I've been there!
Thinking I could do it all.
Being stressed out about all of my business processes!
We all started out with a dream but soon our business turns into hustle and bustle, trying to remember all THE THINGS we have to do to actually run our business. We're missing out on barn time and riding time and just plain enjoying our business. We're distracted and worried if we remembered to follow up with that new client. Forgetting our WHY! Just going along with the day to day trying to get it all done.
There's a better way-I PROMISE!
Having systems in your business can help you be more hands off on the back end of running your business. It will give you more time to focus on your dream, the reason you started your business. More time to do what you actually love like spending time with your family, being at the barn or out for a ride. You can focus on those lesson kids and give them your all instead of worrying about those admin tasks that are lingering over you. You can focus on that horse your massaging and his owners' questions about why this or why that! You can focus on that 18 year old girl you're photographing with her heart horse and give her your full attention.
Having a CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) in your business can help you start to automate your processes. Finding the right CRM to suit all of your needs and then making sure it is set up properly and optimized is very important. Knowing what you want out of it and which ones offer those solutions is one of the first things to figure out.
Here is a recent comparison I did between two CRMs for an Equine Photographer. This just gives you an example of what you can look for in a CRM.
Dubsado VS Tave
Online Scheduler Yes No
Integrate Calendars Yes Yes
Create and Send Questionnaires, Invoices & Proposals Yes Yes
Client Portal Yes Yes
Emails routed to projects Yes Yes
Mobile App No No
Schedule and send emails Yes Yes
E-sign Contracts Yes Yes
Build Custom Forms Yes Yes
Stripe,Square & Paypal Integrations Yes Yes
Once you've decided which one will work best for you and you get your current customer data into it you can start customizing it. Making it work for you is key. Remember-Having a CRM is not enough. It has to be set up optimally or you'll be wondering why you are wasting your money!
Now the fun begins. Getting to set up all the automations like workflows, reminders, tasks, send invoices automatically, create contracts and proposals all in one place. It sounds like a lot but just take it one thing at a time.
Once you get it all set up and take the time in the beginning you and your horses will be happy you did. Email reminders can be sent out automatically at intervals you have decided on. You can follow up with that client you saw 2 months ago and may need to check in on and remind them you'd love to work on their horse again. You can have your customers pay and schedule all online without worrying if they have paid or not because automatic reminders are going out to them reminding them of payment required and when their appt. is. I know it can be stressful when you know you have an appt but forgot to remind them and are not sure if they will actually show up! No more showing up at someones barn only for them to have forgotten you were coming and worse they have no cash on them. No more being out in the arena with little Suzie and worrying if your next lesson is showing up.
Go spend time with those lesson kids, give more massages, take more pictures and remember your why!