Since establishing an independent IP practice a few years ago, we have invested in various office systems to try to improve efficiency in operations here, ultimately to improve client service. I wanted to reflect on stuff that we have found works really well in case it helps other small businesses.
Some systems, like Xero for accounting and timekeeping, and DocuSign for electronic signatures on documents like Terms of Business, and authorisations, have been transformational to the business because of the way that tasks like reminders are handled automatically saving time and therefore costs. we are no longer chasing up the odd missed payment or a signature on a document. Calendly is absolutely fabulous for easing the process of booking calls and meetings with new and existing clients and contacts, and has been a great time saver: calendly.com/jdip. Even that old favourite, Adobe Acrobat, continues to be a great tool for document production and editing, and I now realise that one way or another I have had a full Acrobat licence for around 30 years.
Capsule is a very efficient CRM, and has proved much more user-friendly than HubSpot. Revolut and Starling are light years ahead of conventional banks. The nightmare of the NatWest legacy systems for foreign payment is well and truly behind us. ViewMessages answering service gets messages to me for those clients who prefer to telephone.
Weebly made setting up, and maintaining a website very easy.
All this IT has been ably supported by Paul Cruwys at ESC-IT near Bristol: www.escit.co.uk/
With thanks also to Louise Bagatelas-Allen at LBA Accounts and Richard Bunker at Corrigan for their work on the books and accounts and for helping me with my new fascination with Xero.