04-11-2010 11:58 AM
Hi, first off let me introduce myself, tell you some interests (of the software) and then asks some questions.
My name is Jason, I have a wife named Emily. We have both recently started running our own businesses, with no prior experience. Trying to learn along the way. This, so far, has been no pleasant or easy process. I know things will plateau for us, and running our businesses will become second nature. But until that time we are looking for any little advantage we can get, but not something that would cost too much to make the initial investment not worth it. I know it may be worth it, but I mean in relation to the investment, at a time when any investment into your own small business is a large investment because the impact your business has is fully vested in your life and the lives of those that depend on you. Scary.
So my business is an electrical contractor. I also have an investor behind me on some home renovation projects. I am getting more into general contracting too, because I have done several small jobs for my investor and friends of his. They all love my work, and I have all the tools I need that I have gathered doing home renovation projects, as well as contacts with necessary subs and vendors.
My wife's name is Emily. She has started an errand running/personal assistant business. I didn't think it would really take off, but it has and she has put 110% behind it, I am very very proud of her. I am looking to her for motivation and insperation with the effort she has put forth in this.
So my wife was looking for some sort of organization software that would help her do her job more efficiently, something that could help her keep track of all her clients needs and keep her up to date with things that matter to them. One example would be having an alert pop up that would tell her that one of her clients had an anniversary or a loved one's birthday, or something equally important business related. To her, this would actually be an important business asset because, especially with the really busy clients, this provides an opportunity for work while showing the client how dependable, thoughtful, and responsible she is when she suggests too them that she can make any neccessary arrangements or pick up any special items they may need. It would really let her clients know that she is someone who can be relied on to keep their needs at the top of her list. She puts in about 80-100 hours a week into this business is very important to her. I told her I would assist her in finding something.
We both have taken steps to increase productivity, including the use of smart phones. Droid more specifically. We really like how this integrates with our gmail, google contacts, calender etc. If we were to use this software, would it integrate with the google calender (and calender invites), gmail, contacts, etc? We are really hoping that is one of the features, we want something that integrates and syncs itself so that we don't have too, because that would lead to missing appts etc, which would not be acceptable to either of our businesses.
I know from experience with another software/hardware product that having a forum is an invaluable tool to the developers, and community involvement is rewarded with software that gets updated based on their needs and input. And the developer gets a dedicated focus group that drives development. So when I saw this product has a forum, I assumed that their will be a lot of members involved with the developer and helping noobs out. Is this a pretty safe assumption for this place?
Forgive me for any screwy posts, I am used to v bulletin type forum software.
04-11-2010 06:49 PM
While that was an interesting read, I'm not sure if all you were asking is if ACT can keep up with anniversaries, birthdays, etc.
It will do that just fine as well as keep up with your clients and client history. If you haven't used the software before, then I would suggest using it as it comes out of the box. As you get used to it, you will want it to do more and more. Generally speaking, 50% of the stuff you want is probably already built in and the other 50% can be accomplished by customizing the program.
You will have two approaches to customize it. Do it yourself with the help you get from the forum or use the services of a consultant. There are several who frequent this board -- I am just a user and not a consultant or technician.
I would suggest that as you think of questions, keep the post to a single question, even if you have several at one time. You will generally get more responses that way. Spend time searchoing on the forum, as almost any basic question you may have has already been asked.
The community on this forum is very willing to help, and it is monitored by SAGE who will jump in from time to time to edit responses to make sure they are accurate. So, good luck, and we'll look forward to seeing your posts in the future.
04-13-2010 04:36 AM - last edited on 04-13-2010 07:14 AM by ghollister
1) you're wasted on property/electricals - should'a been a writer
2) tell Emily - my job is entirely based around keeping an awful lot of people happy by remembering their preferences, events, some other info specific to them and all sorts of stuff like that. ACT does most of my job for me.
This forum is also stuffed full of people who speak the language of humans and answer my questions slowly, carefully and in a way my non techy brain can fathom.