If there’s one thing I see a lot that totally stumps a lot of OBMs, it’s figuring out tech systems and putting them into action.
Which tech systems do I need? What are the best ones to use? Which integrate well with one another? How the F do I use them?! These are all common questions I get asked ALL the time.
The truth is, there are SO many different tech tools out there that are super valuable for OBMs.
Tech systems are the key to automating and systematizing yours and your clients businesses. Mastering them will save you TONS of hours each week. Plus, they’ll save you and your clients a whole lotta money in the long run.
The key to effectively utilizing tech systems lies in knowing which ones are right for YOUR biz. And when it comes to your client’s businesses, doing your due diligence to put the right systems in place is super important. We don’t want your tech stack to be clogged up by a bunch of unused programs gathering digital dust!
Getting to grips with tech systems is fundamental to your success as an OBM. I’m asked so often about what each kind of system does, and which ones are really important. So here’s my round up of the essential tech systems every OBM needs.
Project Management Tool
My team and I literally could NOT live without our project management tool!
This is where you’ll centralize all of yours and your clients team’s activities, assign tasks to each team member, set deadlines for deliverables, share resources, and drop links to finished docs.
It’s a game-changer for staying organized when you’ve got multiple projects on the go. You can also integrate these with time tracking tools, real time chat tools, and so much more!
After trying a LOT of different PM tools, our team favourite is Teamwork PM.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tool
The goal with Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) tools is to improve your business relationships.
CRM systems (or solutions) are databases where you record names, contact details and other information from your customers. They also report and analyse their behaviour or interactions with your offerings and others’ over time.
Your CRM system collects this information so that you can better understand your relationship with your audience and adjust your efforts accordingly to better connect with them.
You can also use CRM tools to send out email marketing, build web pages, contact management, lead management, and SO much more. The possibilities are really endless, which is why once you understand how your chosen CRM works, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without one in your biz!
Cloud Storage & Documenting
THIS will be the holy grail of your OBM biz.
I’m just gonna jump straight in and say that for me, Google Drive (GD) is where it’s at! It automatically backs itself up and is accessible from anywhere, even if you don’t have an internet connection.
GD is an awesome collaborative tool for teams to use when you’re working with content, files, or images in tandem. Multiple users can be working on a file at one time, without having to download and re-upload the file, and you can keep track of changes made within a document, as well as leaving comments and tasks to action.
Why spend time emailing or calling back and forth with clients to arrange meetings, when you could automate the WHOLE process?
Think of your scheduling tool like your personal assistant – it sets up your appointments so that all you have to do is show up on time!
Clients are able to view your availability in real-time and self-book their appointments with you. They’ll then receive a unique meeting link and password via email so that all they have to do is log in when the time comes.
Both Calendly and Acuity are amazing tools for scheduling in discovery calls and client meetings.
Real time communication
As an OBM, your job involves managing teams, be that yours or your clients. Having a place where all communication can be done in real-time is super important for keeping the team on track.
You can use this tech system to keep topics separate, set up private communication channels and keep conversations on archive if they aren’t in use any more.
You can also integrate your chosen real time comms tech system with your other applications. For example, my team uses Teamwork Chat, which is a feature with in our project management tool.
Time tracking & Invoicing tool
Us OBMs typically work on retainers which are based on a commitment of X number of ours each month. As a result, having a time tracking tool is absolutely KEY to staying on track.
Time tracking also helps you locate any inefficiencies within a team you’re managing, and helps YOU figure out how much your time is really worth.
Most of the time, you can find time tracking tools which also integrate with an invoicing system. This makes the whole process of invoicing your clients SO much easier as your invoices will be auto-generated each month.
Harvest is a great time-tracking tool that can be integrated into other platforms like Slack and Teamwork PM in order to track yours and your clients’ team’s workload. It’s a game changer!
Metrics Management Tool
As you’re putting systems in place for your clients, having a place where you can build out your workflows and track metrics for each piece is super helpful.
Tech systems like Lucidcharts allow you to create diagrams and workflows for data visualization, so that you can better understand your metrics and use them to drive innovation in your client’s biz.
Password sharing tool
This tech tool is simple, yet SO valuable to have. As your clients share with you so much sensitive information, it’s awesome to have it centralized in one place, and ready to use.
LastPass is an award-winning password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. You can securely share and access passwords from any device at any time and instantly autofill your passwords into saved sites of your choice. Again, my team and I could NOT live without it!
There are so many tech systems available today that there’s no excuse for not automating where possible in both yours and your clients business.
The tech systems I’ve talked about in this post are the bare essentials that every OBM needs to get started with systems. However, its super important to do your due diligence in order to understand where your clients can automate and you can shine with systems.
Now over to you: What is the most useful tech system you’ve implemented in your OBM biz? Are there any tech systems you need help to understand? Drop me a comment below!
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