Artwork for podcast Six Figure Business Mastery
Optimizing Your Business Using CRM and Project Management Tools // Melissa Rich
Episode 305th February 2024 • Six Figure Business Mastery • Kirsten Graham & Jeanne Willson
00:00:00 00:32:34

Share Episode

Shownotes

In this episode, we delve into the crucial role of CRMs (Client Relationship Managers) and project management tools in the efficient functioning of creative small businesses. Our guest, Melissa Rich, founder of Virtually Done Systems, specializes in helping overwhelmed business owners streamline their processes, implement workflows, and embrace automation to regain control of their day-to-day tasks.

Understanding CRMs and Project Management Tools:

  • CRM Functionality: A CRM serves as the face of your business, managing client-facing tasks, communications, schedulers, contracts, and invoices. It becomes indispensable once a client is booked, handling all interactions with clients effectively.
  • Project Management Tools: The behind-the-scenes work, manual tasks, and project tracking are efficiently managed by project management tools. These tools complement CRMs, ensuring a seamless operation and increased efficiency for small businesses.

Expert Insights with Melissa Rich:

  • The Need for Both: Melissa emphasizes the necessity of both CRMs and project management tools. While CRMs focus on client-facing aspects, project management tools handle internal tasks, providing a holistic approach to business management.
  • Efficiency and Smooth Operations: Integrating strategized systems, workflows, and automations is crucial for overwhelmed business owners to alleviate stress. Melissa shares insights on creating structure and systems, making businesses more efficient and enjoyable for owners.

Overcoming Business Owners' Struggles:

  • Challenges with Systems and Workflows: Many business owners, especially creatives, struggle with creating systems, processes, and workflows. The episode explores the common challenges faced and the solutions offered by experts like Melissa Rich.
  • Melissa's Journey: Melissa shares her journey from working in process management for a healthcare IT company to specializing in systems for creatives. Her passion for systems and workflows stems from her love for organizing and streamlining processes.

Client Success Stories:

  • Relief through Workflow Mapping: Melissa narrates a recent client success story where a business owner, initially stressed about workflows, experienced a sense of relief and excitement after a workflow mapping session. The client discovered a newfound ability to run her business without constant micromanagement.

In conclusion, this episode provides valuable insights into the symbiotic relationship between CRMs and project management tools. Melissa Rich's expertise sheds light on how small businesses, particularly those in creative industries, can thrive by implementing efficient systems and workflows.

Helpful Links:

The Marketing VA Advantage 

Six Figure Business Coaching 

Mastering Online Marketing for Entrepreneurs

Double Your Income with a Marketing VA, even on a tight budget

Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to the six figure business mastery podcast, where every week,

Speaker:

Kirsten and Jeannie dive into the essential topics to fuel your business

Speaker:

growth, from copywriting to course creation, mindset to video marketing.

Speaker:

They've got you covered tune in for expert guest interviews on all things,

Speaker:

marketing and business, and learn how to work on your business, not just in it.

Speaker:

So get ready to unlock your business potential and take it to the next level.

Speaker:

We're going to talk about.

Speaker:

Any successful business is using a project management software and a CRM.

Speaker:

So if you're not sure what those are or if you are using them, but you want more

Speaker:

helpful tips on how to use them better, you are going to enjoy our guest today.

Speaker:

Today we are thrilled to welcome Melissa Rich, who is the founder

Speaker:

of Virtually Dunn Systems.

Speaker:

Her business is dedicated to all things, systems and workflows

Speaker:

for creative small businesses.

Speaker:

She specializes in helping overwhelmed small business owners get their lives

Speaker:

back by implementing strategize system workflows and automations to take

Speaker:

care of the day to day tasks that stress them out so they can fall back

Speaker:

in love with their businesses and spend less time behind their laptop.

Speaker:

And more time having fun.

Speaker:

So welcome, Melissa.

Speaker:

We are excited to have you.

Speaker:

One of Kirsten's favorite topics and obviously yours as well.

Speaker:

So welcome to the podcast.

Speaker:

Thank you.

Speaker:

I am so excited to be here.

Speaker:

We're going to start off with the first question, because I think that.

Speaker:

A lot of business owners are probably more like me.

Speaker:

They're not great at creating structure.

Speaker:

They are, they're not great at systems.

Speaker:

You know, we appreciate them and value them if someone else does

Speaker:

them and we can follow them, but generally it's not how our minds work.

Speaker:

So how did you get into kind of being a systems consultant

Speaker:

or a systems strategist?

Speaker:

Like how, what led you to this point?

Speaker:

Because I think it's just, it's so interesting to me.

Speaker:

It's kind of a curvy path that wasn't a straight line, if you will.

Speaker:

So a long, long time ago, probably what, like 15 years ago now, one of

Speaker:

my very first jobs out of college was on a health, on a process management

Speaker:

team for a healthcare IT company.

Speaker:

I went to school for communication, so that's not

Speaker:

where I expected to find myself.

Speaker:

But I wound up on this.

Speaker:

Process management team.

Speaker:

And part of my job was to improve the corporation systems and come up with

Speaker:

new processes and workflows to make us more efficient and everything like that.

Speaker:

It's where this job is where I first fell in love with the Post it note and

Speaker:

learned the magic of a sticky note and a Sharpie and how that can help with

Speaker:

mapping systems out after about four years in that job, I left it to become

Speaker:

a full time wedding photographer.

Speaker:

And I say full time wedding photographer.

Speaker:

I never identified with it.

Speaker:

I always loved running the business and doing the systems and the work.

Speaker:

Flows and the client communication more than the actual systems, right?

Speaker:

Or than the actual photographing, right.

Speaker:

Scandalous the creative community, if you will.

Speaker:

And so eventually I found myself specializing in systems for creatives

Speaker:

because of my experience with photography and in the wedding industry, but

Speaker:

also going back to my love of systems and workflows in the first place.

Speaker:

So the first love never really left me.

Speaker:

That's more of how I've always been able to identify.

Speaker:

And it's so interesting because.

Speaker:

That is the number 1 thing that business owners struggle with, whether they're

Speaker:

creatives or not putting together the systems, the processes, the workflows.

Speaker:

It's just so challenging.

Speaker:

So having someone like you, who your brain works like that, which is like

Speaker:

genie genie's created all of our workflows and systems and processes.

Speaker:

Having someone who has a brain like that is amazing to help a business owner.

Speaker:

1.

Speaker:

Feel like they're not running around like a chicken with their head

Speaker:

cut off because that's generally how most of us feel, right?

Speaker:

And the second part is to realize that you can't really grow a business until

Speaker:

you start implementing structure.

Speaker:

So to have someone you love that makes it more fun, right?

Speaker:

You, I'm sure your clients are thrilled to work with someone who loves something that

Speaker:

they don't necessarily love or understand.

Speaker:

Yes, absolutely.

Speaker:

I actually just finished a workflow mapping meeting about half an

Speaker:

hour ago with a client and she was so stressed out when we started,

Speaker:

but she was like, that's it.

Speaker:

That's all you're going to do the rest of it.

Speaker:

Things are going to be so much better.

Speaker:

My life's going to be so much easier.

Speaker:

This is going to be great.

Speaker:

It's just that side, that sense of relief that she's going to be able to run her

Speaker:

business the way she wants to, without constantly having to run her business.

Speaker:

If you know what I mean is just, she's so excited.

Speaker:

I'm so excited for her.

Speaker:

That's so awesome.

Speaker:

Yeah, because you really can't delegate work until you

Speaker:

have a process for it, right?

Speaker:

You can't, it's almost impossible, which is 1 of the things we do for our

Speaker:

clients is we provide all of the SOPs to manage a marketing virtual assistant.

Speaker:

But, yeah, it's so funny for us, because I think you and I spoke about

Speaker:

this before, you know, we're helping our clients with their video marketing

Speaker:

strategy, their content strategy.

Speaker:

And we're placing a, you know, a trained marketing virtual assistant with them.

Speaker:

You know, we never really talk about the back end, which is the

Speaker:

SOPs because nobody wants them.

Speaker:

Nobody understands what they are.

Speaker:

They're not sexy.

Speaker:

SOPs are not sexy, but it has blown my mind.

Speaker:

I think Jeannie, probably you even more so is how many business

Speaker:

owners come back to us and they say, Oh my gosh, like I heard SOPs.

Speaker:

I knew I needed them.

Speaker:

But I didn't know how to start.

Speaker:

And now that I've learned yours for marketing, I've been able to create

Speaker:

them in other areas of my business, or, you know, just seeing how excited

Speaker:

they are to understand what, you know, once you work with that structure, what

Speaker:

it can do for you and your business, but until you've had an opportunity

Speaker:

to do that, you really don't know.

Speaker:

So that really blew my mind.

Speaker:

You're so right.

Speaker:

And SOPs, they are.

Speaker:

A lifesaver.

Speaker:

They're like a backbone.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

You create them for your business and hopefully for your team as you grow

Speaker:

your team thinking, oh, this is fine.

Speaker:

This is great.

Speaker:

I'm never going to use this.

Speaker:

But when life gets crazy and you are overwhelmed, you can

Speaker:

rely on those to help guide you.

Speaker:

And so, you know, exactly what needs to be done.

Speaker:

So there's no 2nd, guessing.

Speaker:

There's no questioning.

Speaker:

You can pass it off to your team member.

Speaker:

There's no 2nd guessing.

Speaker:

There's no questioning.

Speaker:

They know exactly what needs to be done.

Speaker:

When it needs to be done and nobody's losing any brainpower over it because

Speaker:

it's just right there for you.

Speaker:

And I did them originally because it made sense to me, you know, like

Speaker:

I didn't want to have to go back to something time and time again when

Speaker:

you did, if you weren't doing it every day, you might miss some of the steps.

Speaker:

So for me, it was just, I didn't want to miss any of the steps.

Speaker:

And then I realized, Oh, this is a process.

Speaker:

Oh my gosh.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

My, the bane of my existence in my business is bookkeeping.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

I hate it.

Speaker:

And even though I have an accountant, I still have to have my SOP of the

Speaker:

tasks that I have to do on a weekly basis because I hate them and I will

Speaker:

not remember them because I have that negative association to them.

Speaker:

You know, you have to have them.

Speaker:

So I'm excited.

Speaker:

One of the things we're going to talk about today with you.

Speaker:

Is, you know, what is a CRM?

Speaker:

And then we're also going to talk about project management software and

Speaker:

whether or not you need both of those.

Speaker:

So I'd love just to start off.

Speaker:

One of the things you help your clients with is to find a CRM and

Speaker:

to really get started using that.

Speaker:

So I'm excited to hear more about that from your perspective.

Speaker:

So a CRM is that client relationship manager.

Speaker:

It's how you manage the day to day actions interactions with your clients.

Speaker:

So think like emails that need to go out, invoices that need to get set, schedulers

Speaker:

that need to go out, um, keeping notes about your client projects, uh,

Speaker:

contracts, questionnaires, anything that.

Speaker:

Goes that you send to your client.

Speaker:

That's what your CRM is for, right?

Speaker:

There are 500 bajillion on the market, right?

Speaker:

We all know that.

Speaker:

And so choosing the right 1 can be tough, but I really, really encourage

Speaker:

people to think about when they're trying to find the CRM that works

Speaker:

best for them are a few things.

Speaker:

What are the bare bones basics that you need to be able to

Speaker:

do in the software, right?

Speaker:

If you're constantly scheduling with the client, you need it to include

Speaker:

a scheduler or a link to schedule meetings or that kind of thing.

Speaker:

If you're sending invoices, it needs to be able to send invoices.

Speaker:

You don't want to have five different tools that do five different things when

Speaker:

you can combine them all into your CRM.

Speaker:

The second thing you need to think about is how you work.

Speaker:

And that might sound counterintuitive, right?

Speaker:

But if you are a visual person, if you're a creative person, You

Speaker:

need to make sure your CRM has some sort of visual aspect to it.

Speaker:

So when you log in, it's not all lists and numbers and things like that.

Speaker:

It needs to be, this is going to sound silly, it needs to be pretty and it needs

Speaker:

to like be easy for you to use so that you will want to go into consistently use.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

And I think what a lot of people don't understand about a CRM is

Speaker:

it's so fantastic because everything that's related to that client is in

Speaker:

that client's folder, so to speak.

Speaker:

You know, so if you.

Speaker:

If they booked an appointment with you, you can see when

Speaker:

they booked that appointment.

Speaker:

If they, if you send an invoice, you know, exactly when it went out,

Speaker:

you know, all the things related to the customer are in 1 place.

Speaker:

And like you said, there's a place to type up your notes.

Speaker:

If you've had a conversation with that client, the notes are connected

Speaker:

to their contact information.

Speaker:

Everything is in.

Speaker:

Their contact information, and it's really funny because 1 of the 1 of the

Speaker:

things that we love about our software and most software has it is task being

Speaker:

able to set up that task for that next step so that, you know, when you need

Speaker:

to reach back out to them or follow up with them, or, you know, in our case,

Speaker:

sometimes, you know, it may be me saying, hey, Jeannie, they want to demo on the

Speaker:

software, or she may put set up a task for me saying, you know, follow up.

Speaker:

They're really interested in talking about a virtual assistant.

Speaker:

The 1st.

Speaker:

To the year, so we're able to schedule things for each other or for ourselves

Speaker:

so that we don't miss things.

Speaker:

You don't miss out on opportunities to bring on new clients or to sell them a new

Speaker:

product or service, or just to follow up and to continue to build the relationship.

Speaker:

So, I think that is key is just having everything that revolves around

Speaker:

that particular client or prospect.

Speaker:

In one place.

Speaker:

Oh, my gosh, you're so right.

Speaker:

And the beautiful thing is if you have a team, you can give

Speaker:

your team access to that too.

Speaker:

So they're not constantly asking you questions about,

Speaker:

well, what about this client?

Speaker:

What did you talk about during this meeting?

Speaker:

Or how do I get ahold of them?

Speaker:

Or what do they use for this or that?

Speaker:

Your team can see it right there too.

Speaker:

It's not just a me only thing in most cases.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

Yeah, and it's also now it's so great that, you know, it used

Speaker:

to be something that only big companies had big corporations

Speaker:

because it was very expensive.

Speaker:

And I'm so grateful that now, you know, as a small business owner, we

Speaker:

have access to really, really robust CRMs and we don't have to pay, you

Speaker:

know, thousands of dollars every month.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

It's amazing.

Speaker:

It really, really, truly is.

Speaker:

And a lot of small business owners think that, Oh, I'm just a small business.

Speaker:

I just do this on the side.

Speaker:

I don't, I don't really need a CRM.

Speaker:

That's for the big guys.

Speaker:

No, it's exactly for you.

Speaker:

Unless you want to be working around the clock, you've got to have one.

Speaker:

Yeah, and, and like to Kirsten's point about keeping everything together,

Speaker:

you know, sticky notes used to be, you know, and then bits of paper and,

Speaker:

you know, oh, I talked to this person.

Speaker:

Oh, I'm going to write a note for that.

Speaker:

Or I'd talk to that person.

Speaker:

And, you know, when you get into the habit, start using your CRM

Speaker:

properly and setting it up properly.

Speaker:

It's all right there.

Speaker:

You don't, so it saves you a ton of time.

Speaker:

It's amazing.

Speaker:

It's a life saver, a life saver.

Speaker:

You never miss a thing, an opportunity.

Speaker:

I know you mentioned that already.

Speaker:

You never miss an opportunity.

Speaker:

You never miss a thing again, because it's all right there.

Speaker:

So picking a really, picking the right CRM for you is so important

Speaker:

and invest the time that we always tell people invest the time.

Speaker:

Like you said, what are the bare bones that you need now, but where do you see

Speaker:

your business going and what might be some of the features you'll want in the future?

Speaker:

Oh, my gosh.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

And don't be afraid.

Speaker:

Afraid to try the free trials.

Speaker:

Most CRMs will offer you a free trial.

Speaker:

Hop in there.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

Set up a basic workflow.

Speaker:

See if it works for you before you buy in.

Speaker:

Because when you build something out like a CRM, you don't

Speaker:

want it to just work for now.

Speaker:

Like you mentioned, you want it to work for your business for a long time.

Speaker:

Term and yeah, you're going to go in and adjust your workflows and tweak

Speaker:

things and change as your business grows and changes, but you don't

Speaker:

want to have to change software.

Speaker:

Every time that happens realizes that business owner, when you end up changing

Speaker:

software or, or changing project management software, whatever you change,

Speaker:

it takes time away from your business.

Speaker:

It takes time away from making money.

Speaker:

It takes time away from your client, or it takes time away from

Speaker:

doing the things that you love.

Speaker:

So I feel like investing time and energy to it.

Speaker:

Pick the right thing is so important.

Speaker:

It really, really is.

Speaker:

And I'm a big fan of also like, um, creating an order of operations, right?

Speaker:

So most CRMs have a good guide to help you get started, right?

Speaker:

Like these are the things you need to create and implement

Speaker:

in this order to be successful.

Speaker:

Some have them, some don't, I think all should have them.

Speaker:

And if yours does not have one, then it's not a bad idea to reach out to support

Speaker:

or reach out to the community and be like, what do I need to set up first?

Speaker:

Because it is such a big.

Speaker:

Project and you want to be efficient because if you start setting up

Speaker:

and things are willy nilly all over the place and you have to do this.

Speaker:

Oh, but I forgot to do this.

Speaker:

I have to go do this.

Speaker:

You're going to get frustrated not want to use it.

Speaker:

And that defeats the whole point.

Speaker:

The whole point.

Speaker:

Exactly.

Speaker:

Yeah, 1 of the things we started doing, because a lot of our clients end up

Speaker:

using the same software we use, we have virtual assistants that are trained in it.

Speaker:

So we can always ask them in the onboarding process.

Speaker:

Do you just want to hire this person to set everything up for

Speaker:

you and to guide you through it?

Speaker:

But we're always creating new trainings on how to use all the

Speaker:

amazing features that are in it.

Speaker:

Because.

Speaker:

It is ever evolving.

Speaker:

Like it's not a CRM.

Speaker:

I think everything out there right now is evolving because of AI

Speaker:

and how technology is changing.

Speaker:

So it's one of those things where you can continue to grow your business with

Speaker:

all of these new features and tools, but they take a little bit of time to learn.

Speaker:

So we always try to learn those things and create a simple training

Speaker:

on it and talk about how you can implement it or how you can use it

Speaker:

because just because a tool is there.

Speaker:

Doesn't mean it's right for you to use, you know, there's certain tools

Speaker:

and the software we don't use and there's nothing wrong with that.

Speaker:

No, not at all.

Speaker:

But I, I agree.

Speaker:

You have to, I said earlier, you want your serum to be able to handle

Speaker:

everything that you need it to.

Speaker:

But you are correct.

Speaker:

There are times and places where an all in 1.

Speaker:

It's not as great as it sounds.

Speaker:

And so you have to be able to know when that is and what tool you want to

Speaker:

use in its place and how to integrate.

Speaker:

You're absolutely right.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

So if you are looking for an all in one sales and marketing platform that works

Speaker:

as your CRM, it includes your funnels.

Speaker:

It includes membership programs.

Speaker:

And so much more than you need to check out from leads to sales.

Speaker:

So it's from leads to sales.

Speaker:

com and book a demo today.

Speaker:

So next favorite topic is project management software.

Speaker:

Yes, let's talk about it, shall we?

Speaker:

So project management.

Speaker:

Software is going to be if you're CRM handles everything

Speaker:

that's client facing your project management tool is going to handle

Speaker:

everything that's behind the scenes.

Speaker:

So think the manual work that you have to actually do for your clients.

Speaker:

If you have to go and review their checklist or review their

Speaker:

collateral or train this person or put together this onboarding guide.

Speaker:

That's not going to be a task that you're going to create in your CRM.

Speaker:

You're going to want to create that in your project management tool.

Speaker:

Project management tools are also great for managing your team,

Speaker:

for team communications, to store SOPs, to store onboarding guides

Speaker:

and workflows, content management, content planning, content libraries,

Speaker:

marketing plans, so on and so forth.

Speaker:

I've got more in mind than I probably have.

Speaker:

I've got just the right amount of stuff in my project management tool.

Speaker:

But again, this is one of those tools that a lot of small businesses Think they'll

Speaker:

see an ad for Monday or for ClickUp and they'll be like, that's way over my head.

Speaker:

I don't need that.

Speaker:

That's just going to like, it's not for me.

Speaker:

Cause I'm just a small business.

Speaker:

No.

Speaker:

Pairing a project management tool with a CRM is how you get your time back.

Speaker:

That's how you become most efficient and are able to grow and scale your team.

Speaker:

You have to have both.

Speaker:

You have to.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Do your clients work in different project management softwares or do you

Speaker:

really recommend one that you love?

Speaker:

It depends.

Speaker:

Again, this kind of depends on what works for them.

Speaker:

If they're super visual people, then I'll guide them towards more

Speaker:

of a supervision, super visual oriented project management tool.

Speaker:

But if they're list makers, or they're like, no, I like complex things,

Speaker:

then we'll go that route as well.

Speaker:

I tend to recommend ClickUp most just because.

Speaker:

You can look at it in a visual aspect or a list aspect or this or that, but

Speaker:

a lot of my clients also are really digging Notion right now because

Speaker:

it's so customizable as well, too.

Speaker:

And I can get on board with that as well, too.

Speaker:

I just, I've been in ClickUp for years now and I, I like it.

Speaker:

Yeah, it really is.

Speaker:

It's so funny because I think over the years we've used

Speaker:

BaseCAM with Notions for a while.

Speaker:

We really haven't messed with ClickUp at all.

Speaker:

And I think the reason for that is When we first, I think we were using

Speaker:

Asana, but when we decided to actually share our SOPs, our standard operating

Speaker:

procedures, like, actually give them to our clients so that they could just

Speaker:

download them into their software, we couldn't do it in any other software.

Speaker:

Trello was the only software at that time.

Speaker:

That allowed us to very easily let them take all of our workflows, all

Speaker:

of our and just put them in for them.

Speaker:

And so that is what we are still using because of that.

Speaker:

But we do have clients who will, if they're using something else,

Speaker:

they always tell them that the virtual assistant has been trained.

Speaker:

In Trello, because that's where the are, and we usually recommend that they

Speaker:

just use that with them for a couple of months so that they kind of get

Speaker:

used to the workflows and how we have everything set up and then have the

Speaker:

virtual assistant set it up and whatever project management software they want it

Speaker:

in to have a conversation about what it will look like to transfer it and have

Speaker:

a structure that will work for them.

Speaker:

Because again, I think the only thing that's important about a

Speaker:

project management software is that you'll actually use it.

Speaker:

I guess it's the same with CRM too.

Speaker:

Whatever you will actually use is the best one.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

I love a good Trello board.

Speaker:

I spent, oh my gosh, that was probably the first product management

Speaker:

tool that I used in my businesses.

Speaker:

And I spent forever creating all the custom graphics and all

Speaker:

the pretty fonts and all of the workflows for a long, long time.

Speaker:

I loved it.

Speaker:

My super creative visual husband loved it because it's card.

Speaker:

It's a card, um, layout, right?

Speaker:

So you can just drag and drop and move and it worked great.

Speaker:

We loved it.

Speaker:

Again, you got to use what's going to work for you.

Speaker:

If you're going to get overwhelmed by it, go simple or go easy.

Speaker:

You have to.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

And we kind of felt that Trello was a nice balance between, ClickUp is very robust.

Speaker:

And like you said, it can be visually, you know, done in a bunch of different ways.

Speaker:

And I kind of felt like Trello was something that was user

Speaker:

friendly and you can make it as.

Speaker:

Robust as you want.

Speaker:

There's lots of add ons and power ups and things that you can add to it to

Speaker:

make it automate different things.

Speaker:

But, like, we try to start out pretty simple.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

I love Trello for that exact reason.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

And when it, like I said, when it comes to people who want something visual,

Speaker:

that's always my go to recommendation.

Speaker:

Because it is easy to dip your toes in without feeling like Oh

Speaker:

my gosh, I don't even know I'm gonna break something if I move it.

Speaker:

You know what I mean?

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

And I think that's because the way our workflows are is the virtual, the, the

Speaker:

client may be recording the video and, and doing their part, and then the card gets

Speaker:

moved to the virtual assistant for editing and then it gets moved on to the, you

Speaker:

know, our client again to like review it.

Speaker:

So it's very easy to use it as a production, kinda like an

Speaker:

assembly line of what's happening.

Speaker:

And that's really important when you're doing a large amount of

Speaker:

content production, you know?

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

It's, and so what I think has been interesting is for us.

Speaker:

I would say probably 75 percent of our clients, this is their first time they've

Speaker:

really used a project management software.

Speaker:

Does that sound about accurate, Jeannie?

Speaker:

Yeah, that's about right.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Some of them didn't know what it was to begin with, and that's fine.

Speaker:

And that's totally understandable because, you know, not all that

Speaker:

long ago, they didn't really exist.

Speaker:

And so, you know, now they've just made it so that we can share information

Speaker:

with either other people, like we do with our templates or with.

Speaker:

Team members, which we do with our internal team.

Speaker:

And, and like Kirsten said, we, we love it because we can always see

Speaker:

where projects are in the development phase and who's waiting for who who's

Speaker:

next in taking care of this project.

Speaker:

So yeah, we love it.

Speaker:

I would say the 25 percent of our clients that have project management software,

Speaker:

I think a lot of them are in ClickUp.

Speaker:

So I feel like it's either like, they're really already in something

Speaker:

more, you know, more elaborate or they're really just learning about it.

Speaker:

So.

Speaker:

Yeah, that's totally fair.

Speaker:

So, what would be your best advice to someone who's just starting out

Speaker:

using a project management software?

Speaker:

Start simple, right?

Speaker:

Don't start simple.

Speaker:

You've got, if you've got your client workflow built out in your CRM, go

Speaker:

through and figure out the matching work that you need to do on your side,

Speaker:

the matching manual tasks that happen opposite of your client workflow, right?

Speaker:

Start simple, start there, start with a super simple list.

Speaker:

It doesn't have to be complex.

Speaker:

Start with what you have again.

Speaker:

A lot of people, when it comes to building workflows and systems think that all

Speaker:

these other people talk about it being this big, complex, super complicated

Speaker:

work or system that's all automated.

Speaker:

It doesn't have to be that.

Speaker:

It can be as simple as 1 email template or 2 tasks and a project management tool.

Speaker:

That's good enough.

Speaker:

As long as you're tracking it, and it can be repeatable workflows, grow and change.

Speaker:

They should grow and change as your business grows and change.

Speaker:

And as they do, and as you become more familiar with the tool.

Speaker:

Add to it then, but don't think that you can't just use it for the

Speaker:

few things that you have already.

Speaker:

Start simple, start easy.

Speaker:

Start with a checklist.

Speaker:

Yes.

Speaker:

A checklist.

Speaker:

And I love, and Trello does this and some other softwares do that, that

Speaker:

when you have your checklist and you check it off, it actually puts a check

Speaker:

mark in there and crosses it out.

Speaker:

So satisfying.

Speaker:

Right?

Speaker:

Well, and a lot of people that I work with, they are afraid of a

Speaker:

project management tool, right?

Speaker:

And so I'll encourage them if you don't want to sign up for a project

Speaker:

management tool, that's fine.

Speaker:

That's not a requirement, but make a list in your notes app, even on your phone

Speaker:

that has the checklist and the steps start there, then eventually transfer

Speaker:

that to an actual project management tool.

Speaker:

And once you get the hang of kind of checking things off on your

Speaker:

checklist in your app, a project management tool is going to feel so

Speaker:

much easier because you're already doing that those steps consistently.

Speaker:

Yeah, and I think.

Speaker:

1 of the things that we've been working on is it's very easy to

Speaker:

overdevelop, you know, you're right.

Speaker:

So Jeannie and I have, like, our annual goals where we're planning out 2024.

Speaker:

we're looking at, you know, what do we want to get done the 1st quarter

Speaker:

of the 2nd and the 3rd because if you're building a business, you need

Speaker:

to think about projects in the sense that you can't do them all tomorrow.

Speaker:

Like, you have to schedule them out.

Speaker:

And sometimes it's like, we'll talk about things and then we'll decide once

Speaker:

we start looking at where would it go.

Speaker:

So, In the calendar, we're ready to go with the project management software.

Speaker:

We realize it's not the best use of time, or it may not

Speaker:

build the result that we want.

Speaker:

And so we decide not to do it.

Speaker:

So, I think for planning, having a project management software can be a

Speaker:

huge tool and helping you decide what can you really get done in your business?

Speaker:

And what is really going to be the drivers that are going to help you really

Speaker:

scale the business, build that work life balance that you're looking for.

Speaker:

So you have more time and fun and peace in your business.

Speaker:

And I know we tend to.

Speaker:

Have too many boards.

Speaker:

Sometimes I know we've been trying to, like, narrow those

Speaker:

down and just really clean it up.

Speaker:

And I think we're probably I would say about 70 percent there.

Speaker:

How are you feeling about it?

Speaker:

Yeah, I was gonna say 80.

Speaker:

And I thought, no, 70 is probably right.

Speaker:

Yeah, that's the same way.

Speaker:

Like, and Jeannie was here.

Speaker:

We work quite a bit on that when she was here in Florida last time.

Speaker:

And I think it's 1 of those things where.

Speaker:

If you can carve out time to invest in it, like, really invest in thinking

Speaker:

about how you want things done and realizing that it, like you said,

Speaker:

it will evolve and it will change.

Speaker:

And then we're always asking ourselves, how can we do this better or easier?

Speaker:

Like, what can we do to make our lives better?

Speaker:

What can we do to make us more productive?

Speaker:

Because it's not about just having all these fancy systems.

Speaker:

It's about having structure that it makes your life.

Speaker:

You know, easy.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

100 percent easy.

Speaker:

I don't want to say stress free, but like, you want to have systems that let you

Speaker:

flex your creative power and your creative genius where it needs to be flexed and

Speaker:

not on things that you don't need to be spending that time on and that energy on.

Speaker:

And that's where having a good project management tool with the systems and

Speaker:

workflows in place is going to be key.

Speaker:

So would you say as a small business owner, do you need both a CRM

Speaker:

and a project management tool?

Speaker:

Yes, 100%.

Speaker:

I am a big fan of that and I encourage anybody to use both just because.

Speaker:

Like I said, CRMs are great, right?

Speaker:

They're fantastic for handling all of your client facing communication.

Speaker:

Most of them can handle tasks as well too.

Speaker:

I know we talked a little bit about that as well too, but there's so much work

Speaker:

that we all do behind the scenes and for our clients and to keep our businesses

Speaker:

running and to work on our goals.

Speaker:

And your CRM cannot track your progress on your goals or the tasks that you

Speaker:

have to do to make your goals come true.

Speaker:

And they're not good for content planning or anything like that.

Speaker:

Where is that going to live?

Speaker:

And your project management tool that my project management tool is the first thing

Speaker:

I look at when I sit down in the morning, I check my email, I check my calendar.

Speaker:

And then I look at my click up board to see what do I have to

Speaker:

do today for who schedule it out.

Speaker:

And then I can go with my day.

Speaker:

It leaves no room for, I don't know what I'm supposed to be doing or

Speaker:

who's what's due for my business or what's due for this client.

Speaker:

Cause it's all right there.

Speaker:

You have to have both.

Speaker:

Yes, I agree.

Speaker:

And it takes away the overwhelm, right?

Speaker:

It takes away all of that.

Speaker:

Wondering or guessing and I like what you said about it.

Speaker:

Just if that's how it defines what your day is going to be.

Speaker:

And I think that, you know, if you're new to using a CRM or a project

Speaker:

management software, it's not magic.

Speaker:

The minute you set it up, right?

Speaker:

It's like a trial and error.

Speaker:

So you're, you know, so just, I guess my advice is also don't give up.

Speaker:

If you're trying to do something like this 1, you could hire, you know, someone like

Speaker:

Melissa to help you do it, which would be the fast track to getting it done.

Speaker:

But if you're setting it up on your own, and you're just learning.

Speaker:

The trick is they are just tools, their software, their tools that you can use

Speaker:

and you have to figure out how to make them work within your mind, how you

Speaker:

think and to realize that it's going to evolve and it's going to change.

Speaker:

And I think it's always messy.

Speaker:

And it's always a little frustrating in the beginning.

Speaker:

But like you said, when you get to the point where Melissa

Speaker:

is, where you can get up.

Speaker:

Every day and just look at your software know exactly what's going to happen.

Speaker:

It just takes away all of that stress.

Speaker:

I know we all end up with decision fatigue, right?

Speaker:

That's a that's a real thing because we're making so many decisions.

Speaker:

And if you have structure that eliminates a lot of that decision fatigue.

Speaker:

It really, really does.

Speaker:

I love, I love, love, love that you just said, don't give up on it, right?

Speaker:

Because so often small business owners or creatives, they have

Speaker:

the best of intentions for rolling into January, February, March.

Speaker:

I know that the creatives that I work with, this is their slow time, right?

Speaker:

So this is the time where they implement CRMs and workflows and systems and

Speaker:

processes and project management tools.

Speaker:

Then when things get busy, a lot of people tend to just leave those tools behind and

Speaker:

just go with what they know in their head.

Speaker:

Something's going to get forgotten.

Speaker:

Something's going to get left out.

Speaker:

You're going to miss something somewhere down the line.

Speaker:

If you are consistent and consistently use that project management

Speaker:

tool, that's not going to happen.

Speaker:

Everybody will be happy.

Speaker:

You will be happy and less stressed out.

Speaker:

Your clients are going to be happy.

Speaker:

Your team is going to be happy.

Speaker:

It's really the consistent use, even when you think you don't need it,

Speaker:

that makes a big, big difference.

Speaker:

Big, big difference.

Speaker:

Yeah, that's when things don't fall through the cracks.

Speaker:

And that's the frustrating part is, oh, my gosh, I talked to someone 4 months ago.

Speaker:

They said, follow up in a month.

Speaker:

And I totally forgot because that sticky note is now on the floor, you know,

Speaker:

whatever it is, you know, but if you've got everything rolling and you've got your

Speaker:

CRM set up and your project management tool, all speaking nicely to each other,

Speaker:

then then you don't miss those things.

Speaker:

It's also a great place to delegate tasks to your team member, though, right?

Speaker:

If you have a team, your clients have VAs, right?

Speaker:

If you have a VA, if you have other team members that are on your team, how in the

Speaker:

world else are you going to delegate work to them or communicate with them about

Speaker:

the project, the status of a project, or the work that they've completed?

Speaker:

We all get way too many emails, right?

Speaker:

And it's not healthy to communicate with your team via text message, uh, using our

Speaker:

project management tool keeps everybody on the same page and there's no second

Speaker:

guessing or doubting about very much.

Speaker:

Did this get done?

Speaker:

Did that get done?

Speaker:

Did this fall through for that client?

Speaker:

It's all right there.

Speaker:

There's no, no second guessing, no falling through the cracks.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Melissa, I think we hear it all the time where people have

Speaker:

hired a virtual assistant and it was an epic failure, right?

Speaker:

It was more work than it was worth.

Speaker:

I had to tell them what to do.

Speaker:

And the reason why people often fail when they hire their 1st person is

Speaker:

because they don't have structure.

Speaker:

They haven't created the workflows.

Speaker:

They don't have the project management software, the CRM in place.

Speaker:

So they're trying to take everything that's in their head.

Speaker:

And kind of dump it onto this person who doesn't have any

Speaker:

reference for what's in your head.

Speaker:

And so it's a disaster and I feel like it's so unfair to the virtual assistants

Speaker:

who often end up losing the job because, you know, that doesn't work out.

Speaker:

And then they feel like failures when the reality is there, they were

Speaker:

set up for failure because there was no structure, there were no SOPs.

Speaker:

So I love that you brought that up in order to delegate.

Speaker:

I think you really do have to have structure set up.

Speaker:

You absolutely do.

Speaker:

And speaking from my personal experience, I left this out earlier,

Speaker:

I worked as a virtual assistant.

Speaker:

For a few years as well, too.

Speaker:

Right.

Speaker:

And so I went into experiences where working as a virtual

Speaker:

assistant, I walked into a business that was structured and had S.

Speaker:

O.

Speaker:

P.

Speaker:

S.

Speaker:

and had a project management tool and had workflows and systems

Speaker:

for everything under the sun.

Speaker:

I loved it.

Speaker:

I love my client.

Speaker:

My client was happy.

Speaker:

I was happy.

Speaker:

We got so much done and I walked into another scenario as a virtual assistant.

Speaker:

You couldn't find the beginning or end of 1 thing or another.

Speaker:

She was unhappy.

Speaker:

I didn't know what work needed to be done and as good of a mind reader as I am, I

Speaker:

couldn't figure it out to save my life.

Speaker:

She just didn't have anything documented and it just, we were both unhappy

Speaker:

and the relationship didn't work out because there was no structure.

Speaker:

There was no tool.

Speaker:

in place to help guide us both and make that a successful relationship.

Speaker:

So one last question for you.

Speaker:

If someone doesn't have a CRM or a project management software yet, which one would

Speaker:

you recommend them to start with and why?

Speaker:

See, normally my, normally my brain goes to CRM, right?

Speaker:

Because then you can have everything handled for your clients.

Speaker:

But if we're thinking along the lines of starting simple and thinking along

Speaker:

the lines of a project management tool is one giant checklist, and you're just

Speaker:

looking for somewhere to get started, you can build a client workflow in

Speaker:

a checklist, send this email to this person with this due date, right?

Speaker:

And so part of me says, if you're just looking to dip your toes in, you

Speaker:

go project management tool, because then you can attach the email template

Speaker:

to the task that you need to do.

Speaker:

Now, in 2 days, I might come back and tell you the CRM is the better option because

Speaker:

then all your clients are taken care of.

Speaker:

It might depend on the person and what their needs are, right?

Speaker:

So, if someone knows.

Speaker:

That they, you know, they want to have email marketing going out and they need

Speaker:

to build a funnel and things like that.

Speaker:

Maybe the CRM would come 1st.

Speaker:

And maybe if they're newer to business, they don't have a lot of clients yet,

Speaker:

or they don't want to, they're not working on the marketing at this moment.

Speaker:

Maybe the project management would come 1st, so they could just start

Speaker:

building a guideline of all the things they have to do throughout each day.

Speaker:

Yeah, I think you're right there.

Speaker:

It depends on what you need to accomplish and what you are struggling with the most.

Speaker:

That's one thing I always ask my clients.

Speaker:

What are you struggling with the most?

Speaker:

What are you spending all of your time on that?

Speaker:

You don't need to be spending your time on.

Speaker:

If it's emailing clients, then you got to go with the CRM option, right?

Speaker:

If it's keeping up with the manual tasks, then you got to go project management

Speaker:

tool because there are people who they need one or the other a little bit more.

Speaker:

Some people have the CRM.

Speaker:

So Melissa, if people want to talk to you personally, And learn more

Speaker:

about what you do and that you, how you might be able to help them.

Speaker:

Do you have a place where they can go?

Speaker:

Yeah, you can find me online at virtuallydonesystems.

Speaker:

com.

Speaker:

Instagram is the same thing.

Speaker:

Facebook is the same thing, but I've never heard they're there.

Speaker:

Instagram or email or my website would be the main place to go.

Speaker:

Absolutely.

Speaker:

And then you have something else for us, for our audience.

Speaker:

It's called eight ways to save time in your business.

Speaker:

So we will put a link to that in the show notes.

Speaker:

So thank you so much for providing that.

Speaker:

Oh my gosh, it's a good one.

Speaker:

I'm excited for you.

Speaker:

Everybody needs to get some time back.

Speaker:

I love that.

Speaker:

That's a good one.

Speaker:

I did that.

Speaker:

That's brilliant.

Speaker:

Well, Melissa, this has been amazing.

Speaker:

And I really think that this is a topic that I think does need clarity and does

Speaker:

need this kind of conversation because they are two different things, but

Speaker:

used together a very, very powerful.

Speaker:

So for educating us on CRMs and project management tools.

Speaker:

Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker:

This was so much fun.

Speaker:

Great.

Speaker:

Well, we hope to have you back again.

Speaker:

We'll talk about something else related to CRMs and project management.

Speaker:

Sounds good.

Speaker:

Thanks again for sure.

Speaker:

Okay.

Speaker:

Thank you.

Speaker:

Have a good week and you take care.

Speaker:

Bye.

Speaker:

Bye.

Speaker:

Thanks for listening to the six figure business mastery podcast.

Speaker:

If you enjoyed listening to this episode and you are ready to leverage video

Speaker:

marketing on all online platforms, or maybe even start your own video

Speaker:

podcast, then you need to check out the done for you and done with you

Speaker:

program at the marketing VA advantage.

Speaker:

com and take your business to the next level.

Follow

Links

Chapters