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My business grew. Need better tools. Please help!


#1

My logo design company grew from tracking project status in an excel sheet, to setting up pipelines using StreakCRM and tracking the logo projects through their stages. (“Received”, “in design”, “in review”, “completed” type of thing).

As I’m working with more and more companies that outsource their logo work to me, it’s time for me to take the next growth step. I now need to know things like if it’s a new or returning client, and have a way of seeing all their projects at a glance… and also all email communication within the project (as that’s what I currently have and really like with Streak).

Do any of you fine business owners know a tool that does this?

I’ve looked into several CRM tools, but they all seem to be very sales-oriented. That’s great, but irrelevant ATM. What I need is to manage my clients and have a good overview of their current and past projects.

Please help if you’ve ran into something as your business grew, OR, if you think there’s a better place I should ask my question - do please tell me where.


#2

Hi @Alex_Shaikevich,
I never used CRM systems, but I’m sure that there are many customizeable open-source ones. Are you a software developer? if yes then you can customize an open-source CRM for your own needs, add missing features


#3

@startrinity, that’s something I"m beginning to dabble in. Learning Ruby, but for what reason, I do not yet know.
Do you know which CRMs are open source and customizable? Or at least where to find trustworthy ones?
(I hope my ignorance isn’t too evident, heh).


#4

it would be better to be conscious of your direction. I don’t know the open source CRMs, google gives “http://www.fatfreecrm.com/” for “open source crm ruby”


#5

Thanks for googling on my behalf. I didn’t know that customizing an open-source CRM was even an option. FatFreeCRM looks like a great project!


#6

When I worked with a chiropractic clinic, initially they had finagled Highrise from 37signals into working for them by using tags for various states.


#7

Thank you, I’ll look into it


#8

you’re welcome. sometimes opensource projects are good, sometimes they don’t meet your needs. it also depends on your ruby skills - how fast you will be able to understand the code and customize it


#9

Consider using even something like Jira. You can create an Epic for each customer and then keep track of their individual projects under individual tickets.

It’s a little outside the box, but my work. After I saw their blog post[1] about using Jira to keep track of Computer assets, it really opened my eyes to what it can do.

[1] http://blogs.atlassian.com/2014/03/jira-asset-management-overview/


#10

Appreciate it, thanks!


#11

Alex: By definition, open source projects can be customized - you have access to the source, after all. HTH.


#12

I’ve recently started to use Asana and I’ve found it easy to use. They have a couple of guides that might be useful for you, to see if it would fit your workflow.
https://asana.com/guide/more/examples/work-requests
https://asana.com/guide/more/examples/crm


#13

Not the ideal solution, but I think Trello should be able to do a lot of what you need. You can create a separate board for each of the agencies you work with, and then handle all orders for their various end clients from within each board.