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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Bookkeeping Software? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

kippteacher1
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22 Posts

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Hi,

I'm not even sure if this is the best place to post this question...Does anyone have any suggestions on bookkeeping/note-taking software or a system that they use that they can share? I am looking for some way to organize incoming calls, notes on those calls, ways to remember who called, when, what date they are looking for and the information they provided about their child's party (I perform solely at children's events, mostly <10 bday parties). I get calls most days from people who want information, many who say they will get back to me (about 50% do). If I'm available on that day, I don't know what system I should be using to remember their call, where they got my information from, etc. Basically, other than simply taking notes on each call, I have no way to organize this info.

Thanks!

Dave
KLMind
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Olympia,WA
9 Posts

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Hi Dave:

I think you can look for QuickBooks online solutions. You can look at the simple start or the self-employed edition. You can add notes to the customers. Hope this helps.


Kevin
shomemagic
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Inner circle
Missouri
2157 Posts

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I second QuickBooks...
Magically,

Mike King - Sho-Me Magic

You can e-mail me at: shomemagic@gmail.com
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
20242 Posts

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What you are seeking is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program. These programs have become very complicated to use, and learn. It takes a class from the company to even begin to use the current ones on the market. They have also gotten very expansive, and of course they require continual yearly payments to continue, and of course updates and learning to solve compatibility issues with the latest Operating Systems.

My suggestion, if you do not want a full time job using a CRM, would be to just use a good calendar system. One comes with Windows 10 in Outlook, for free.

Also you can use Microsoft One Note.

https://www.pcworld.com/article/2686026/......now.html
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Carducci
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Texas
522 Posts

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There are two things I would like to contribute to this thread. First, for anyone reading this wondering about *actual* bookkeeping solutions. I used to use quickbooks but I have since moved on to using a service called bench. I pay $125 a month and they handle all my bookkeeping tasks, match receipts, etc. At the end of the year, I simply give the resulting books to my CPA and everything is dealt with. Being solopreneurs doesn't mean we have to do EVERYTHING related to the business. I prefer to outsource and automate all the things that aren't my strengths and passions.

Getting to what you're actually asking for, Bill is on the money. It sounds like you're looking for a CRM, a booking system or something like that. BUT, if I may offer some advice...

You have made a common and classic mistake. In software development, we call this the "XY Problem."

The XY problem is very common mental block that can lead to an enormous amount of wasted time, energy, and money.

The general format for the XY problem is this:

* I want to solve problem X
* I think Y is the best approach
* Can you help me do Y?

The question becomes formed around an attempted solution, never really addressing the actual problem. Always start with the problem, not the solution. You want to have problems in search of a solution, not solutions in search of a problem.


To rephrase your question:

* "I am struggling to stay organized in my birthday party business" (Problem)
* "I think buying software is the best way to fix this" (attempted solution)
* "Can you recommend software to me"


I recommend refocusing on the actual problem (organizing your birthday party business)


BEFORE you go looking for a tool, start with defining your PROCESS.

Ask yourself HOW you are booking gigs. Bill's advice is worth its weight in GOLD.

Start with a calendar. Google Cal, Outlook, a physical scheduling diary - Whatever.

When you get a call, open the calendar to that date and create a new entry. Enter in the details of the party. Actually take the time to create a little questionaire to ask. Birthday child name, age, date, time, special requests etc. Create a template and use that to make sure you always have all the information in the calendar entry. Add in the date of the call. Do you have a policy for how long you hold a date for?

You mentioned that people don't always get back to you. Yeah, people forget all the time. YOU should be doing the follow-up. To begin with, figure out what your process is to follow up. Do I follow-up after 3 days? A week? Decide that for yourself. Again, standardize this. Put these follow-up appointments on your calendar, even if they are just emails you're going to send.

Just using a free calendar, you should be able to start every day knowing exactly what you need to do that day.

I'll say this again, your goal right now is not finding a TOOL, but putting together YOUR system. The true definition of system:

sys·tem
ˈsistəm/
noun
a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.

A CRM is a tool, and that tool is useless without a system. Focus on your system and it will be clear exactly what you need and, the chances are, all you really need is a process to get yourself organized and free tools that are out there. IF you ultimately need to buy a tool to streamline that process, you will know EXACTLY what you're looking for and whatever you end up hitting the ground running with whatever tool is right for YOU.
Bill Hegbli
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Eternal Order
Fort Wayne, Indiana
20242 Posts

Profile of Bill Hegbli
If all you want is a bookkeeping software, then you can try the free Microsoft Money Plus Sunset application. Since Microsoft discontinued Money, they made available totally free, MS Money and MS Money plus, Plus is for small business. You can create invoices, and manage your savings and checking accounts. There is no customer support, you have to look up everything in the help section. It is very complete. The internet part of the program does not function. If you wish to reconcile you checking account, you need to download from your bank the information and it automatically matches up your expenses and deposits.

This free version works on Windows 7, 8, and 10. I use it daily.

Download it for free here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download......id=20738

This was a great surprise to me, and I have purchased many MS programs and MS has always left me hanging out to dry in the past with no solution as to how to continue.

Did you know MS Outlook is now available for Android phones and tablets. Now it is possible to synchronise all the information to all your devices so you are up to date constantly on everything. Yes, these programs are free, I just downloaded them to my devices.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
Mindpro
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Inner circle
8364 Posts

Profile of Mindpro
Quote:
On Nov 27, 2017, Carducci wrote:
You have made a common and classic mistake. In software development, we call this the "XY Problem."

The XY problem is very common mental block that can lead to an enormous amount of wasted time, energy, and money.

The general format for the XY problem is this:

* I want to solve problem X
* I think Y is the best approach
* Can you help me do Y?

The question becomes formed around an attempted solution, never really addressing the actual problem. Always start with the problem, not the solution. You want to have problems in search of a solution, not solutions in search of a problem.


BEFORE you go looking for a tool, start with defining your PROCESS.

I'll say this again, your goal right now is not finding a TOOL, but putting together YOUR system. The true definition of system:

sys·tem
ˈsistəm/
noun
a set of principles or procedures according to which something is done; an organized scheme or method.


So brilliantly said. Many I coach and consult have this issue and this is a very proper way to identify and state the actual issue and common approach. Thanks for the proper way of offering this. Great advice!
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