Can I gripe about the mega hours I am doing in client work and training classes and seminars and meetings ? I would think I won’t get much sympathy when so many others are laying off, filing bankruptcy or just closing shop.
My client list has grown again and I am finding that I am spending a lot more time in activities, eg. emails, conference calls with clients, setting up new systems to do specific tasks for individual clients, researching more efficient software and procedures, etc. etc. as well as the actual client work. This is beginning to create issues with the most productive use of my time and billable work time to clients. Therefore, I am rethinking more “time efficient” ways of conducting the various facets of my business. Organization is my strong point and streamlining procedures is another one.
One consideration is to review and choose the most productive “shared space” in which I can track communication with my clients, share documents, track progress of projects,etc. There are many programs out there: Basecamp, Central Desktop, ClientSpot, Smartsheet, and Google Sites to name a few. And then there are programs which run on your computer only to organize and document all activity for each client/project in one program such as Lichen Software or Microsoft One Note.
Choosing the one program that is most adaptable to my needs is the first and easiest hurdle.
Convincing the clients of the benefits of joining me in an on-line program to produce great Teamwork will be the biggest and most difficult problem. I find one of the most important issues with the clients is privacy and confidentiality and they are reluctant to abandon the old methods of regular email and attachments, faxing and voice conversations to take the time and effort to work “with me” in using new methods of conducting business with their virutal assistant. And they are not convinced that entering a “shared workspace” on-line will provide the confidentiality that they need. If you, too, have reached the point where your business needs some streamlining here are the links to check out some of the above-mentioned programs.
Central Desktop: http://www.centraldesktop.com/
Client Spot: http://www.myclientspot.com/
Google Sites: http://www.google.com/sites/overview.html
Lichen Software: http://www.lichen-software.com/
Enjoy your week!
Diane L. Coville