As a small business owner (specifically the owner of Heitner Legal), I am always looking for tools that will make me more efficient in my day-to-day life. Whether it's providing me with simple reminders or tracking time and sending invoices, I'm constantly on the hunt for the newest and best platforms that will let me be more focused on helping my clients.
One of the toughest things about owning your own company is making sure that opportunities don't fall through the cracks. It's not up to the potential client to follow up; it is totally on you to be persistent without being annoying, and to master spacing out future communications. It can make or break you receiving a new source of revenue and potentially a life-lasting business relationship.
You can create calendar reminders, but I often find a cluttered calendar to cause more stress than necessary.
The tool I choose to use for email and reminders is Inbox by Google. I'll BCC myself and click the little button that will force the thread to pop back up at a particular time in the future. It allows me to forget about the thread momentarily, until it resurfaces in my inbox at the scheduled time. It is a stress-free and effective process. I'll usually follow up a maximum of 3 times with a potential client before I simply state that I'll take a step back and let them control the situation.
There is a level of skill in realizing the threshold that shifts persistence to annoyance.
Shifting gears to time management and billing, I have recently found an interesting solution in BQE Core. Core lets users track their time and expenses and handle all their billing from anywhere, including on their phone. With Core, I can use intuitive time cards and multiple timers, perform manual and batch invoicing, receive payments, create client retainers and more. The ability to do all of this on-the-go through a mobile app is a real game changer for a small business owner.
Moreover, as my company grows, I can add features like project management to my Core subscription and take advantage of its strong business intelligence capabilities. Core can even handle my accounting. Plus, when I hire more people, it'll be easy to add more users to my account. I also think a platform like Core is a good fit because it integrates with many cloud-based services such as Google Drive, which is my storage platform of choice.
Reminders, time management, and invoicing are some of the small things that business owners push aside or attach less importance to. However, a strong strategy and the right tools can end up saving the business owner and his/her clients a lot of money in the long run.