Business apps and business software have become more easily accessible and affordable than ever before.Many of the barriers for you, as a small business owner, to buy tech that solves your business problems have been removed.
You can now run your business from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop – and you can do that anywhere there’s wi-fi.
So what’s automation all about and what are the benefits?
The big thing about software and add-on apps, is that it now leads to process automation and big business benefits for you.
- It saves you time – you pack more into your days
- It results in efficiencies and that leads to more profit – that’s why you run a business
- It reduces human error – think accounts on Excel spreadsheets or forgetting to record who you’ve chased for money.
- It makes your business scalable – as and when you make changes, you’re ready to go.
Quick wins when thinking about business processes
Every business keeps accounting records, and all the latest talk is about which software you use that’s a big talking point around Norwich and the rest of East Anglia. Xero is simple to use and helps streamline your accounting so you can get more done.
But what makes Xero useful for business process automation?
- As your accounting system it holds masses of business information, not just numbers, but contacts and interactions with contacts.
- Xero has an open API (application program interface). If that means nothing to you here’s the impact for your business – it means that there are now hundreds of business apps that seamlessly add-on to Xero to give you powerful, integrated business processes – and at affordable prices, and all with free trial periods before you commit.
It’s the combo of software, good data and automated processes that is key to seeing automation work for you.
For example, Xero lets you set up on-line Quotes, so customers can accept on-line or comment and when the deals done you’re automatically ready to invoice them.
It’s the Xero Add-ons that give you extended automation and competitive advantage.
Here’s a few tried, tested and liked by us
ReceiptBank – Is data management software. You get the App on your phone and take pictures of your paper bills and expenses. The key data is extracted, plus the image and it’s all pushed through to your accounts in Xero. This saves hours of manual data entry and no more worries if you lose the paper copy. Our automated bookkeeping service uses Receipt Bank, or you can administer it yourself.
Simple real time cash flow management leads you to Float. An easy add-on to Xero at a low monthly cost compared to the power it gives you to forecast cash flow into the future and in various scenarios you set up – much less dependence on Excel spreadsheets – and good easy to read graphics as well.
Satago and Chaser – These guys automate credit control. Satago goes deeper and credit checks all your contacts. They automate e-mail reminders to late payers and they thank your customers for paying. Masses of time saved and less stress about making contact with slow paying customers.
SalesForce – they automate every interaction you’ve had with all your contacts, making it easy for staff to use one system and one approach – everything is recorded in one place.
E-Mail marketing Add-ons like Constant Contact help you create good looking templates that can sent to customer or prospect groups when you need them – they’ll even create a brand match e-mail template based on your web site and logo for you!
Add-On apps like Work Flow Max bring detailed project or job management even closer, link it to Xero and when it’s time to bill the project you’re ready to go. The benefits for you are, job tracking and budget management as well as keeping an eye on scope creep.
Having an automated overview of your prospects results in you making good decisions about what to send them and when.
Having all your documents in one place, available at any time means super efficiency gets even nearer. Saving you time, cutting out duplication and cloud systems are becoming the norm.
Microsoft Office 365 puts Word, Excel and PowerPoint on-line so you can access documents anywhere.
If you’re more of a Google fan, Google Docs gives a similar offering and we find this preferable to Office 365. You’ll find what suits you best.
Google, Dropbox and Microsoft all offer cloud storage. This puts all your work documents on a remote, secure server where all staff can work on them, anywhere. This means no back-ups, easy access and collaborative working, as well as flexible work base solutions.
Don’t forget all you documents relating to business can be securely stored in Files on Xero. This means everything you need, like insurance documents or contracts can be accessed 24/7.
The big deal about office automation is that things can happen on time, in the same way and with less human error. Improvement efficiencies will bring you improved profits, and improved capacity as well as clarity of processes. An automated business model is scalable, meaning it can grow as you need it to – and you can often go further for longer before you increase staffing costs.
So, the more tasks you can automate the quicker your business will be able to expand with minimum outlay, minimum fuss and faster than competitors with legacy processes and systems.
We’re ready to talk Xero, talk about how we can help make your accounting life easier and more automated. To talk to us about how cloud accounting software for small businesses can help automate and streamline your business processes, get in touch with us.