Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Studio Management - Managing Your Contacts

Today I want to share a simple tip for helping you with your studio management.  If you've been running a studio for even a short amount of time, you have probably accumulated a list of contacts for students that you currently teach, potential students, and maybe even students who are on a waiting list.  I use a Gmail account for my studio email address, and I have found the contacts section to be extremely helpful in managing my contact information.  Here is how I use it and why I find it useful. 

- It is easy to enter information.
It's simply a matter of typing in the information.  These are the things I include: name of parent, phone number, email address, and home address.  I specially like the notes section.  There I type in the name of the student, his age, and if he has had any previous music lessons.  I also make note here when the inquiry was made, what price I have quoted to the parent, how the lessons will be paid for, and when the student will have his lesson.  I also make note here if the student will be taking piano or guitar lessons. 

- It is easy to organize and access information.
I have set up a group in my contacts labeled "Music Lessons" (since I teach both piano and guitar lessons).  Every contact related to lessons - whether it is a prospective student, a current student, or a previous student - goes into this group.  Then when I want to send out any group emails or a mailing, all I have to do is pull up this group and take a look at the contacts there.   
The nice thing about having this information in my Gmail account is that I can access it from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection.  I used to have all this information consolidated in an Excel spreadsheet, but struggled to keep it updated between my laptop and my desktop.  Plus, with having these contacts in Gmail, I can also access them from my iPod touch. 

- It is easy to search for information.
Gmail has a search function built into its contacts section.  So, if I can't remember exact details, or if I want to search say for just my guitar students, I can just enter my search term.  And voila!  There's a list of the contacts that fit my search term. 

Let's talk!  What system do you use to organize your contact information?  I'd love to hear from you.  Leave me a comment below! 

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