As your business grows, so does many other things—like your contact list.
You go to networking meetings and events all the time. And while you’re there, you meet great business professionals who gladly hand you their business cards. You accept the card, fully intending to enter their name, email, and phone number into your contact list.
But, at the end of the week there is a little pile of business cards stuffed in your desk drawer—or worse—still stuffed into your purse or wallet. At the end of each week the pile of business cards grows larger. Soon, you’re not even sure who does what or where you met them. For those you do remember and want to contact, you can’t. The pile of cards in your desk has somehow eaten the one card you really need.
So that email or phone call is never made.
When that happens, a connection is lost. Sometimes that connection would have led to a potential customer. So money is lost as well.
What can you do to get on top of this mess? You mean to set aside some time to get caught up, and more time to stay that way. But more important things come along, and that goal is long gone.
It’s time for a change. Imagine how nice it will be to open your desk and easily find that pen you’ve been searching for for a week now. Suddenly your sticky notes can be clearly seen in your desk drawer, and your work area isn’t cluttered with a card here, there, and everywhere. Wouldn’t that be nice?
There’s no time like the present to make that daydream something real. So, where do you begin? How do you organize your business cards and contacts in a way that preserves the information you need to know without cluttering up your life?
We can help you with that. At Signature Virtual Assistance, we make it easy on you. We take your business contacts and update your lists by creating a database for you to find all of your contacts. Additionally, the database can be used to keep track of whether or not you’ve made contact or followed up with a certain person on your list.
We can review existing entries for correctness, confirm each entry is current, add new contacts, add notations about conversations you’ve had or how you met that particular contact, and more.
So, how do you get that contact information to me and my team? Simply drop every business card you receive in an envelope in your desk. At the end of the week, slap a stamp on the envelope, address it to me, and mail it. Once I receive it, we’ll get to work.
Another option is to scan the cards as soon as you get home and email the scanned images over to me. If you have a newer smart phone, taking a photo and sending it works, too. Just make sure the details are easily readable so we enter the right information for you.
Conquering the Pile
To get started, it won’t be quite so simple. You might have a mountain of cards that cannot be easily mailed, scanned, or photographed without taking up more of your time.
This is what I recommend in such a situation: Hire a local high school student. Reach out to the school to see if there are any students in entrepreneurial programs there who might be interested. This student can come to your office, scan all of your cards, and then send them over to me. You might even think about having this student come once a week to scan and email your important documents and business cards.
Having everything organized and easily accessible is well worth it. And, you just gave a high school student a glimpse into your entrepreneurial world which is so valuable to any person who is still deciding what path to take in life.
Now, when you’d like to follow up with a contact, you can simply take a look at your database for the latest notes from your last conversation. Once you’ve sent that email or made that call, a quick notation via email would only take a moment. Then, you can send that to me and I will enter it into the database.
Remembering Important Dates
Another added bonus to having a current database—you won’t forget Susie’s birthday again this year. When you’ve been doing business with someone for a while, you tend to notice when they’re out because of a birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion. Make note of these and send them my way. I will enter the information into the database.
Once you have the information, then it will be simple to keep track of whose birthday is when. To really impress your clients, I can send a quick email to your contacts congratulating them on another year in business or wishing them a happy birthday. Nothing says you pay attention to them quite the same as an happy birthday note. That personal touch will help you to make a connection with each of your contacts.
Signature Virtual Assistance is a full-service virtual assistance firm, helping businesses like yours with virtually every need. Business owners and entrepreneurs choose Signature Virtual Assistance to free up their time, reduce their stress, and accelerate their business growth. Contact Lorie today.