When I started my business, I didn’t have access to a ton of cash or credit. As I built my business to the first $220K in revenue, I only needed a few solid resources to help position myself as an expert in the marketplace in front of ideal clients.
Later, I decided I was ready to scale my efforts to $2.2M in a span of 12 months, I added on additional resources to help me get there. I am not at $2.2M per year, yet but I will share with you the various resources that have helped me to get to the first quarter of a million dollars in sales as well as tools that have proven to work wonderfully.
The tools that launched my consulting business
Getting to my first $39,001 in sales didn’t require much tools but here are the ones I’ve used and personally recommend.
Time Management & Call Scheduling
Zoom Conferencing Software – Zoom is a truly exceptional service that allows you to see and interact with people virtually. I used it to host prospecting and sales calls, connection calls, and client meetings.
For the first set of sales in my business, I used Zoom to record prospecting conversations to review my process and study how I could improve my own sales performance. As I acquired more clients, I also started using it to record client meetings and present that as another bonus to working with me.
AcuityScheduling App – Acuity is my preferred appointment scheduler because it integrates perfectly with my email service provider, has a simple and straightforward interface, and is great for those who are just starting out. The app also has the ability to collect payments to Stripe so you don’t have to pay for an additional service to book appointments.
For the first set of sales in my business, I simply confirmed call times with individuals manually and then added them to my Google Calendar which you could do but to streamline and automate the process, I upgraded to Acuity so that callers could answer intake questions as needed, schedule calls that fit their schedule instead of going back and forth, and automatically receive call reminders and booking confirmations.
Google Calendar & the entire Google Suite – I cannot say enough great things about the Google Product Suite for businesses! I purchased my business email address through Google, use the Calendar to keep track of all of my business engagements, and even add my expenses and client payment dates to my calendar.
For the rest of the Suite, I use Google Drive to store lots of sensitive documents and information internal to my business. I also store back-ups to images, videos, and audio files for paid programs into my Google Drive. I use Google Docs to write blog-posts, map out presentations for my clients and team, and use Google Spreadsheets to track my expenses and client payments everyday.
Moonclerk – I absolutely LOVE Moonclerk because it allows you to create custom payment forms and set up automatic and recurring revenue plans within minutes. Moonclerk integrates directly with Stripe so if you are in a country that supports Stripe this is a win because you get excellent support with Stripe, too.
Since having Moonclerk my sales went up because I didn’t have to wait until clients put in their information and many times collected that information directly on the phone and if you’ve been consulting for any period of time you know that it is nearly impossible to get someone to come back and make the purchase once they leave the sales consult. Moonclerk solves that problem in a really big way.
Which other tools did I use to manage my business?
Well, the ones mentioned above are the only tools I truly recommend if your goal is to make immediate cash-flow and not get bogged down with all the tech or complex marketing funnels.
If you’re ready to scale your operations and leverage tools to help you deliver products and services, manage team projects, and become an all-around operationally efficient superstar then read on!
Project Management and CRM
Todoist – I use Todoist as a productivity tool to manage my day-to-day tasks and projects. However, because of the way it is setup I also use Todoist as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool, too!
Although Todoist is incredibly inexpensive it has become a tool that I use everyday. I noticed that when I started using Todoist my productivity skyrocketed and I closed more sales. However, now that my team is expanding in size and our client-base is growing by the dozens we are exploring another tool that has a bit more power to it. Of course, I will keep you posted with my feedback!
Slack – I use Slack as a central base to communicate with my team regarding client projects, share passwords, and just give everyone updates related to them that don’t call for an email. I like Slack because of how well it integrates with Google Suite and other web apps. Also, it is FREE to get started with Slack.
Even if you only have one team member, Slack is a great way to keep all your communications and password shares in one place.