Recently I was asked, “What is the most underused or undervalued technology in small businesses today?” My immediate response was G Suite or Office 365. They were surprised by my answer. Are you?
I know what you are thinking, I use my email all the time. That can’t be true.
With all the clients and people I have spoken with, I find a lot of people definitely use their email. Most use their Word or Google Docs, Excel or Sheets, and One Drive or Google Drive. Many people use their business calendar, but that’s it.
I am frequently asked for recommendations on what technology to use. When I dig a little deeper, I find they aren’t really using the tools they already own because they lack knowledge of what tools come wrapped up in their GSuite or MS Office 365 subscription.
Before you go looking for a new technology, take a look at what your G Suite and Office 365 subscription can do…because you are already paying for it. Don’t spend money on technology you don’t need. Keep your technology as simple as possible for as long as possible.
These are the most common questions I receive about what technology a business owner should use. Take a look at all the features available because they are always adding and improving what they can do.
What’s the best system to help me with follow-up and manage my prospecting emails?
Gmail and Outlook can do so much more than just send and receive emails.
Schedule emails to send at a later time. This allows you to write emails at 3am and not look like you are constantly working. You can also avoid the boomerang of email responses when all you are trying to do is jam through your email backlog. Instructions for Gmail and MS Outlook.
Setup email templates for emails you send all the time. I know you can do this by copying and pasting, but that is much more error prone than using email templates. Instructions for Gmail and MS Outlook. In a previous blog post, I walked through how to use this for networking follow up.
Have you ever had to send multiple emails to get someone to respond to you? And that’s if they wanted to talk to you. Hey, we are all busy and the way things work. Reminders on emails to notify you to follow up are super helpful. Instructions for Gmail and MS Outlook.
Using Gmail and Outlook means you have access to tons of Add-ons. I’ve got a client in my email to Calendly, ActiveCampaign, and almost anything else.
There are soo many emails to schedule meetings. What’s the best online scheduling app?
To use an online scheduling app, you’ve got to be using your Google or Outlook calendar connected to your business email. This is an area where I see a lot of confusion because the mobile phone has a calendar app which is used like to a paper calendar. My recommendation is to download the calendar app for G Suite or Outlook and use that on your phone. That is the best way to ensure your meetings are being scheduled on your business calendar.
MS Office 365 has a tool call MS Bookings, which allows you to schedule with clients and prospect
Google does not currently have a tool to do this, but it integrates with all the best.
Integrate with Zoom for easy online meeting scheduling. The link will be right there in the appointment.
You can sync other calendars with your work calendar like your personal calendar, family calendar, or kids sports calendars. Allows you to see everything in one place without having to type it all in by hand.
What’s the best CRM? I’ve got to manage my mailing list and client info better.
Contacts is the most UNDER VALUED feature in your G Suite and Office 365. It is a light weight CRM that you are already paying for. Consider how you are going to use the CRM before investing your time and money. If you are not sending out newsletters or nurture campaigns routinely, your Contacts tool is all you need to manage your mailing list. Instructions for all the capabilitites for G Suite and MS Office 365. Below are a few suggestions.
Save the contact information like name, email, phone number and soooo much more. Google Contacts even pulls in interactions with the contact when you view through Contacts.
After speaking with someone, you could add a note to Google Contacts to refer to later.
Group contacts by tags or labels like you would in an email marketing tool. Maybe you’ve asked your contact if they would like to receive your newsletter at some point. Tag them with “newsletter.” Maybe they told you they wanted to follow up because they are interested in your services, tag them with “prospect”. They are paying you for your services, tag them with “client”.
When you are ready to start using a CRM or email marketing tool, you can export the list easily and import into most any other tool.
The biggest mistake I find with my clients is that they jump into using a CRM before they need it. Think about how you’d really use it and if it will bring in revenue. If it doesn’t, just wait until you need it.
What’s the best Survey tool? What’s the best form builder to collect client info?
Forms is the best survey tool and form builder you need for most situations. Forms can be emailed, linked, or embedded on your website. Instructions for how to create Google Forms and MS Forms. The possibilities with Forms is almost limitless. Unless you are doing deep survey analysis or complex information gathering, Forms will do the trick.
Speaker application submissions
Colleting information from new clients to kickoff a project
I have gotten push back from some that Forms isn’t “professional”. I’ve seen Forms used by organizations of all sizes.
What's the best project management tool? I need a better way to manage my tasks.
A project management tool does not make you better at managing projects. :) Unless you are managing a multi-phased project or work across multiple people, you don’t need a full fledged project management tool.
Google Tasks is a simple “to-do” list solution that opens right in your email or calender. It also has its own Google Tasks app for your phone. For each task, you can assign a due date, add a description and subtasks. I use it and it is just enough for most of my task management. More on Google Tasks.
MS Office 365 has multiple solutions for task and project management. For simple task management, they have Outlook Tasks.
MS Teams is a great solution when working with a group. It not only has task/project management, but other collaboration capabilities.
Before you go out to purchase more technology, take a look at what you already own. You might be surprised by what else it can do for your business.
MSD Advisors is passionate getting work off your plate and automating all those tedious administrative tasks taking up all of your time, so you can avoid the high cost of hiring and focus on growing your business. After working together, you can say “Goodbye” to spending a lot on technology that you never use and “Hello” to more time.
If you’d like assistance with your technology and getting work off your plate, schedule a breakthrough call today.