» Tools for Growing Small Businesses

Tools for Growing Small BusinessesWith 2014 laid out in front of us, it’s time to decide what goals you’d like to achieve and how you’re going to achieve them! It’s one thing to make a New Year’s resolution, but it’s quite another to follow through on it.

If one of your goals for 2014 is to grow your business, then this post is for you! We’ve got your four top tools and tips for growing small businesses to help you reach your growth goals.

Implement a social media management system.

Social media is no longer an option for many small businesses. Growing your online presence through social media properties can help you reach new potential customers and grow your brand awareness. It can be hard to find the time each week to spend on social media, especially when you need to log in to each account and make your updates.

A social media management system allows you to manage multiple accounts from one place. You don’t have to log in and out of your various accounts, and you can see feedback from fans being pushed right to your system. You can even schedule posts ahead of time so that you don’t have to get on every day at a certain time if you’re busy! Premium WeddingWire Pros have access to the Social Media Manager in their WeddingWire accounts, which allows them to do all these activities while you’re already logged in to your WeddingWire account. For our Lite Pros, there are free to low-cost tools like Hootsuite that allow you to do many of the same activities.

Try out customer relationship management.

When Wedding Pros first start their businesses, they can often provide a very personalized touch to each client by remembering more about a small number of clients. As your small business grows, you may find it harder to remember all the conversations and tasks associated with each client. A customer relationship management (CRM) platform helps you to manage all your client activities in a streamlined way that can still provide that personalized touch!

When all your client information is in one place, you can easily scan information to prioritize your activities based on the most pressing needs. You can set tasks and reminders for yourself to complete something by a certain date to keep track of deadlines. Our Clients tab allows Premium Pros to accept and respond to inquiries, track bookings and create a set of tasks associated with each new client. You can also manage your time more effectively with our Appointment Scheduler. There are also other types of CRM software available, like Salesforce or Zoho.

Get organized with payment software.

In our increasingly digital world, it’s becoming more and more convenient (and efficient!) to track all your invoices and payments in an online format. Keeping receipts and paper invoices is becoming a thing of the past; most banking and transactions are now done online, so it makes sense that all the information be stored in a virtual location rather than a physical filing cabinet.

If you don’t have some sort of accounting or financial software already, 2014 is the year to get it! Keeping track of your billing and payment information online will not only save you time, you’ll also feel more organized with less clutter lying around your office. Within our Clients tab Premium members can track payments with all the information for each client right where they need it – payment due date, payment schedule, invoice number, event name and more! Other small businesses may use software like QuickBooks to keep it all together.

Step up your online presence with ecommerce.

As a wedding and event professional, you probably don’t consider your services as ecommerce, but you should. Think about all the time you spend typing up contracts, sending via email (or, worse, by mail), waiting for the client to print it out, sign it, scan it, and send it back – not to mention if there’s some sort of back and forth on the terms! Providing a safe and secure place to handle those types of client tasks online would save tons of time and paper.

Our Client Sites work with other tools in the Clients tab so that you can share documents and collect payments with a secure, branded site specific to each client. The Client Sites are password-protected so only you and your client can have access to all the important information and documents. They’re accessible via desktop or mobile, so you can conduct business from wherever you are! WeddingWire Lite Pros can upgrade to get access to the Client Sites, or try out a third-party client portals like SmartVault to have an alternative to communicating sensitive documents through email.

These tools will help your small business attract more clients and manage them more efficiently! Make 2014 your best year yet by adopting these methods.

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