We love to hear how you are using Batchbook. Occasionally we share these stories here with the hopes that you can discover new ways of being productive in your business.
When Chris Jacobson brought his annual trade show, PrintFest, to an end in 2008, he found himself in the position of needing to re-invent his business. This is a familiar position for many entrepreneurs, who find themselves changing course to follow new opportunities throughout their career.
Chris grew up doing trade shows. His family business ran a trade show called the Gutenberg Festival and published a trade magazine for the printing industry called “Horsetrader”. Being a part of a family business meant that Chris learned every part of the business from the ground up, starting in the mailroom and warehouse. At any time he might be called on to hop on the forklift or assemble a pallet rack.
That kind of roll up your sleeves and get it done attitude has helped Chris move forward in his business career after closing PrintFest.
Currently, Chris works a full time job while managing several side projects. Looking at the list of things he does gives definition to the term ‘hustle’, but Chris isn’t just juggling gigs. He has a clear approach to what he does and has found a way to bring excellence in every area he works at.
Batchbook, helps him do this. While he is driving to and from his job at CDMG, where he helps clients increase their investor base, he makes calls for his side business, Phase 3 Digital, which helps events improve attendance through their Attendee Acquisition campaign program.
To know which calls to make, Chris tracks all of his conversations in Batchbook. He has come up with a handy process for doing this while on the road. After he makes a call, he records voice notes about the call on his iPhone. He then sends those voice memos to his administrative assistants at Phase 3 Digital, who transcribe the messages and add them as communications in Batchbook. They will also create follow up tasks based on the voice notes, so Chris always knows what action he needs to take next with any contact.
His use of Batchbook doesn’t end when he gets to his day job. Batchbook is his tool of choice for managing his sales relationships at CDMG. He uses the comments field to record information about each company he is working with, and sets up follow-up actions with specific individuals at the company using SuperTag fields. Chris then creates a list that he can view for all of his follow up tasks. When he’s in front of his computer, he views the list and clicks right into the contact he needs to follow up with.
Chris works through his list each day, making calls or sending emails. He types up any notes from the calls and automatically saves the emails in Batchbook using his Batchbox address. In this way, Chris maintains an active history of his communications with his leads and customers.
Chris shares just the relevant contacts with CDMG by granting his manager access as a Basic User, and then giving permission to view the relevant contacts. This is especially helpful since Chris uses Batchbook to manage all of his different endeavours.
In addition to his full time job at CDMG and his work growing Phase 3 Digital, Chris also stays active in the event space with Cross Media West. He produces smaller events for the print and marketing communities, especially co-located events and expo pavilions. Because of his history in this field and his skills at producing events, he specializes in bringing more vendors to existing events, usually groups of 8 -12 vendors, which were not even on the event organizer’s radar.
Chris also produces the live workshop events for Danny Moloney’s U.S. Print Masters Tour and spends time educating printers on how to transition to and sell digital print and marketing capabilities to their clients.
Never one to shy away from work, Chris is also working to brand himself and build a network where he can connect with folks on various interests and build a community that can help each other in business and other areas of life. Batchbook helps him here as well. He uses Batchbook webforms to collect information on new members.
Chris’s goal is to continue to grow his profitable niches, while not being buried under the weight of an unbearable workload. When I asked Chris how he does this, he said “I develop systems and procedures that are effective, efficient and repeatable. Batchbook is a tool I use to manage all my contacts in one place and track who I need to call, when and why.”
By keeping his goals simple and being laser focused, Chris is exemplifying the modern entrepreneur. Keeping a steady job and working after hours on projects is the preferred path for many people who want to own their own business, and who are not afraid of hard work. Having one tool for his various “worlds” to revolve around is essential for Chris, and he has found that tool in Batchbook.
Without Batchbook’s power to help Chris organize himself around his contacts and their needs, you could imagine how quickly he could be overwhelmed with so many irons in the fire. But because he can keep all of his communications and follow up tasks organized in one place, Chris always knows what he needs to be doing, and when, and in his case, for which project.