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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Data Base Programs/Client, (agent) Management programs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jason Purdy
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Regular user
New England
139 Posts

Profile of Jason Purdy
I'd like to here how you all stay organized.

This seems to be and ongoing task for me. Does anyone have experience with Quick books (pro)? Will this do the trick? I had a neat little program that I used for awhile called
“Entertainment Manager”. It was a program designed for entertainers. Great idea! But I was unhappy with the program. I want some way to do it all. Marketing to potential clients. Tracking Clients. Form contracts, thank you notes, reminders. Places to keep notes about shows you have done. So you can know in the future what you did in the past. Let's see what else? A report that you can print out at the end of the year about your show history (For Uncle Sam).

I have Microsoft access. I bet it can do all this and more. I don’t know how to use it. I have heard good things about File Maker Pro. But I am assuming it is similar to Access. Does anyone know if there is something on the market that someone has made? Or do you have something that you now use, and cannot live without?

If not, I think I need to learn how to use Access design program that is perfect for entertainer’s bookings and management and market it to all of you. I’d probably make a fortune. But in the meantime, if you design a program before me, Please let me know, because I would like to have one!

~Jason
Mike Robbins
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Elite user
Anchorage, Alaska
447 Posts

Profile of Mike Robbins
Hi, Jason.

I use several programs. I use QuickBooks Pro for the accounting. I use Access for mailings and client management. I use Word for contracts and letters. And I use Publisher for marketing materials.

It would be a job to put all that together into one program. I'm a professional application developer by day and have thought several times about doing such a thing, but it wouldn't be feasible to do it for any reason other than I wanted to. I get what I need out of my "modular" system and frankly you won't make much money on selling a custom solution, particularly to magicians who copy and trade tapes so vigorously.

FileMaker Pro is an easy-to-use program and one of my California magician friends has had great luck in putting together templates that let him manage his magic business.

Access is more powerful than FM, is easy to develop in vs other programming tools, and can integrate with other tools such as Word. I've found most non-programmers can get most of what they want out of Access over time. Many do hit the point where they start looking for a programmer to add the "bells and whistles". Often they find they can do without these luxuries when they find out how much it costs. <g>

Hope this helps,

Mike
The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
Shakespeare
Jason Purdy
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Regular user
New England
139 Posts

Profile of Jason Purdy
Hi, Mike. Yes it is a big help. Thank you.

>>"I use several programs. I use QuickBooks Pro for the accounting."

I have been using several too. I looked at a trial of QBP it looked confusing!

I currently use Microsoft Money. This has been great in helping me around tax time. I still always have the last minute rush, but it is nice to be able to print out the whole year and see charts, etc.

>>"I use Access for mailings and client management. I use Word for contracts and letters. And I use Publisher for marketing materials."

Currently I keep all clients and contacts in Microsoft Outlook. It has some great features, and helps keep me on top of things. I have flags, and reminders every wear, things pop up all the time to remind me to follow up with things.

I figure when I have access up and running, I can import Outlook Data. (I hope)

Regarding Access and Word, I have made a few templates that act as thank you letters, and contracts. (Actually I used to have good luck with Microsoft Works!) The data from Access can me merged with everything right? Ex. “Word”

>>"… and frankly you won't make much money on selling a custom solution, particularly to magicians who copy and trade tapes so vigorously."

Good point!

The program I was using was pretty cool. It had a calendar. You could check your availability, etc. If you were open, you opened up a booking form. Entered the required data, etc. Then you could print out a contract. All from one software. It was nice, but it had a few bugs. I did like the tracking features though. When a repeat client calls, you could check the history page. You would have their past history right there. No searching.

I had ideas for telemarketing type things. For example to have a secretary answering the phone, the forms would walk her through the sale. She could get all the required info. And sound professional at the same time. She would just follow a simple phone script.

I am sure Access can do what I want. I have purchased a book on it, but some of it is way beyond me. I have considered taking some classes. I am sure I wouldn’t be happy with it unless it did things like I picture it doing. I have thought long and hard about approaching the local college. I figured the computer science dept. might take me on a class or student project. Then I could work with them. And tell them my wants and needs. It could be a grade for them, (look good on a resume) And I could probably walk away with what I need, while saving a ton of money!

Thanks again Mike!

~Jason Purdy
p.b.jones
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Inner circle
Milford Haven. Pembrokeshire wales U.K.
2642 Posts

Profile of p.b.jones
Try, Easy Mail Plus you can download a free trial copy here $50.00 to buy,

http://download.com.com/3120-20-0.html?q......=+Go%21+

It allows you to write standard mail, email, and fax all with mail merge. It also has database (multiple), address book, envelope printing, and label printing.
No accounting facilities though.
Phillip
Winston
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New user
UK
12 Posts

Profile of Winston
Hi

This is my first ever posting on this site, and I hope it proves useful.

There exisits several 'entertainment industry' software, including ARTIFAX

Heres what it does (wording from their site)

ARTIFAX is a performers diary and contact management system.

ARTIFAX Agent was originally designed to handle all the administration of artists & agencies.

ARTIFAX Agent tracks company processes such as sales and marketing, event administration, travel, invoicing and payment. Including

Sales and Marketing
Diaries
Contact Management
Schedules & Itineraries
Touring
Deals
Contracts
Invoices
Reminders
Repertoire
Reports
Security
Audit Trail
Links to Other Systems

More detail can be found at http://www.artifaxsoftware.com

Alternatively try http://www.ebt.net
you can get Book It, another entertainer's software package, which incorporates contacts, venues & booker details, deals, Tour Itineraries, etc...
amagician
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Regular user
Hobart Tasmania Australia
160 Posts

Profile of amagician
Aside from the custom packages mentioned above which sound very good, you might use Goldmine Personal or Lotus Smart Suite. Both have useful templates and other features.
Good Luck.
Have a Magic day
John Williams
http://www.ezymagic.com/
more tricks than you can shake a wand at
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Bascomb Grecian
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Loyal user
Redding, Ca.
202 Posts

Profile of Bascomb Grecian
"Amagician" mentioned Goldmine. This is my preference for CRM (Contact Management Software). Newsfactor.com has a whole section devoted to CRM software. See CRM daily on that site.

I have been fortunate to use several CRM programs with previous employers. Siebel Systems has a very impressive suite as well.

Act! is also a real user friendly program. If you manage a few hundred contacts, Act, will suffice. If you run a small company, go with Goldmine. I cannot begin to tell you all the tricks these database programs can do. I will say this, if you can properly document all your contacts, you will be succesful!
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