CASE STUDY: Will Hawkins shares his secrets to keeping your business healthy

24/10/2009 at 8:08 am Leave a comment

Problem: Keeping on top of customers while running a busy business
Solution: WeCanDoCRM Social CRM with integrated KashFlow accounts system
Benefits:
Marketing tools generate new business, guide progression from sales lead to customer, invoice to collection

Recession is the best time to start a business we’re told.  If you can succeed in a tough market then you’re well positioned for the upswing as the economy recovers.

It’s advice many people are taking, especially those who find themselves unemployed as a direct result of the recession.  But for as many who are excited by the prospect of starting their own business, as many don’t make the leap for fear they won’t succeed.

Will Hawkins

Will Hawkins

That is where Will Hawkins comes in.  After a long and safe career, which started in the army but moved to corporate marketing, Will took the leap himself early in 2009, setting up Healthy Business to coach people in the skills needed to start and see success with their own businesses.

Will specialises in clients from the lucrative health and nutrition sector – a hot market: “Not only are more and more people looking to start their own enterprises, spurred on by changes in their circumstances, but the market for health and nutrition market is rocketing thanks to increased awareness of the importance of personal wellness,” says Will.

Healthy Business, based in Bourne in Lincolnshire, is now coaching a whole team of new entrepreneurs, keen to ensure they progress beyond the start-up stage to growth and maturity.  Will counts on his own vast experience to advise on marketing strategies to bring rapid income, often replacing that lost through unemployment; but his coaching also emphasises the vital importance of keeping costs low when funding your own business and growing it from scratch.

The Healthy Business website

The Healthy Business website

“Starting up your own company is challenging enough without having to worry about managing all of your information using complicated IT systems,” says Will.  “My business requires me to be out and about with my clients and customers for much of the day.  Keeping on top of all my daily activities is crucial for maintaining good customer service, finding new customers and contacting existing clients.  I need to be able to do this from wherever my business takes me – I simply can’t afford anything else.”

Will’s business is run using two vital pieces of software: the WeCanDoCRM Social CRM system and KashFlow accounting system.  Together, the systems enable Will to market his business, prospect for customers, manage sales opportunities and then invoice and track his customer accounts – all available from wherever he can get an internet connection.

“WeCanDoCRM is simple to use and, like KashFlow accounting which I used already, carries out complex tasks without me having to be an IT expert. Because it is online, I know I don’t have to worry about backing up my data and if, by chance, I don’t have my laptop with me, I can always log in from another computer to carry out my administration, safely and securely.”

“I have access to information about my customers that many large businesses can only dream about!”

But simplicity, freedom of access and security aren’t the only benefit Will enjoys: “I also get to invest more time in marketing my business rather than wasting it managing computers and servers, which isn’t my core skill. Time and money are the most precious of commodities for small business owners and the more of one I can spend on the making the other, the better!”

Will carries out most of his business administration on his laptop, connecting to broadband when at home or through a 3G datacard when he is out and about – which is most of the time.  Through WeCanDoCRM he has access to all his customer details and can monitor the progress of his marketing campaigns no matter where he is.

“This gives me great flexibility and allows me to maximise my use of time,” says Will, pointing out that he can now administer his business in ‘dead’ time between meetings, regardless of where he’s located.

Healthy Business also punches way above its weight with an effective system for lead management that would humble many a large enterprise.

Raising a KashFlow invoice from with WeCanDoCRM (click to enlarge)

Raising a KashFlow invoice from WeCanDoCRM (click to enlarge)

“I easily integrated WeCanDoCRM forms into my web site so I can capture customer data straight into the system  — that’s fantastic, as I can be straight onto potential opportunities with fundamentally no delay or need for administration,” enthuses Will.

Will makes full use of the marketing tools and integration with KashFlow accounting to progress leads through to sales and then onto invoices.  All customer information sits within WeCanDoCRM — including invoices — which can even keep customer records updated from public profiles on social networking sites like Twitter.

“I have access to information about my customers that many large businesses can only dream about!” laughs Will; and that’s before he has even linked his Twitter to WeCanDoCRM!

Before he rushes to his next meeting Will shares the secrets of his success: “Work on your business, rather than in it.  Work hard to win customers and harder still to keep them.  I’d recommend WeCanDoCRM to anyone who wants the benefits of Big Business customer relationship and management systems but with a cost and simplicity for small businesses.”

WeCanDoCRM is available from WeCanDo.BIZ at www.wecando.biz

HOW TO: Integrate KashFlow with WeCanDoCRM

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