At this point, in early 2016, we’re a new business. In fact, as of writing, we’re literally a months old!
But our goal was always to try and systemise as much within our business as possible. As Michael Gerber said in ‘The E-Myth’ “Simply put, your job is to prepare yourself and your business for growth.”
And that means finding systems for anything we do more than once. And to do this, tools are very useful. We thought we would share some of these tools and the way we use them in our business.
Teamwork Projects is a comprehensive project management tool, aimed at allowing collaboration between staff, teams and even clients. We use it as the core of all design jobs. We discuss jobs with our designers, we share updates with our clients, and we keep a track on deadlines. We also store all files that are specific to a job here. Each job has it’s own ‘Project’ so everything is nice and neatly filed together.
This is a design specific tool that we use within BrandStrong to send clients proofs of their artwork. It allows them to actually mark up and draw on the proof to show what changes are required, and exactly where on the document it’s needed.
Whilst technically this should be at position 1, as it is the start of the process within BrandStrong. Desk assigns tickets to both new jobs and support requests. It allows our team to collectively respond to requests, and assign tickets to themselves. We also use this tool for monitoring how long is spent on each job, as well as monitoring client satisfaction via feedback when the job is closed.
4. Agile CRM
This is our chosen customer relationship management tool. This is our main form of keeping in touch with our clients, with automated campaigns, specific to their length of time with BrandStrong. We keep a record of the dates jobs are submitted, so we can ensure we are always in contact with our clients.
Zapier is probably our favourite automation tool, as it brings some of our programmes together, essentially making them ‘talk’ to each other. For example, when someone submits a new job in Desk, it automatically ‘Zaps’ Basecamp to create a new project, thus meaning 1 less manual task. Similarly, we can the ‘zap’ Agile to add a note that a new project for that client has been created. There are hundreds of tools that Zapier works with, to move information from one place to another.
There are other functional tools that we use, such as Slack, Evernote, Gmail and Drive, but the 5 above are probably lesser known if you’re not using them. Let us know what tools you are using in your business.