Hi I’m Steve Pressley, the owner of Sparkle Print and Design based in Bedford.
Sparkle is the UK’s first and only design and print company dedicated to growing small and start-up businesses. We help a wide variety of customers ranging from sole traders looking for business cards to larger clients who need a complete suite of print products including everything from letterheads to exhibition print. Together with my team of graphic designers we transform ideas into high quality print products that our clients can use to market their business.
"I use to manage my enquiries with Excel and Outlook - but instinctively I knew there must be a better way..."-
Before SpinLessPlates I relied on a self-designed Excel spreadsheet along with Outlook to manage our customer pipeline.
Here’s how I used to respond to a customer enquiry. First I used my Excel spreadsheet to record the date, client, company and enquiry details along with the cost price and my selling price. Excel would then automatically calculate the profit.
Next I’d copy and paste the relevant details into my Outlook templates, customise the introductions and then send the quote off to the client. If I secured the job, I’d then input the details into Xero for invoicing.
Whilst this process worked (almost) it was clunky, repetitive and time consuming. I instinctively knew there must be a better way to manage this and that’s why I started searching for a better solution.
In the past I dreaded quoting because it was so repetitive. In fact an average quote used to take around 10 minutes to do. Since using SpinLessPlates I’ve been able to cut that time to just 2-3 minutes. Now it’s a lot easier and I hardly have to type anything. That’s because all our print services have been inputted as PRODUCTS with prices attached. It means when I’m working on a quote, I simply enter the relevant product code and quantities along with any additional information to automatically generate a “ready to email”quote. It’s just brilliant!
What’s more, because the software integrates with the accounting package Xero, I can now post invoices to it in just one click. It’s such a relief to be able to cut the repetitive data entry that used to slow me down.
But increased efficiency is not the only benefit I’ve seen.
"Smart integration with MailChimp has transformed my customer communication."-
SpinLessPlates has also allowed me to systemise our business processes.
I’ve now set up a series of autoresponders using MailChimp (which also integrates with SpinLessPlates). As a result every enquiry is now followed up after 48-hours by an automated email. Not only has this new process helped secure more business it’s also speeded up progress through our sales pipeline. In turn I’m bringing on new customers much quicker than my previous manual follow up, and instead of having to rely on my memory to chase prospects, it just happens.
What’s more, because my SpinLessPlates contacts are now allocated to one of three MailChimp lists linked to targeted autoresponder campaigns, I’m able to stay in touch with our customers and prospects more frequently.
"The data SpinLessPlates is collecting will help me set smarter targets.-
There’s no doubt that SpinLessPlates is a comprehensive small business management tool. I’m currently exploring its rich reporting functionality because I can see how it will enable me to increase the grip I have on my business. In the past I had a monthly generic goal of securing more work. But as targets go this wasn’t very useful. But because SpinLessPlates can quickly tell me our sales by customer, industry and even source, I’m able to be more focused and specific in my goal setting. So watch this space…
"I've used the time SpinLessPlates saves me to proactively secure more business"-
The impact of SpinLessPlates on my business is HUGE. My quoting is far more efficient, follow ups are largely automated and because I can see at a glance which quotes have converted and who owes me money I’m much more aware of what’s going on.
And I’m putting the time saved to good use by using it to proactively grow. I’m focusing more time on our marketing and I’ve even been able to create relationships with new prospects by doing walk-ins.
I absolutely love SpinLessPlates. In fact it’s a godsend. If you’re a small business owner you’ve got to take a look at it. Just try it for a month and I’m sure it will win you over too.
Special Offer For Sparkle Design & Print Customers.
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