What Is a CRM and Does My Small Business Start-up Need One?

CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and it is used with the sole aim of improving the relationship between you, the business, and your customers. This leads to profitable sales figures driven by quality analysis which is appropriate to your customer base.

Even if you haven’t come across a CRM before when you worked for somebody else, as they are usually handled by a specific department in a larger company, when you come to work for yourself you may benefit from learning about them.

What Can A CRM Do for My Small Business?

A simple CRM can collect and store details about your customers, which in turn can help you when you start out in business for yourself. Though, if you are just beginning you may question the need to utilise a CRM at this very early stage. Yet, a CRM can be as basic as you need it to be – the point is if you have no kind of CRM at all, how will you be able to approach the customers that you need to reach to generate continuous sales?

A Basic CRM Need Not Be Complicated

If you still aren’t convinced that a CRM is necessary at this stage, you can begin something resembling it in a notebook or, alternatively, type one out on an Excel Spreadsheet! The point of a CRM is to build and maintain a relationship with potential customers, and there’s no reason why you can’t manually maintain this information at this early stage.

  • Write up a list of potential customers you want to develop a relationship with through your new business.
  • Rank these customers as per level of importance to your sales objectives.
  • Note how often you will expect to contact them and by which method.
  • Leave a section for notes next to the customer for further details
  • Add a follow up section for when to contact them next.

Develop and Maintain Your Customer Relationships

Though some smaller businesses may find it easy to initially locate their customers, it is developing and maintaining these relationships long-term that is the challenging part. The benefits of keeping customers, as opposed to finding new ones, are ten-fold for every business as once they understand what it is a customer wants, they can work on developing their product or service around them and continue to improve on this.

Having to continually look for new customers can be time consuming and a costly affair, particularly if you only have a limited number at the beginning of your business venture.

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