As a small business owner, one of your most precious resources is time. Business Process Automation can save you precious hours by automating the tasks you do regularly, freeing you up to focus on activities that grow your business.
Research from BRW magazine shows that about 70% of small-medium businesses are still processing most of their data manually, resulting in hours of wasted time better invested in activities like growing your business or spending time with family & friends.
So how do you know if you’re one of those 70% who are wasting precious time manually processing data? And more importantly, how do you get into the 30% of businesses who are operating efficiently and leading their industries?
Here’s a list of indicators that you need to automate your business as well as some tips on how to do it.
Manually entering sales data into your accounting program is not only significantly time consuming, but can be highly prone to errors. It also makes your accountant hate you as they usually have to spend hours trying to find and fix discrepancies or holes in the data. If you are still doing this, stop. There is a better way.
With the rise of cloud software, many of the applications you use to run your business can now be seamlessly connected so that data flows freely between them. Those of you selling online can use OneSaas to automatically convert sales from your online store into invoices in your accounting program, or for those with sales teams using a CRM you can easily convert closed deals or opportunities from your CRM into invoices.
Research from RBS Invoice Finance shows that small to medium businesses spend on average 130 hours every year chasing payments, and that small businesses wait on average 30 days longer than their agreed payment terms to receive money. Not only is that time business owners could be spending growing their business, but it is also a significant contributing factor to the cash flow problems plaguing small businesses.
If you are still manually creating & sending invoices and then chasing payments, you are wasting valuable time that you could be using to grow your business (or spending with your family).
To rectify this, small businesses can use billing & invoicing management software such as those offered by OneSaas partners Freshbooks and WHMCS. These applications can automate the process of creating and sending invoices as well as send late payment reminders and even automatically add late payment fees to invoices. Once the invoices have been paid, they can be automatically synchronized with your chosen accounting program using OneSaas.
CRM tools and Email Marketing Software provide an excellent way to maintain regular contact with your customers and track your interactions with them, and with the rise of cloud computing this kind of software is now available on a small business budget (some, such as Highrise and Mailchimp, are even free).
However, if you are spending time manually inputting or updating your customer details in these programs it may not be worthwhile.
The good news is that with OneSaas, you can automate the process of getting customer details out of a master system and into all your other systems and effectively maintain one customer database. For those selling online using an eCommerce platform, you can have all the customers from your shopping cart seamlessly synchronizing with your email marketing or CRM system. For those who maintain their customer details in their accounting package, OneSaas can pull the details out of your chosen package and sync them with your preferred email marketing or CRM system.
If your making any of these mistakes, it’s time to automate your business and get ahead of the competition. Aside from the significant time savings, automating your business in the ways described above can also help you maintain better accounting records, get paid faster and builder deeper, more profitable relationships with your customers.
Is your business making these mistakes? If so, what do you need to help you automate? Let us know your pain points in the comments below and we’ll personally respond to each one with our best advice!
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