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Have you been asking yourself this question lately? Well here is the answer - "Shun business software at your peril". That is what Kiplinger said back in their April Newsletter....I know, I know, I'm a little late getting around to this post, but it doesn't make the facts any less true. Kiplinger states:

"Shun business software at your peril. It can reduce costs and foster growth. Small firms using a customer relationship management system wound up with higher revenue growth than nonusers from 2010 to 2012. Software to spot trends and centralize finances helped one three-restaurant chain lower business costs by 7%. A pool cleaning firm that relies on a truck routing service and sensors that detect when a pool needs to be cleaned cut costs while providing better service than rivals.
Only about 20% of smalls now make use of such software. If use expands, $360 billion in new revenue for users and 2 million jobs could be in the cards. It isn't all that expensive. Salesforce CRM systems start at $25 a month for five users"*

Good stuff. Short and sweet. You need to leverage technology to give you an advantage over your competitors. In a Global economy where competition is fierce, every little edge can make all the difference. A good CRM system, such as Salesforce, can help you keep tabs on all your customer activities, track your sales pipeline, keep on-top-of customer support, improve marketing initiatives, help with team coordination and collaboration, integrate with your accounting to sync expenses and invoices, help with project management, etc, etc, etc. 

Salesforce isn't just a CRM tool, it's a platform. Translation? You can build custom features into your instance of Salesforce to accommodate nearly any custom function of your business.

Want to setup reminders if a project hasn't been scheduled 3 days after the bid is accepted? Done.

Want to setup automatic approval process for expenses under a certain amount or send you a manual approval notification when an expense entered is over a certain amount? Done.

Want to capture all leads coming from your website and track them automatically inside Salesforce? Done.

 From BizBrain.com;   How to Chose CRM Software

From BizBrain.com;  How to Chose CRM Software

Only about 20% of smalls now make use of such software. If use expands, $360 billion in new revenue for users and 2 million jobs could be in the cards.
— Kiplinger Letter (April 2014)

There is so much you can do in Salesforce. A better question is what can't I do. With Salesforce and a few other business tools (Google Apps, Xero, Pardot). You can run your whole business. And the best part is it's all integrated. There is no need to go to 5, 10, 15 different tools to manage your business. The products I just mentioned, and many, many, many others, all integrate with Salesforce, creating a streamlined workflow. Allowing you to be productive, efficient, and informed at all times. Ok...I'll get down off my soap box. I sing its praises because we at Stratus Hub truly believe in its benefits and the implications for small businesses. We should know. We use it every day.

Since only 20% of small businesses are leveraging these types of tools, if you get in on this early you stand to benefit substantially. $360 billion!...who doesn't want a piece of that pie? And our economy could always use more jobs. 

Now if you don't have the resources to set up and/or manage these tools for yourself there are plenty of companies that can help you with that. [Shameless plug] At Stratus Hub we specialize in small business configuration and would be happy to talk to you about the types of services we can offer. Even if you don't go with our services, don't miss out on this opportunity to grow your business. It will likely take a few thousand dollars in software and consulting services to get you started. I know it may seem like a lot but it's a drop-in-the-bucket compared to what software like this could save you, or help you make.

So whether you're a one-person shop or a company of 100 employees there are benefits to be gained and money to be made if you have CRM.


*The Kiplinger Letter 91 (18 Apr. 2014): 3. Print.


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