Useful Tools and Books | The Chameleon Guide
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Useful Tools and Books

“Don’t settle; don’t finish rubbish books. If you don’t like the menu; leave the restaurant. If you’re not on the right path; get off it.”    –   Chris Brogan

Useful stuff to run your business more efficiently

Tools & Books

There are so many challenges running a small business and anything that can help take the strain is a good thing. It helps improve your efficiency, streamlines your business and leaves you free to get on with the things you are really good at.

The following are some suggested tools that I have tried and use and don’t cost the earth to buy.

I have tried all the tools listed on this page and read all the books – I don’t recommend anything I haven’t tested first.

The links are all affiliate links which means that if you click on any of the links and buy something, I will get a small percentage of the sale price as commission. It won’t affect what you pay at all.

At a minimum you should have an accounting package and a CRM system.

Accounting packages

An accounting package helps you keep tabs on your business day to day:

  • You can list all your customers and suppliers making it easy when it comes to creating invoices and matching payments when they come in.
  • You can create your invoices and track them. You can even offer a pay now link on the invoice (usually for a small fee, but it saves having to chase)
  • You can have repeate invoices so you don’t have to start from scratch each time.
    Put in auto chase rules, so that your customers are chased by email (that you can amend the content and frequency of issue of).
  • You can link your bank account to the package allowing you to reconcile your payments and expenses.
  • It makes life a lot easier for your accountant to do your VAT and income tax returns.
  • And provides all the reports you need – P&L, balance sheets, aged debt reports. In short, all the information you need to keep control of the financial side of your business

Links to these coming soon!

Books

There are a number of books I have read that I have found very useful covering marketing, sales, and personal growth. I will be adding to this list over time. But if you have any recommendations, please let me know – karen@thechameleonguide.com

CRM – Customer Relationship Manager tools

This is an absolute must have and I am always surprised by the number of businesses that don’t have one. Many of my clients had been operating off multiple spreadsheets to try and manage their clients, leads and prospects.
One particular client gathered up his business cards from his networking activities, kept them in a drawer and then at the end of the year, threw them away! What madness is this?

So, what is a CRM system?

If used properly, it’s a wonderul aid for your business. It’s essentially a clever database that helps you track your business.

  • You can enter all contact details into the system and apply what are called tags so you can classify anyone. In my case, I put in where I met them, what kind of business they are and how big they are.
  • You can also classify them as to where they are in the sales cycle. So, are they prospects, leads, opportunities, clients and so on. I also have referral partners; people who may give me business.
  • They have workflows in allowing you to put tasks in with dates and they remind you of what you need to do. And there is a set of standard steps that you take once an activity has started, you can plug those in as a workflow and it reminds you to take the next action. Crucial for those all important sales leads, or indeed for keeping in touch with you most valued clients.
  • You can track your pipeline – you can put in your sales targets and track your sales against them each month.
  • By being able to cut and dice your contacts and export the information to send targetted emails, newsletters or offers.
  • They are usually accessible on your smart phone too, so you can carry around your contact database in your pocket.

 

Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM

Capsule CRM

Simple CRM for taking care of Customers

This is a nice easy CRM solution. You can easily add all the details from your business cards, tag them so you can identify the type of business, or import a list from a csv file. You can also use it to manage your activities – it send you reminders. And you can track your sales pipeline.

It’s very intuitive to use and a great system for businesses starting out.

CRM – OnePageCRM

OnePage CRM

onepage crm logo

Another easy to use CRM package

You can easily add all the details from your business cards, tag them so you can identify the type of business, or import a list from a csv file. You can also use it to manage your activities – it send you reminders. And you can track your sales pipeline.

It has the additional benefits of some great integrations such as to MailChimp allowing you to easily export your data into your mailing system, LinkedIn and to Xero accounting.

Useful books

To confirm, I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Which means that if you click a link and buy a product, I will get a small percentage of the sale price as commission. You will not be charged more for doing buying from this link.

Marketing

Improve your sales

Self growth/improvement

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