appointment booking program or app helpful. This is a particularly helpful way of avoiding back and forth to figure out what times suit you best. You can simply send relevant people a link to your booking calendar and they can see your available times then book themselves in.
There’s various ways you can add to the automation process of this task, adding the bookings to your calendar and following up with emails and or SMS messages.
You may be pleasantly surprised how much time an appointment booking program saves you!
I previously wrote more about this topic and some of the top appointment setting services (click here for more on this).
Bookkeeping and records management can be a pain for many business owners, but an absolute necessity too. Even if you outsource this – which I strongly suggest you do – there’s still things you and other business team members will need to do. For example, making sure that appropriate receipts are received and stored as required and in making sure your bookkeeper and/or accountant have all the necessary information.
This is much easier than ever to manage now however. Xero bookkeeping software in particular has a lot of apps and tools that can be used to help simplify your account management. So make sure you discuss this with your bookkeeper and accountant to see what tools might be available for your business, appropriate to whatever bookkeeping, invoicing or account management software you use.
There’s numerous tools that can make it easier for you to manage your content marketing too, from coming up with ideas for new content to actually creating it.
For more details on the tools I use and recommend, make sure you download my Top 11 Tools For Content Marketers report at the end of this article.
Without a doubt, technology can be used in many ways to simplify our business management, so please be sure to spend just a little time in trying some of the many available tools to find what works for you. Better yet, outsource this task! Many VAs (Virtual Assistants) will be familiar with a lot of these tools and will be able to offer their recommendations.
Do you ever worry that you sound too pushy or salesy when trying to convert a potential client into a paying client?
Don’t be afraid to admit it …
It’s one of the biggest fears that many small business owners share so if this is you, you’re certainly not alone.
The fear of sounding salesy and pushy is very real. However, there are many ways that you can gain new clients and customers without being pushy.
Nobody wants to buy from an annoying salesperson, so you want to make sure you are approaching your potential clients with a connection. You want them to connect to you, your services, or your products.
The following are 5 top ways to get more customers without being pushy.
Unless you are the owner, nobody cares about your company. Perhaps not nobody, but pretty close to it. This may sound harsh, but it is true. At least when it comes to your customers. If they are coming to your business it is generally because of what it can offer them.
People care about finding answers to their problems. They will find a company that shows they can do this. Unfortunately, most small business owners make this mistake over and over again. They are so excited about the potential new customer that they jump right in with the sales pitch.
Instead, take time to find out what pain points and problems your potential customer is facing. This approach may take a bit more time than simply making a sales pitch, but you will be able to explain your product or service in a way that shows it solves that person’s problem.
They will be much more likely to purchase from you if they know what they are spending their money on will really help them.
Everyone likes a good story. You can truly make an impact with your potential customer by telling your story. You are most likely in the business you are because you once had a need, desire, or interest in the services and products you are now selling. (You may even still have those needs, desires and interests…if not, you may want to rekindle that flame.)
Telling a story also allows your potential client to make a connection with you or your service. They will get to know more about you and see how your service or product can really help them solve their problem.
People buy from people they can trust. Building a connection with your potential customer will help them trust you more and believe that you genuinely care about helping them.
There are many ways to connect with your potential customer – you can share your story, ask them questions, and allow them to feel as though they are the only one in the world at the moment they are speaking or working with you.
Finding out what will help them the best will show that you care about them and are not going to simply offer your newest, shiniest product or service.
You can cut back on a lot of the pushiness by letting your potential customer do the talking. You will find that this approach is much easier for both you and your prospect.
As they talk, ask them questions. You will find out more information about them so you can honestly offer them the best solution You will have more wins for you.
You do want to be careful about the questions you ask, though. Make sure you are asking open ended questions so they can give you a complete response rather than a quick and simple yes or no.
Getting your prospect to talk more will also let you know if you and your product/service are the best option for them. If not, tell them. They’ll appreciate your honesty and possibly become a potential reference for their friends who do fit your service.
Always provide what you promised and a little more. That little bit more can be a huge difference between a good service and a great service. The little more can simply be showing that you want to build a relationship with them.
Having a client who feels they can trust you to solve their problems will help you serve them better and get even more customers. After you have solved the problem for your customer, ask them to recommend you and write a testimonial. Then, continue the relationship. You can help them find the next product for their next problem or keep updated on their success after they have used your product.
Building a genuine connection with your client will help prevent you coming across as pushy. You want them to have a connection with you or your product/service. Using the five methods above will give you ultimate selling power without being salesy.
Have you ever wondered how it is that some people manage to get soooo much done in so little time? Or how some businesses seem to be able to follow up with their customers or leads so easily (and wonder how you could do the same?)
A lot of that comes down to having good systems in place and automating many of these processes.
This week I was lucky enough to be able to interview Jason Buckner who specialises in sales automation. Click the “Play” arrow below to listen to this interview with Jason.
He shares some very helpful tips, including the biggest mistakes he sees business owners making when automating these processes.
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Type that into the “Coupon” field and click the “Apply” button. The amount due will then change to the reduced amount. 🙂
Remember: “If it has to be done once, do it. If it has to be done twice, make a system of it. If it has to be done thrice, automate it.” ~ Jason Buckner, Sales Automation Specialist.