If you use Google Apps for Work, chances are you do not use the Google Contact feature much. It was old, ugly and not real intuitive. This week, Google did a major redesign to Google Contacts. It is a big step forward to make me actually use it more myself! Read More
It is never a necessity of life to upgrade to the latest and greatest smartphone on the market, even if it is as flashy and cool as the Apple iPhone.
Yet phone carriers and Apple themselves are making it easier than ever to get consumers to upgrade to their new 6s or the 6s Plus. They are doing this by allowing everyone to just make monthly payments. So that sounds enticing, right? Read More
Update: As of January 2016: The blog featuring Smartsheet is still just as popular with my clients. Nothing new to report.
Managing the scheduling of painting or remodeling projects can be a real juggling act. When I was active in my family’s painting business, the schedule seemed to adjust and change daily. Sometimes, the headaches happened when a crew called last minute and said they were not finished on a Friday and needed 2 more hours on Monday morning to finish up, and they did not call their next project to let them know they would not be there Monday morning. Without the right technology, a home improvement schedule can be one of the most painful parts of running a business. Read More
Narrowing Down My CRM Recommendations
As I write my final 2014 blog post, I wanted to bring my readers up to date on one of my favorite Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs of 2014, Base CRM and why it is a strong choice if you are considering a switch in 2015. I get a bit of emails and comments from others around the world telling me that THIS CRM is better than THAT CRM or that I should try THIS CRM too. I have been using CRM software for 15 years now and have tried and tested several dozen of them to see how they work for a contracting business. The big players in the market: Zoho and Salesforce (or ImproveIt 360: owned by Salesforce) are still great programs. I normally recommend one of these programs for companies who really want a lot of custom features. You will pay through the nose but you will probably get what you want. ImproveIt 360, for example has marketed heavily to the contracting market. My only real beef with this program is that it has not kept up with the mobile devices (it is behind the times as of 2014). I know this post will get dated and CRM programs I am not endorsing will get better. I’m just trying to keep it simple for my readers and suggest a very good product that I use myself. Read More
This fall (2014), I helped a seasonal Christmas lighting company setup and manage a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) that I use and like: Base CRM. I have been working with them since 2008. In previous years, the company used several different methods to manage leads and sales ranging from Google Apps, Dropbox, Highrise CRM, Zoho and a few others. Yet there was really nothing that really quite worked well until we implemented Base. Each year the company’s leads have grown making it that much more crucial to track and manage the sales process. Here are a couple of the highlights of how a seasonal business is using a CRM and why it is working so well. Read More
During the past several months, the Base CRM development team has been very busy providing many valuable updates to their simple yet effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) cloud software. I have been using Base for the past couple of years for my own business. After the last couple of big updates, it has become an even better tool for my company. I use it daily, and if you are still looking for a great CRM, you should give it a try yourself. It is built for small and medium size businesses. Read More
I used to think Nextel push to talk (walkie talkie) was a very useful and productive tool, when it first came out for contractors. It did get a little annoying when I was on job sites or in meetings and kept hearing construction worker’s phones making loud beeping alerts as I could not help but eavesdrop in on their conversations. It served its purpose at the time. Since the release of the iPhone, Android and Windows phones, Nextel technology is pretty much non existent. I never owned a Nextel or Push to Talk phone, but saw the value in those short and quick voice conversations. Every time you get on a phone call, it is hard to keep it short. You have to start with a greeting, then an intro of why you are calling, get to the subject, get an answer and then wrap up with a closing statement. It is hard to make each phone call under a minute. With Push to Talk, you could get quick answers to what you needed in seconds.
Using a CRM
If your business is not using a CRM to track leads, customers, and sales, you need to start this now. It is one of the most crucial things your small business needs to run a successful business. I’ve written on a lot of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programs over the years. You have a lot of choices. For those who want simple, clean, easy to use yet has one of the best features ever for a CRM, I recommend Base CRM. Here is why Base just got 10x better the past few weeks (this week for iOS). Read More
This evening, Base CRM‘s latest release for iPhone and iPads hit the Apple Store. I downloaded it and have been testing it out. There were no new features, but they did update the design (interface). It now closely matches the soon to be released iOS 7. Read More
8 Months ago, I was pretty content with the way calendars, contacts & emails from Google were syncing with my iDevices. I used Google Apps for Business and Apple hardware. When Google decided to stop supporting Microsoft Exchange on Apple devices (read an old post here) it made it a bit more buggy for many of my customers who were upgrading devices or buying new ones for employees. So there are ways to get Google Apps to work on the iPhones and iPads, but I’m finding that there are some pretty cools Apps that I’m using now that work just the same if not better.