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As a business owner it's essential to have a action plan for each morning.

Ensuring you pay special attention to key areas that are vital to trading on a daily basis.

Though you may not "clock in" until a specific time. Running a business is a 24/7 job. Like most business owners, from the moment I wake up. My mind is flooded with thoughts and reminders about my business. And link any young, hungry entrepreneur. I'd love to get right into work from the moment I open my eyes but my reality is. I'm a mum of three and mornings are manic in my home. Between checking everyone has had breakfast(NOT including myself), making sure three boys GET IN THE SHOWER!!!, a packed lunch for little man (because I never get to it in the evening) and making sure everyone is out the door on timeish. I'd be crazy to introduce work into the circus that is my home.

Instead, I rely on a CRM system. Client/Customer Relations Management (CRM) System and my digital calendar. When it comes to choosing a CRM system, there are hundreds to choose from. I tried roughly 6 CRM systems before deciding on Zoho. Though Zoho isn't my ideal choice, It definitely is number one in regards to value for money and specifications.

"Customer relationship management is an approach to manage a company's interaction with current and potential customers. It uses data analysis about customers' history with a company to improve business relationships with customers, specifically focusing on customer retention and ultimately driving sales growth. "

Though Zoho offers multiple subscription options based on the size and requirements of your business. I've started with the free subscription, which offers registration of up to three users. I really like this version though very limited, I was able to enter essential business events, tasks, etc. Another feature I enjoyed, is the integration with Google.

Enabling two way synchronisation between my business contacts and calendar. Creating a streamline system within my back office. Other CRM systems I would recommend;

- Scoro (very pricy)

- Asana

- Monday

Ultimately your choice will be based on the needs of your business and how much you can afford to invest in a CRM system.

Managing my CRM system is really simple. Which is exactly what I need for the multiple hats I wear. Managing my CRM is really simple. On the last friday of each month, I like to prepare for my upcoming month. - It also helps to keep a box on my desk for stuff that needs my attention but isn't urgent.

On the last Last friday of each month;

- I go through my emails, checking I haven't missed any important emails, event details, etc. From there I input and upload all necessary information. Zoho has multiple ways in which to categories your data.

For example:

When I began using Zoho, I started with just clients and businesses. From there I was able to input data such as proposals, active jobs, closed jobs. Those areas can be broken down further by entering data such as all communication between my clients and I. The monthly and annual revenue of each business.

- Using my accounting software (Quickbooks), I update my sales information filling any gaps and transactions. This is a continuation of the earlier step. My business incurs many different expenses. Though Quickbooks is great with detailing my banking transactions. It doesn't give details about why the transaction was made. Every reason for a sale within my business can be cross referenced with an action with my CRM. From sales to marketing and even small details such as a Facebook ad and the Paypal charge attached.

- I update my client details and relevant communication. Again, further to my first step. I makes sure all details such as emails have been sync correctly, all sales invoices, completed jobs, etc are updated. No sensitive information is ever included in an update on my CRM. Sensitive information is always, keep securely on our ALJ LDN - Gsuite server.

Due to the Sync between Zoho and Google, I only have to input information once. Use my Google calendar daily as my timetable, makes things simpler as my time is limited. Im able to add brief details via my Google app and complete the entry at a later date via either platform.

Once i've completed my update, i'm confident to rely on both my CRM and Google calendar. To navigate each day during my working and personal life.

Being a mum, automatically excludes me from being able to work as and when I please. My availability is very limited, using a CRM helps my maximise the time I can invest into my business each day. It also helps me identify any areas my time can be better used.

As a result, ALJ LDN doesn't overshadow family time. I can be present, though i'm always mentally working ( this can't be helped). I don't feel, I have to physically be available until I "clock in".

I hope you found how I manage my CRM system useful, If you have any questions or suggestions.

We'd love to hear back!

Written by Adryanne J.

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