The start of the year is always a great time to review each layer of your business to see which processes are slowing you down. We have recently reviewed our systems and, being in the business of improving ‘processes’, these are some of the elements we are currently working on. It is easy to sit back and stay with the ‘status quo’ after 13 years in business, but while you relax, your competitors are reinventing themselves and squeezing additional profit margin by using technology to save time, increase sales and reduce cost.
Keep Evolving to stay competitive!
Trying new ideas is always an experiment – a process of trial and error and reiteration. The impact of each process needs to be tested for a number of weeks – adopt the good things, ditch the bad and reiterate. Small businesses are more flexible when implementing change, but sometimes the wheels turn SLOWLY, even for small teams. The slide below outlines the key areas that cause the most pain that become the focus of automation opportunities for most SMEs.
We are launching a new JV that provides an online/offline service (we will tell you about that very soon!). Our team designed and built some very cool cloud software that provides the customer an instant quote. Upon approval, the quote is then converted to a confirmed job and an invoice is auto-generated.
This all happens online and is completely automated. Our quoting engine connects seamlessly into XERO, a popular online accounting package, so there is no double handling of data.
Our system automatically checks XERO to see if the invoice has been paid and if so, the goods are released to the customer.
This will allow us to scale rapidly without needing a huge team of people to push paperwork around the office. Xero, like most cloud software has excellent connectivity.
The best efficiencies can come from integrating your systems. You can either build connections between your systems, or shop around for small plugins that do the job.
Integration is a serious time saver and can completely remove double data entry. All good cloud software offers Integrations or APIs on their website, so do your research. You’d be surprised how easy it is to connect your software.
We’ve been using the XERO accounting package for the last 18 months and also have an invoicing platform connected to our hosting servers that automates recurring invoices. We are now comfortable with both systems and are connecting them together. It will save us 12 hours a month in administration time and remove an annoying task that our bookkeeper hates! Happy Days!
Email is so OLD SCHOOL! We now have several clients that use SMS for lead capture from their website enquiries. This should now be a serious consideration for any business. People are less prepared to wait hours for an email response. SMS is instant and very effective for a sales team on the road.
We recommend using a cloud CRM to organise leads and contacts. Connect it with your website enquiries and an SMS service and the CRM will not only capture leads more efficiently, but enable your sales team to respond within minutes. This will blow your competition away if it is done right, especially if you are in the business-to-consumer space.
If you would like us to conduct a process automation audit on your business or new project, then call us on 1300 228 100 or email email@example.comPosted by Jason Hawkins on 29 January 2015