How to Create and Maintain Database

Create and Maintain DatabaseYour database is like your house. If it comes crumbling down, you have no home. If it is solid and built properly it will stand the test of time.

Your database is the single most important asset you own as a business person. Without it you have nothing; with it you have everything. Even if your building, items, computers, etc were to burn down around you, if you still have your database, you still have a business.

Creating your own database.

I am amazed at how many business women do not have a database or at least a structured set up to maintain the list that they have.

Imagine if you have 500 contacts all strewn around the house on business cards, address books, in shoe boxes or in digital format. How can you manage and market with that?

And what about if you have only a few contacts and are wondering what point is there? Well, there's plenty - Imagine the work you will have to do once your contact list reaches 500. It's much harder to manage it then if you were to begin now.

Begin with these -

Write a list of all the people you know
Add your relatives, friends, work colleagues, organisations, church etc
Put them in an excel spreadsheet neatly classified so they can be sorted
Or - enter them into outlook or a professional database like ACT
Or list them in your web based data base

You now have your first list.

What do I do with the database now?

Now you can begin to market to your list.

Write up a plain text email letting everyone know you are in business, add a special offer, ask them to send it out to their friends and voila - you are now e-marketing!

What if I want it to do more?

Once you find out what is possible I guarantee you will want to do more, this is why it's best to start with a professional database.

With these you can sort and divide your list into different categories. i.e. you might only want to market to people who are not a current client. Or you want to send a reminder to the people who are attending a workshop you are running.

Having the ability to sort your database gives you the opportunity to begin e-marketing with a targeted approach.

How do I make sure I don't lose it?

This is a great question - it's vital that you back up your database every week. I have a reminder on my calendar each Monday to not only back up my database but all of my important files on my computer. You can use an external hard drive, but make sure you keep it away from your computer. I once had a friend who kept her external hard drive that she backed up on in her laptop bag. The bag was stolen along with her backed up drive and her lap top; her entire business gone.

If you have a customer management system tied in with your website, the database is stored on the server so it will always be retrievable.



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