Small businesses often ask me whether CRM systems are only for bigger companies as the common misconception is that they are very expensive.
The good news is that there are many inexpensive options available for small businesses starting from $0! These are usually “cloud” or web based solutions which only require a web browser to use. There is no need to invest in any expensive hardware. You pay a monthly amount to use it and there are even “mobile” versions you can use on the go with your tablet or smartphone.
One example is Zoho CRM which is free for up to 3 users and does a good job of managing contacts and interactions with your customers. The professional edition is only $12 per user per month.
Here is an interesting case study for a small business CRM implementation.
Your Life Your Body (YLYB) is a sole trader company owned by Jodie Hopkins. Jodie is an exercise physiologist who creates personal programs consisting of corrective exercises for clients. Jodie is one of the attendees for the DEP workshops and was selected for the program for her keen interest in implementing a CRM system for her business.
YLYB required a CRM system to manage clients, activities and invoicing more effectively.
The main requirements that the CRM needed to fulfil were:
- To have a central database for all clients
- To facilitate contacting clients and scheduling appointments
- To facilitate client profiling
- To allow for client documents to be uploaded into the system attached to client
- To assist automation of sending marketing material to clients
- To have the ability to create invoices in the CRM and track status until paid.
- To have mobile access to the CRM from iPhone and iPad
- To link a web form to the CRM from the website for leads generation
Since Jodie has started using Zoho CRM she’s found real benefits in running her business more effectively including:
- Manage appointments online
- Mobile device access to CRM data – even when no internet connection
- Synced to iPhone, iPad and laptop
- Having a central online repository for client contracts, documents and templates.
- Automating invoice creation and tracking until paid
- Automatic generation of reports.
- Automatically capture leads from website when e-book is downloaded
So as you can see, it won’t cost you an arm or a leg to start managing your customer database, interactions and automating your business through a CRM solution. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!