While browsing the interwebs I came across these very helpful tips on organising client information. (www.traceylawton.com).
"For many solopreneurs a large part of their business is working one-on-one with clients, and that means having a way of keeping all of their client information organized and easy to access.
1. Physical: Create a Client Contact Sheet
For most business owners there will be a physical client file that you’ll need to create. One of the simplest ways of creating this file is by using a manila file folder in which you simply drop your paperwork into. This file will contain things like the agreement form from your client, assessment forms, or details of any projects that you’ll be working on.
Creating a Client Contact Sheet which contains your client’s name, address, email, phone, fax and any other contact information that you want to keep a record of is a useful template to have. You simply print it out and fill it in each time you take on new client.
Once you’ve printed out the Client Contact sheet, staple it to the inside left cover of your client folder. This way whenever you need to access your client’s information you just flip open the file and the information is right there.
2. Digital: Create Client Folders
As the majority of your communication is probably done via email with documents going back and forth, you’ll also want to create an individual client folder on your PC. It may not be necessary to print out everything your clients send you, but you do need to store the information so that’s it easy for you to find.
A couple of places where you’ll want to create individual clients folders are:
In your email program. For each of my clients I have created their own email folder so that any emails that are sent to/from my client goes into their individual email folder. This allows me to keep track of our communications easily, rather than having to sift through hundreds of emails that come into my Inbox each day.
Tip: In Outlook you can also set up rules so that email is automatically filtered into the appropriate client email folder – saving heaps of time!
In your main client folder. I’m a big believer in creating main/sub folders for managing my filing system – both for paper-based and PC files.
3. All Clients: Client Tracking Spreadsheet
Once you have your physical and digital individual client files created, you’ll want to think about utilizing a client tracking spreadsheet. If you are a coach or other service professional chances are your core programs are working one-on-one with clients during sessions (phone or in-person) so it makes sense for you have a system for tracking where your clients are in their programs.
In the beginning stages of your business it may be easy for you to keep tabs on just a few clients, but as your business grows and you’re working with more and more clients, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed if you don’t have some kind of tracking system in place.
If your clients book a certain number of sessions with you creating a simple spreadsheet that has your client’s names in the left-hand column, and a column along the top for each session will allow you to easily see how many sessions they have already booked and how many sessions they have left.
By setting up a client tracking spreadsheet that shows you at a glance exactly where your clients are in your programs will give you a ‘big picture’ view of your business."
When I first started the business I tried out a few different time sheet programmes and soon found them to be time consuming (not a good thing when your stock in trade is time ) - so I designed a simple spreadsheet, tab 1 is for timesheets and tab 2 is a day by day record of each client and the hours worked - each clients hourly rate is included and it calculates exactly how much each client owes me at any given time. Invoicing is a breeze and each client receives a detailed timesheet at month end. I can also see how productive I am throughout the month and this helps me plan for the following month.