I’ve had a few questions regarding the Tracking, Planning, & Pricing three-part series of posts.
Here’s our first question, from Roger:
My question is “Why would you switch back?” I understand that I may not know enough of what the software can actually do or how much manual data entry is involved in SuccessWare vs. QB. Yes, brides are online a lot and savvy about the internet, but Mom’s with kids are really busy and it is easier for them to email me or give me their info over the phone. Wouldn’t the benefits of tracking finances with managerial accounting, which you recommend by the way, in SuccessWare outweigh using ShootQ to automatically enter info? Are you good enough at QB to be able to track your business without SuccessWare?
I am just being devil’s advocate, don’t know anything about you and how you conduct business, and am asking for more info to help me make a decision about how to proceed, either $1500 for Successware or $150 for QB and Excel and my current CRM, which I already have.
Thank you for the great question, Roger.
Here’s what we are looking at:
A) Use Successware for everything (tracking, planning, pricing) and figure out your salary on your own
B) Use your own CRM system (such as the one you mention, or ShootQ) for tracking clients, Quickbooks for tracking income/expenses, and Excel for Planning & Pricing. (Can use Number Cruncher to help with these).
First of all, if you decide to go with Successware, do NOT buy it outright. It doesn’t included upgrades. It’s much more economical to lease for $49 a month and get the included upgrades and support.
Second, ask which is more important – doing the data entry yourself, or having the clients enter it directly. Is it important to have a system online that automatically takes payments and updates clients without you having to lift a finger or remember? If so, make sure your CRM system has these capabilities. ShootQ has these features. I’m not sure what other CRM systems (including yours) do this.
For us, this was an easy decision. I do not like doing data entry. I travel a lot. I’m busy. Sending contracts and invoices does not appeal to me. I have ShootQ to do these things for me.
I have Quickbooks to track everything else – income and expenses.
Second of all, It’s very very easy to run a report and look at your managerial accounting numbers from BOTH Quickbooks and Successware. You don’t need to be “that good at QB” to get this information. Simply go to “Report” and pick which report you’d like to see, such as Income/Expense. That is not a deciding factor. It’s easy in both programs to track your progress.
So when I look at the time and money ShootQ + Quickbooks + Number Cruncher + Excel saves me… it’s an easy decision for me. It allows me do what I’m good at, and what I like to do… and does the mundane tasks for me. I easily have access to my numbers to track my progress. It allows my clients to book me easily online and I REALLY like that part – they do too! ShootQ sends them info and syncs the shoots with my iCalendar. I can access it from my iPhone and look up client info while I’m out and about.
Of course, as you mention, every business and business owner will have different likes and dislikes, different budgets and needs. This is what works for me and many of my industry peers. My accountant and clients like this system too. What works for you and your clients may be different. What’s MOST important is that these things (Tracking, Planning, Pricing properly) get done regularly so you’re still in business!