Setting Your 2021 Goals
As I am sure no one needs to be told, 2020 was a challenging year. A global pandemic that caused disruption on a scale that most people have never seen. Businesses large and small were shut down and have faced a lot of hardship. Restaurants, Bars, Entertainment venues are still nowhere close to normal and as of today January 5th, 2021, it has been nearly a year. After this sad and somewhere dismal recap. I am happy to say welcome to 2021.
They say hindsight is 2020, however this year 2021 I am sure lots of people prefer 2020 in their hindsight.Personally, I’ve always enjoyed the start of a new year as it allows me to reflect on the year that has passed.
I use this time to look at the goals that I set last year and to see if they’ve been achieved. It’s also the perfect time to set some goals for the year ahead.Have you set any goals for the upcoming year? You can download a copy here.
I’ve put together a short worksheet that will help you to set goals for your business over the next year.
Setting goals is important for both your business and personal life. It helps you to stay focused on the things that matter most to you. If you have a team working with you, letting them know about your business goals can keep everyone focused and on track throughout the year.
I highly recommend printing out the worksheet and filling it in by hand. I know that sounds old fashioned, but scientists have carried out studies that proved writing things down by hand made them more likely to stick in your memory.
After you’ve filled in the worksheet, you may want to have a chat about what could be done with your website or online marketing to help achieve your goals for the year ahead. If that’s the case, I’d be happy to book a free 15-minute call with you. Use the button below to schedule that free call.
Now, if you are the type of person that might need a little help or possibly some direction when it comes to goal setting my friend Mark Missigman can help. Mark has put together an amazing little course called “The 5 Mistakes We Make When Setting Goals“.
His mini-course will help you avoid mistakes, take a new approach to how you think about setting goals as well as give you a workbook to track your progress. All this for ONLY $7, yes that I know it sounds corny when I say “Only $7” but it’s the truth.
When it comes to choosing the best CRM for your business, this process can become a very confusing journey for most businesses owners. The right CRM not only supports sales but also assists in driving efficiency and marketing automation. Many small business owners struggle by either not taking enough time to find and implement a CRM + Sales & Marketing automation software into their business or they just work without one with important client information spread across multiple systems.
Like many small businesses, we have been on the lookout for a solution to help serve our clients better, improve communication, and integrate various systems while being relatively simple to work with. Our goal is to make work easier, not harder. We also look to balance these needs with the software being worth the investment, yet still affordable. Just like many small business owners, we have tested, demoed, and in some cases, implemented multiple CRM platforms including Salesforce, Zoho, Insightly, SharpSpring, Infusionsoft, Nimble, SugarCRM, vTiger and more.
However, none of these platforms met our business requirements. We found AgileCRM over a year ago and we were excited to have found an all-in-one CRM solution that could be custom tailored to meet our business needs. AgileCRM is one of the most viable solutions available on the market right now. When we talk about the most comprehensive web-based CRM solution that aids business automation and optimization, AgileCRM is the ideal platform for all small business owners, entrepreneurs, and companies that need cross-platform integration, flexibility and is budget-friendly.
After thorough evaluation and testing, we committed to moving forward. The onboarding process is simple. It took us about a week to get up and running. One of the great features that boost productivity is the integration with G-Suite. This allows our team to work with AgileCRM without having to constantly switch screens.
As a fellow business owner, you are probably thinking, well that’s great, but you guys are a technology and web company— of course it is easy for you, but that is not what we do. Well, we loved AgileCRM so much we went a step further and went through a rigorous training process to become a Certified Partner. The good news is that this is where we can help you— we have a team of professionals and experts who have spent hours testing and evaluating almost all types of web-based technology software. Our primary goal is to come up with an integrated solution that saves time while performing sales, marketing, and other business tasks resulting in the success of your business. AgileCRM achieves all of these goals quickly and efficiently. It is the ideal platform for all small businesses.
Why should you choose AgileCRM?
There are several reasons why you should choose AgileCRM over other similar platforms for your business needs:
- It is entirely free to get started. You can sign up 10 users initially and test the platform.
- It is an all-in-one CRM solution that can be tailored to meet business’ sales, marketing, and help desk needs.
- It is a truly affordable CRM, paid versions start for as little as:
- $15 per user per month (monthly)
- $10 per user per month (yearly)
This is an affordable pricing structure for most small businesses.
- Whether you plan to choose the free or paid version, you are getting more than you are paying for. This software offers a great value for money!
- AgileCRM has an easy to use interface.
- Integration with native and non-native third-party applications is easier than ever.
Here are some more features available in AgileCRM:
- Sales: With this CRM, you have an in-depth contact view, an online calendar to schedule appointments easily, chronological timeline of all actions, tracks deals and sale opportunities, document uploading, lead scoring, advanced reporting, and more.
- Marketing automation: Sign up forms, marketing automation, advanced drag and drop designer, social media views, email and SMS mobile marketing, web push notifications, social media views, and more.
- Customer service: Helpdesk functionality available where your clients can create support tickets to request service or report issues. You can label tickets, reports, live chat, and more.
What can an AgileCRM Certified Partner do for you?
As a business owner, one of your goals should be to leverage technology instead of wasting timing learning how to implement it. We can help save your valuable time and money. When you are running a business, one thing you should not compromise on is your time as it is crucial to your business.
We can help with
- Import contacts from your existing CRM system (Excel or CSV format)
- Contact tagging to increase searchability within the platform
- Contact list creation leveraging tags
- Sync CRM contacts with Gmail or Office 365 contacts
- Calendar synchronization
- Create effective sales and marketing automation campaigns
- Create an email signature
- Customize your online appointments using appointment scheduling tool
- And much more
There are two primary types of CRM technology: on-premises and cloud based. We’ll break them down individually below.
On-premises CRM puts the responsibility of admin, security, maintenance, and even control on the company that is using the software. Under this plan a company purchases licenses up front rather than buying subscriptions from a cloud provider. The software is installed on the client’s own computer system and, thus, the client assumes cost and responsibility of any upgrades to their software. In an on-premises situation an installation process is usually fairly prolonged in order to fully integrate the company’s data into the CRM software. This set up generally most benefits companies with complex CRM needs.
Cloud based CRM, also known as on-demand or Software as a Service (Saas) resides on an external network employees can access anytime, anywhere. All they need is an internet connection. Often a third-party service provider oversees maintenance and installation of any necessary software. Cloud-based is, without a doubt, the quicker and easier option. The trade-off is limitations to its reach. There is no question on-premises CRM provides a more in-depth, permanent solution for a business. But the cloud is portable, flexible, and less expensive. Smaller, less “complex” companies can greatly benefit from having the cloud-based option available to them based on their needs.
Data security is obviously a concern for companies utilizing the cloud. You are sacrificing physical control of storage and maintenance of your data. If the cloud provider fails/goes out of business or is sold or bought out, your data can be compromised or even lost. Additionally, there’s always the risk of compatibility issues when data is migrated from your internal system to the cloud. If you continue long enough with a subscription based cloud provider, you may wind up spending more over time than you would committing to the up-front cost of an on-premise model.
These challenges and decisions are nothing new, particularly for small businesses. Marlin is here to help you navigate the research and find the best solution for you. Give us a call today and we’ll get started!
Happy New Year! As promised I’m going to take you through more of CRM, Customer Relationship Management software. We’re going to dive into one of my favorite small business tools, social media and how you can utilize it with CRM. Historically, sales and marketing departments were the primary lead on CRM as they procured leads, updated the system, gathered data, and revised customer history records through their interactions with the clients. Social media has changed all that. Businesses are now engaging customers directly through social media, allowing for an open forum for customers to share experiences whether positive or negative.
Businesses are monitoring social conversations, keyword use, and even brand mentions to analyze target audience and identify their preferred social media platforms. There are even tools to analyze social media feedback and directly address queries and issues. Ideally, if a business is already utilizing other data software they can integrate CRM data with their existing information to streamline and create a single view of clients.
We aren’t done yet! See you next time for more CRM!
Customer Relationship Management software, what even is that?! Let’s start with the basics. CRM software is a category of software that covers a broad set of applications designed to help businesses manage many of their business processes: customer data, customer interaction, access business information, automated sales. Companies use CRM to manage and analyze interactions with their customers and data gleaned through the client life cycle in an efforts to improve relationships with and retention of existing customers while increasing sales.
What does this have to do with the average Marlin client? CRM software offers several benefits, even to small businesses. The software consolidates customer information and files into a single database. That alone is going to save you time and allow you to focus on your business rather than on paperwork! You can also easily record and document interactions with your customers whether through email, phone call, or even social media, thus automating certain things like calendars and task lists. This way staff and managers are able to track their work, performance, and even productivity by utilizing the information logged into CRM.
CRM has so many benefits for any and all business, small to large, we’ll have to revisit it in our next post! Check back after Christmas for more on CRM!
Merry Christmas from your family and friends at Marlin Consulting Solutions!
Here is an example of a great small business CRM