It is April 6th here in greater Boston and I have awoken to a beautiful 19 degree day. Is spring here? The Red Sox won their season opener and I ponder the possibilities of a productive spring quarter. As I sit here sipping my morning coffee, I think about the subjects that I want to write about this spring. I have come to the realization that recent client interactions lend themselves to great case studies and learning opportunities.
Let me tell you about one of those.
Yesterday I had a conversation with a long time client about customizing their act by adding all kinds of new fields to the act layout. He has a new employee that wants to be able to track all kinds of information and his new employee is very motivated to do things the right way. I always tell my clients that I will do whatever they request, but I will always try to offer my thoughts and advice based on years of experience working with act.
His new employee has less than two weeks experience using act and wants to change everything about the way they do things. As much as I appreciate the employee’s motivation for getting a lot done, their lack of experience about how the software works will ultimately make their task more time-consuming.
This is my dilemma.
My client is one of the most disorganized clients that I have ever worked with to date. My client believes that all the issues they are having with their business is directly related act and I know this is incorrect. Many years ago I heard a speaker and he said that “if you are disorganized before you use a computer, you will be disorganized after you start using the computer.” I always tell my clients that if you were disorganized before you start using act, you will be disorganized after you start using act. The dilemma my client faces is that they will not let act do its job. They need to trust act software. If you don’t have a good plan and don’t trust the software, it can be an absolute time suck if you have a bad plan.
The solution: let act be act
My client’s new employee wants to know everything that happens and have the option to record it in an act field. This allows the client to see what has and hasn’t been done at a glance. The problem is that this is very time-consuming and I believe with all my heart and experience that it will never happen. They need to trust act and learned that the software will do its job if they ask it to do so. All it takes is a little time, experience and planning.
Instead of modifying the layout and creating a lot of data input, simply create an activity series that will schedule the steps that they need to take on behalf of their client and schedule that activity series for the client. Let’s talk about the pros and cons of my recommendation:
Pro: you are letting act do the work
Con: the task isn’t viewable in the main layout, but in the history section of act
Pro: the task will appear on your task list and calendar
Pro: when you clear an activity, act will create a history record of that activity
Pro: you can find all of your tasks for a given day very quickly
Pro: it is less work
Pro: some of tasks can be incorporated with QuickBooks with an inexpensive $150 add-on call QSalesData. This will allow you to get more work done in less time.
Pro: QuickBooks items are searchable within act
Pro: my client will save a great amount of data entry time
Pro: my client will know exactly what needs to be done at any moment in time.
Pro: trust act to do its job and it will
Pro: you will have more time on your hands to take care of yourself and your clients
Because you have more time on your hands you can go outside and enjoy a beautiful 19° spring day! Please don’t reinvent the wheel…let act do its job! Go outside and smell the frozen flowers.