Today with so much emphasis with automation and making a business run at its maximum efficiency, many people are fearing the technological changes needed for their coaching practice.

Today there are several programs that are NOT complicated but can be extremely useful in your coaching practice.

Today we are going to cover some of the technologies you can start to use that are for the person who has the only the basic understanding of computers and programs.

CRM– one of the best ways to keep track of your clients, vendors, and even birthdays is through a CRM. These programs can sound a lot scarier than they are. The fact is that many coaches are not using this fantastic tool. Many either have no idea how much time it can save or many are just not sure what a CRM does.

Most CRM shas a group calendar as well as syncing capability to Google and many other calendars. This allows everyone to be able to see what is on the calendar and what is coming up next. This is great for recording launch calendars and other events.

The Customer panel of the CRM is easy to view and understand. Here is where you can enter all of the customer’s information as well as notes, tasks, emails sent and also what products they purchased.

Most CRMs also allow you to set up email campaigns, web forms and also includes a space for document sharing.

A few suggestions for the beginner would be:
• FreeCrm.com is one example. Best of all- it is Free like the name implies, for up to 1 year. After that there is a fee of 24.95 to 35.95.
• Zoho CRM is another good option. This one costs $12-35 a month. Most coaches    would be fine with the $20 a month option.

Online Calendar– this is one of the best tools that a coach can have. The ability for your clients to schedule a time to speak with you via the web can make your job much easier. Many of these will also send out reminders to both you and the client as well as thank you reminder emails.

A few that we suggest for ease of use and pricing are:
• Vcita.com- there is a free version as well as a paid version (pricing starts at 12.45 a month) We currently use the free version and have for years and it has been perfect for our needs.
• simplifythis.com is another option. For $18 a month they offer a calendar software that not only allows booking bit also allows invoicing, reminders, reoccurring billing, and class/group scheduling.

Project Manager– the software can place all of your to dos as well as everyone else’s in 1 place. This is perfect also for tracking and assigning tasks to your Virtual Assistants and other support staff you have.

Some of the easier ones to use that are affordable are:
• Asana- This is a great and powerful project manager. There are also a lot of free “templates” as well that you can use. There is a free version if you are only planning you own to dos. Pricing is based on the number of team members and starts at $21 a month. The interface is simple to use and team members are sent reminders of their tasks daily when projects are assigned to them.
• Zoho also has a project manager. There is a free version if you only have 1 project, otherwise pricing starts at $20 a month. This is also a very easy to use PM and also, like Asana, has good reporting features as well. If you are using the Zoho CRM, Zoho will give you a discount for the multiple purchase.
• trello.com is perfect for the “visual” person. This allows you to visually create boards as projects. There is a free version to try this one out and see how it feels. The paid version starts at $8.33 per month per user.

These are just some of the basic tools we would recommend to start to automate your business. We will be continuing this discussion in the following post. Here we will look at more advance tools that can help automate your business.