Case Studies. Why this high-end web design startup wanted an all-in-one CRM + Project Management system even before they launched
25Jun '14

Why this high-end web design startup wanted an all-in-one CRM + Project Management system even before they launched

This high-end boutique web design firm from Virginia plans to launch within three months. Find out how WORK[etc]'s flexibility and sheer customizability can help them hit the ground running.


This high-end boutique web design firm from Virginia plans to launch within three months. Although they’re not completely up and running yet, they already have a host of web-based services.

Website design and search engine optimization are their main products. They also plan to branch out into reputation management and similar services in the future.


As mentioned, the company is currently gearing up for launch within three months’ time. They want to hit the ground running, so they have started searching for a complete client and project management system with the ability to scale right alongside them. They also need a system with a client-side portal that can help them react quickly to any customer issues as they grow — all of which are features that come built into WORK[etc].



Activity HistoryCustomers are the lifeblood of any company. WORK[etc]’s contacts module reflects that, acting as a central hub where users can manage everything for their clients. You’re never more than a few clicks away from creating any kind of item thanks to the persistent menu bar at the top of the screen stays across all modules as well as the drop-down menu available on every row of items.

Having all of your contacts organized in a single, cloud-based location removes the hassle of having to check for contact details across a variety of different applications. It also makes checking contact details easier for anybody on the team regardless of role or location. As long as you have a browser or the WORK[etc] mobile apps you can access the contacts page whether you’re in the office or out on the road.

Populating the contact list is also easy. In fact, it can even be done within Gmail or Outlook. Here are some of the ways you can add new contacts to WORK[etc]:

  • Import whole spreadsheets of contacts using WORK[etc]’s import function.
  • Do batch updates to existing contact details using the same method.
  • Sync your Gmail and Google Contacts accounts with the platform to start populating your client list and activity history.
  • Turn emails into contacts, leads, or support tickets instantly using the Gmail and Outlook add-ins.

One of the main features of WORK[etc] is that it lets you keep track of everything you do with a client. This data can be found in a contact’s activity history tab — a running record of the relationships you have with your contacts, from the very first email you sent them to the latest support ticket that they filed.

If Bob, for example, calls to follow up on a question he asked three weeks ago, you don’t have to sift through 21 days’ worth of notes just to find it. As long as a note was made, it’ll be in Bob’s activity history. Nothing falls through the cracks, making the company more responsive and its clients more appreciative.


Gantt ChartAs a web design firm, the company’s services are largely project-based. More often than not, their clients don’t just ask for a single specific service. If Bob needs web design work done, for example, he will most likely spring for search engine optimization services as well. Maybe he’ll even ask the company to put together a web campaign too.

WORK[etc]’s flexible project management module will let the company handle pretty much any kind of project they need it to. For Bob, the company can set up a main design project, under which they can add sub-projects for each stage of development from conceptualization right up to deployment.

The company can even micromanage the project as much as they want, setting dependencies and triggers for each stage of the project. The system can handle a near-infinite number of sub-projects and tasks, each of which can have their own progress settings, custom stages, and dependencies.

A similar project can also be created for a recurring service such as SEO by turning a project into a container for a recurring task. They can even add a retainer amount to billing in order to use the budget tab to ensure that they’re not doing more work than what the budget requires. It’s a neat trick for companies who want to keep an eye on profitability.


Customer PortalThe final piece of the company’s puzzle is a customer portal. The main reason the company requires it is that they believe it will come in handy for when their client list grows.

WORK[etc]’s customer portal is a highly customizable access point that gives clients a bird’s-eye view of the status of the work you’re doing for them. The portal can be styled to reflect the company’s own branding, from logos and background images down to the color theme. Custom links pertinent to the company can also be added.

Depending on the permissions that you give them, you can let clients see invoices, projects, and tasks on the customer portal. Let’s say the company is building three different websites for Bob. Permissions settings will let Bob log on to the customer portal and check up on the progress of each of the websites the company is building for him.

Custom tags, which can be set on your clients’ contact page, even allow you to set which clients can see which information. The company can, for example, choose which knowledge base articles certain clients can see. Clients with the “Web Design” tag will see knowledge base articles pertaining to actual web design. Those with the “SEO” tag will see articles about SEO.

Going further, if the company has Bob tagged as a preferred or “Platinum” client, they can set it so that Bob has a support web form on his customer portal that will let him send a support ticket tagged as “high priority” and automatically assigned to a support team member. Clients who don’t have the same tag as Bob won’t have access to this particular web form.


By leveraging WORK[etc]’s powerful suite of business management tools, the company doesn’t just get a CRM that can also do project management. They get an all-in-one, cloud-based system that can be used all throughout the entire customer lifecycle from first contact through to support and client retention.

WORK[etc]’s flexibility allows it to scale right alongside the company as it grows — whether there are only three users or 300, 10 clients or a thousand. Its sheer customizability lets the company tailor it to their specific needs as well as the needs of their clients.



To find a CRM with built-in project management tools and a client-facing portal.


Take full advantage of WORK[etc]’s flexible project management tools to adapt to any service their clients may need, be it one-off projects or recurring work. Customize WORK[etc]’s built-in customer portal to allow clients to keep an eye on their projects and get in touch with the company quickly and easily.


The firm can become more efficient, productive, and better poised for eventual expansion.


Choosing a CRM is a big decision for any startup. You need to find one that can cater to your specific needs while also being able to scale with and adapt to any changes your company might go through. Find out for yourself why WORK[etc] is more than just a CRM with our free 14-day demo.

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