I was reading an article by Press Release Rocket that reported on a recent small business survey on awareness of CRM’s.  If you don’t know what a CRM is, don’t be worried, because 20% of those business surveyed hadn’t heard of them either.  Anyway, that’s why we are here, to tell you about these things!

A C-R-M for those in the 20%, stands for Customer Relationship Management. At its simplest, a CRM system allows businesses to manage business relationships and the data and information associated with them.  

In summary the survey  asked about the obstacles of choosing and implementing CRMs, the top four answers were:-

  1. My business is too small for a CRM (31.86%)
  2. None of these (22.88%) when asked a number of questions
  3. What’s a CRM? (21.88%)
  4. I think CRMs are too expensive (16.99%)

Should small businesses be looking at a CRM system for their business.  Well like all things, I guess the answer depends. I do believe however, that all small businesses, should at least be aware of them.

A small business, is ultimately only as successful as it’s weakest link.  Normally, most businesses owners are great at the ‘product’ or the ‘doing’ side of the business, otherwise you wouldn’t have went into business.  However, as you aware, as a small business owner, you also need to be good at everything else, including both marketing and finance.  If you are weak in any one area, then ultimately your business will not be as successful as it could and deserves to be.

By their very nature, a small business has limited funds.  As such, you have to outsmart the competition, gaining an edge wherever you can.  If you haven’t tried any of the website resources, I urge you to give them a try.  The resources are the product of years of knowledge, and research, and will help you improve your business, and ultimately ensure that your business provides you with what you want on a personal level as well.

By learning, advanced business techniques, and knowing what technology is out there, you can then make informed decisions.  Knowledge is power, but it is only power if you put it into practice.

So coming back to CRM solutions, should a business implement one, to improve their business.  Well it depends, but one thing is for certain, if you don’t know what a CRM is, and it turns out to be the correct thing to implement, then you run the risk of your competition gaining a competitive advantage over you.  For a small business, that could be the tipping point between making profits and not.   

On a practical , personal level.  I phoned up my local Chinese Restaurant in Corstorphine, and ordered a takeaway for delivery.  Before I even said anything, I was greeted, by my name, and asked how my day was.  After placing my order, they then confirmed my address, and promised delivery within half an hour.  It’s a CRM system in miniature, as well as great customer service.  it doesn’t cost much, and personally for me, I am more likely to go back to that Restaurant in the future, rather than another one where I have to give all of my details across every single time.

If only a small percentage of people are like me, then that business will have increased it’s repeat business, and ensured that trade comes to them rather than the local competition, and all because they had a simple CRM in place (and served a great chicken chow mein!)   

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