Using Accelo To Manage Your Business
On this episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast I interview Geoff McQueen, CEO and Founder of Accelo, on what prompted this wonderful invoicing, time management, ticketing and lead management system to be created and how you can use it to manage your business.
I’ve been a user for a little over a month, and having set it up myself, have seen the good, the great, and the “I should have asked for help” parts of Accelo. Check it out at https://accelo.com and get that free trial started!
What is Accelo?
Accelo is a cloud-based “Service Operations Automation” platform. From here you can set up management of :
- Time Tracking
- Support Tickets
- … and just about everything else you need to run your business.
Geoff and his team have built a wonderfully useful tool that, while it’s been effective for thousands of businesses, is still customizable to your business needs in nearly all phases.
Manage All Of Your Client Work In One Place
As Geoff says in the podcast, many of us in small business services have a “cocktail” of software and systems in place to do all of the things needed to run the business. Instead of using Accelo as a hub for everything I was using:
- Toggl for time tracking
- Wave Accounting for invoicing
- Shoeboxed for expense tracking
- Freshdesk for support tickets
- And about 10 project and task management systems over the years.
Accelo allows me to do ALL of these things in one place. So I open it in the morning, or on my mobile devices, and I can get to everything listed above. The time savings alone are worth the small monthly fee for the system.
Built For Your Service Business
“Easy-to-use, automated and intelligent” is how Accelo describes itself. Unlike very focused software that can only do one thing, Accelo does a great job of making needed systems available in one tool. It breaks down into four or five silos.
- Sales – A good CRM (customer relationship management) software can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars just to bring in leads and manage the sales process. Accelo handles an amazing spectrum of sales processes including integrating with your email account to document a stream with contacts, appointments, estimates, billing and invoicing, and more.
- Projects – Accelo does a great job of project planning and tracking. There’s a project module that allows a Gantt Chart-like system to be automatically created when planning a project, complete with cost and resource estimates. There’s a wonderful task tracking system as well that is easily managed and edited with smaller sub-tasks. And there’s ways to bring in outside resources and the client when needed.
- Service – No one wants to do work without getting paid. Accelo has wonderful time logging, ticket tracking, expenses and billing. So instead of logging time in one place, support tickets in another, and then billing in yet a third you can do everything right here. And each timer can be logged against a project or company making it easy to track time on very specific projects.
- Retainers – A fairly new addition is retainers. Geoff referenced how it’s good business to partner with some of your best clients by offering them a certain amount of work each month
- Integration With Other Big Platforms – Accelo integrates with dozens of the biggest, most popular services in the world. I process payments with Stripe, get email and calendars in GSuite, communicate with vendors and even some clients with Slack. All of these are essentially plug-and-play with Accelo (well maybe not P-N-P, but close!) which only increases the ability to mold the tool to my business, not the other way around.
How To Get Started With Accelo
Accelo is very customizable, so unlike many products it’s easy to make the tool do what you need, rather than change a process to fit the tool. That being said, some recommendations for tasks to complete before starting with Accelo are:
- Sit down and think through how you server your clients. These are the things that are similar for each client, and here’s what is different.
- Draw out project and sales process flow on a whiteboard or paper.
- Accelo offers up some integration services if the scope is too large, or it’s thought best to use the experts to set the system up.
- The documentation is wonderful, and support is not instant, but quick enough and the help is always good.
The best way to move forward is simply to go to Accelo.com and sign up for the free trial. Cost is based on what is needed, how many team members will be involved, and how hands-off the setup will be.
Are you an Accelo user? Let Accelo and I know about it @BeBizzy on Twitter!