Does a solopreneur need a CRM system?

19th Mar 2018

CRMs (or Customer Relationship Management systems) are traditionally thought of as only the domain of big business. Hugely complex systems that cost thousands per month which need ‘integration specialists’ to write custom code to make it do anything reasonably sensible, let alone the months of training for all the staff.

Now, with rise in cloud-based ‘Software as a Service’ systems complex and difficult to maintain software, such as CRMs, are much more accessible to small businesses.

But as a solopreneur do you need one?

What is a CRM?

Primarily, A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system keeps your customer’s contact details together in one place, but it should do much more than just replace the Contacts app on your phone or computer.

CRMs help you to keep a wealth of other data, like interactions with your clients, notes on what their preferences are and conversations you’ve had, appointments and where they first came across your business - allowing you to quantify what works and what doesn’t. It should also allow you to grow your business by keeping track of your outreach to new potential clients too. Oh, and also manage all that for you!

Keeping track of all these data points help make things easier, so save time, provide great service to your existing clients, and allow you to gain more insight into your new opportunities and where to focus your time and energy.

Just about managing with notes and spreadsheets?

If you’ve not used a CRM before you might think that using spreadsheets such as Excel or Google Sheets can manage the customer data, that Contacts on your phone can manage contact details and that a notes app or even a good old-fashioned notepad can cover the other eventualities.

You’re not necessarily wrong, but there could be an easier and more efficient way, and with a wealth of additional features that make you might not even have thought of, to make you even more efficient and give you an edge on your competitors.

Because, let’s face it, as a solopreneur your time is limited and is spent on a myriad of different tasks every single day. Saving even just an hour of your time could be much more valuable in another part of your business.

What happens when you need to employ a virtual assistant or your first full-time member of staff to handle the extra growth? Passing over this data and unmixing your personal data from the business data is probably not going to be easy when you’re at your busiest.

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