After resigning from work to spend more time with her five-year-old daughter, Mary started a flower shop in New York in 2010 as her main source of income. Her four-year-old flower shop has become one of the most popular flower shops in her area and has over the years gained its share of loyal customers. This sole proprietor is thinking of getting a CRM software application to boost the efficiency of her business. She asks—
“Hello, I own and run a flower shop that has been operating for four years. I do everything on my own—from getting the flowers from my suppliers, checking the inventory, dealing with loyal customers, to managing the entire operation of my flower shop. I have read the benefits of using a CRM software for small business, but can an application like help me in my flower shop?”– Mary, NY
Thank you for your question, Mary. You may also be interested in visiting a comparison page of accounting CRM applications. Check this side-by-side comparison of accounting CRM applications for your business.
Contrary to what some people may assume, CRM solutions are not just for big companies or salespeople. It is also good for small business such as a flower shop and even for non-profit organizations. The tools as well as insight that an outstanding CRM application gives can not only improve customer satisfaction for businesses that are service-oriented, but also help a single proprietor become more organized and efficient in doing tasks.
For example, a CRM software for small business can help sole proprietors handle contacts, proposals, correspondence, tasks, and sales projects in a much efficient manner than having all of your data in various folders and documents.
Here are three questions to consider when looking for different types of CRM software for your small business.
However, one question arises: What is the best CRM application package for you? It can be a big commitment and this does not necessarily mean in terms of money (but a comparison of CRM applications show that some can be quite expensive) but in terms of time: using the platform to match your business processes and ultimately provide solutions, getting your business data into the application, and training yourself or your staff in using it.
One of the first things that you should consider when looking for CRM software for small business is the type of platform: on-site or a cloud-hosted application. On-site CRM application refers to the traditional software that gets installed on your server or personal computers, much like an office productivity suite. Consider the advantages and benefits of using an on-premise software or one that is based online. If there are demo or trial versions available, feel free to check them out.
When considering the right CRM software for small business, you should also look at your financial capability to buy it. Is it too expensive for you to sustain its operations? Or can you look for a CRM application that is cheap, or better yet, free?
Also keep in mind that you do not need to get the most expensive CRM application available with the latest user interface or amazing design. A software application may be simple in its layout and functions, but as long as it provides solutions to your business, then that is already useful enough.
For more information on some of the best CRM applications for your business, read PCWorld’s article “Salesforce Alternatives: 5 CRM Services for Small Businesses”. If you want to know more about the advantages of using CRM solutions for your business, check out our Benefits of CRM Guide.
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