What is a database? A database is a structured collection of records and data stored in a computer system.Most pool builders try to keep their information organized by using spreadsheets, email programs, sticky notes or constant pushing of paper and forms. Some try to operate on multiple disconnected programs that don't communicate with each other. This approach will soon prove inadequate and not as efficient as a great database program.Most if not all pool builders, even those owner operator companies with no employees, will benefit significantly from managing with a database. The benefits are not only financial but also effect the quality of life for you and your employees.WAYS SMALL BUSINESSES USE DATABASES1. PROCESS MANAGEMENT; This type of database will allow the user to track key processes andstatus of all projects in real time.2. STORAGE OF INFORMATION; This database electronically stores all information and documents tobe accessed with the click of a mouse.3. ACTIONABLE REPORTING; This database will analyze data and create reports based on informationneeds.KEY BENEFITS OF HAVING A DATABASE1. A database can streamline your processes and eliminate lost time and effort in a business. Thestatus of everything is no longer unknown or only to a few, but available in seconds at yourfingertips.2. With a good database, all of your businesses key information is in one and only one place, meaningthat no one has to wonder if what they are looking at is the latest, most up to date information.3. A database can add lots of productivity gains by reducing multiple entries and tasks. It can alsoeliminate mundane automate-able work . It will also reduce costly mistakes due to improperpaperwork.4. A database lets you scale your business up or down while maintaining maximum efficiency.5. You and your managers have access to the information they need to make critical decisions.6. A database can automatically contact customers, employees and subcontractors by email providingthem with the necessary information and creating a log of all communications. No more he said, shesaid.7. A database gives the owner the piece of mind even when on vacation. They can quickly view what'sgoing on in the business and when things are not going well.8. A database will provide an immediate ROI, and adds long term financial value to your business- it isan awesome investment. If all the knowledge about your business is in your head, not only will it hurtbut your presence is required for your business to have value. If the knowledge and processes areoutside your head your business becomes something that can be run or sold without your presence.WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A DATABASE1. Ability to have multiple users with needs-based permissions, and from multiple locations.2. Web-based, can access from anywhere. Check in on things while on vacation.3. Security logins and role based permissions.4. Capacity to keep and store any type of information you need including images, Word documents,PDFs, plans, marketing materials, customer files and anything and everything.5. Capacity to send email alerts to team members and customers.6. Notes, notes, and more notes to everything.7. The ability to create reports on information needed to manage your operation.8. Automatic off-site backup9. Ease of use, ease of implementation, and ease of customization.10. Database structure designed, built and maintained, and supported by experts who understandyour business.My next blog will be on the different ways you can get started on using a database to manage your pool business to increase your success. Thank You. Mark Richter, Pool Pro Office
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