I recently came across a database which is specifically designed for the Photographers' business and is created by a UK-based company, Light Blue Software.
So what is this database which is called Light Blue?
Well it has many features, some of which I have listed below:
It can be integrated from your Wordpress blog 'Contact' page via a plugin - customer completes the 'Contact' page, this is sent to your email and from here you can automatically transfer the information into the "Shoot Record Form".
Events can be set up in Google Calendar and again this information is populated in the Shoot Record Forms.
Clients' personal dates for family members ie birthday's, anniversaries are also included and these are updated in the calendar - so you don't miss making contact at these important times.
Ability to use the finance package to prepare invoices, enter expenses relating to the shoot which works out the profit outcome you have made for each shoot.
Enquiries are updated in the database with follow up dates populated into the calendar so you won't forget to contact that prospective client.
You can add notes about the client and upload emails from and to your clients so everything is one place.
What I have listed above is just the tip of the iceberg in indicating what this database is capable of producing; but as with anything else the database is only as good as the information you enter. If completed correctly then I believe you will get a lot from this. Once set up the information is populated with minimum input from yourself with the emails sent through via the system for you to start generating the information; so cutting down on keeping details of customers/shoots etc in different formats.
In my opinion I think this database is well thought out with Photographers' specific business needs in mind and appears to be a very powerful piece of software, but you do need to get into the habit of inputting the information otherwise it will just end up being another "shiny object".