Use technology to get back your valuable time
Needing to be involved in every part of your business can result in you being spread pretty thin and can be an expense to your business, not to mention a cost to your personal/family time.
Your time is valuable!
Outsourcing jobs that could be completed by a specialist - who may complete the task quicker and for less than you can - just makes sense as it frees your time up to focus on more important tasks. The same ideology goes for the use of technology…
A common complaint we hear from business owners is how much time they have to spend reconciling their expenses. Time that they would much rather be spending on developing and growing their business.
The good news is there is lots of great technology out there that is specially designed to streamline your processes and give you breathing room.
Business is moving faster every day. To keep up, your business needs the right tools to work smarter and faster.
In this day and age, there are literally tens of thousands of apps and websites out there that can help small and medium business owners strengthen their businesses using their streamlining tools.
One of the most obvious benefits of technology is that you can automate processes and jobs that take up a lot of your attention and time. A brilliant example of automation in action is Xero, who offer fantastic features to help businesses save time on accounting and administration and do it all on the go.
Xero – a New Zealand hero, for business owners
Xero offers many features that can increase your efficiency as a business owner and enable better time management. Some of this can even be done from your mobile, while you sit through the trailers at the movies, or at your child’s all-important prizegiving to watch their 5 seconds of fame (just make sure it’s on silent).
Xero enables you to revolutionise how you do business by giving you real-time information, whenever and wherever you need it.
Cash coding - if you handle lots of cash transactions, Xero now allows you to code a list of transactions in bulk, saving hours of processing time.
- Xero mobile app - raise invoices, record transactions, and code bank transactions on the go. This means that your accounts can be updated much more frequently (mainly because it’s so much easier) and reduces the need for ‘binge’ bookkeeping, where you’re processing months of transactions at once to catch up.
Xero files - store your contracts or other documents either in a general library or attached to a transaction. No more time spent hunting documents, or chasing copies - Xero gives you a central repository for all of your important files. You can even take a photo of that coffee or fuel receipt and upload it like magic!
- Find and recode - change the coding of many transactions in just a couple of clicks, dramatically reducing time spent on correcting errors and reallocating transactions.
At RightWay we are super Xero experts! In fact, we are proud to be a Xero Platinum Partner! We’re ready to help you squeeze even more efficiency out of this very cool software solution to enable you to spend time with those closest to you in Business and in Life
Get on the cloud!
Living the lockdown life has only further proved the importance of being able to work remotely. Implementing cloud computing services has been a game-changer for many businesses, including RightWay, as it provides staff with remote access to all files and documents on any device with an Internet connection.
Subscription-based services also ensure you are only paying for the services you need, rather than having to purchase whole packages at one time.
Cloud computing services can greatly assist in creating a flexible work environment for people who are unable to come into an office due to having a mild cold, a sick child, or an injury. This flexibility factor is fast becoming a massive recruitment drawcard with employees appreciating their employer's business model allowing for their varying circumstances.
Do you even need to work in an office space?
Implementing Cloud computing services has provided some businesses the choice to move to shared office environments or to provide staff with resources to make working from home a permanent thing. While this won’t be suitable for everyone, it is certainly worth considering if your business is working out of a large office with high rent and a small number of employees.
Collaboration communication platforms make communicating with your staff and customers a breeze!
The ability to communicate remotely with clients and employees has never been more important than it is right now. Collaboration communication platforms such as Microsoft Teams, reduce the limitations lockdowns create by allowing you to continue to keep your lines of communication open in a simple way.
While a phone call is often perfectly fine, in many instances being able to physically show your client or employee something during a call is vital. In these instances, utilising communication platforms that provide the ability to videoconference is a must! Technology such as Microsoft Teams allows you to share your screen so that the viewer can see what you can, allowing you to easily take them through a presentation or keep that face-to-face connection. Additionally, documents can be uploaded, shared, collaborated on, and downloaded easily between team members rather than clogging up your email or worse, not sending at all due to large file sizes.
Collaboration platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack also have a chat function which minimises the need for mass group emailing as you can communicate easily with several people about a project within one chat.
Some of these platforms have a noticeboard function that allows important information to be profiled to the whole team. Additionally, on some platforms, it is possible for individuals, groups, or even a whole team to be tagged within the noticeboard conversation to alert them to read the information.
Time management made easy!
With hundreds of systems available to help you to manage your time, there is something for everyone – however, it can take a lot of time to work your way through them all! As time is of the essence, we have put together a quick list of some great time management tools we love.
Service (link to each)
Managing team projects
Managing documents that will be worked on by multiple people
Managing multiple social networks
Sending e- newsletters
Industry specific time saving technology
Each industry requires specific processes to be completed and these can vary significantly, with this in mind we wanted to share our favourite industry specific time savers with you.
The best management tool for tradies!
Tradify is a fantastic app specifically created to make it easy for tradies to manage their businesses. Tradify is a Xero product, in fact it’s their highest rated product! Tradify seamlessly syncs with Xero, Sage, MYOB and QBO and can be tailored to provide management support for specific trade industries including:
- Electrical and AV
- HVAC and Refrigeration
- Renovation and Maintenance
- Plumbing and Gas
- Commercial/Industrial construction
- Security and Fire Services
- Landscaping and Lawns
- New Residential Builds
Tradify ensures tradies can easily streamline their jobs from quote to invoice and all the processes in between, including:
- Customisable quoting that can be set to automatically follow up
- Automated customer communication to notify them of upcoming appointments
- Processing online payments
- Schedule jobs based on employee’s geographical location to minimise lost time due to travel
- Self-tracking timesheets
- Invoice for work and follow up with automatic payment reminders
- Track profit and costs with their job costing software
- Record notes and receipts
A great tool for Farmers to gain immediate access to financial data and insights
Our go-to financial management tool for Farmers is Figured which integrates financial information from Xero with farm management systems such as John Deere, Agworld, and stock trading systems like BCMS and ICBF. This time-saving technology gives farmers back some of their valuable time by providing them with a tool they can use alongside their advisors to:
- Budget with ease. Figured also provides a rolling forecast.
- Track production quantities, stock levels, and varying other inputs associated with farm operations.
- Easily see up-to-date actuals.
- Figured provides your whole team access to varied reporting, ensuring they can keep up to date on the farm's performance.
- Plan for the future – Figured allows you to complete financial, succession, expansion, and diversification planning.
Inventory management Unleashed!
Want to spend more time moving stock and less time counting it? Check out Unleashed, this inventory management system created by Xero will definitely give you some time back!
Unleashed allows you to:
- Manage your payable transactions from incoming and outgoing stock across multiple suppliers
- Keep your profit reports up to date. Following a sales upload into Unleashed data is instantly passed to Xero which automatically updates your stock levels, values, and costs of sales. This provides you with instant visibility of your stock movement including profit and loss balances.
Check out their promo video here.
Supporting your team’s mental health digitally!
The reasons to support the needs of your team’s mental health goes far beyond the fact that it is the right thing to do morally. A mentally healthy employee is energised, efficient and is more likely to be engaged in the success of your business.
A great app RightWay uses to assist with supporting our team’s mental health is Chnnl. This digital platform allows employees to anonymously answer a series of wellbeing questions via a daily check-in or to provide anonymous feedback in a journal format via the Chnnl app. Chnll then provides tailored advice to the team member and collates the feedback to pass back to the business owner or leaders (without naming names) providing valuable insights, information, and data on employee mental health and wellbeing. This information can then be used to address areas of concern or celebrate wins.
Don’t be penny-wise, and pound-foolish”.
Technology can make the management and execution of many mundane business tasks so much easier.
It can be very easy to get pulled into areas of your business that don’t contribute to your goals. We recommend you take some time to research apps, tools, and websites that can drive your business towards your goals.
Think of Technology as a form of Business Insurance that you simply cannot afford not to have. You wouldn’t scrimp on other types of insurance – this is no different.
The research will be well worth every minute you spend on it.
Read our other business growth guides
Many highly ambitious business owners and entrepreneurs have dreams of taking their businesses to the big time. But scaling a business is so much more than adding headcount or indeed customers. In reality, scaling needs to be part of a careful business strategy in order to retain the magic of the small business and unlock the benefits of a large business.
Cash flow is what drives your business and keeps you awake (or preferably, asleep!) at night. Put simply, cash flow is the lifeblood of your business. It’s also one of the most important measures of success of your business. Your business is like the game of monopoly – you can’t pass “go” without cash flow.
Managing a business can be overwhelming! More often than not you’ll be wearing multiple hats throughout each day as you flit between being a people manager, managing the businesses financials, forecasting, strategically advertising your products and/or services, researching new technologies along with a multitude of other tasks required daily!
With more than half a million small business owners in New Zealand, there’s a breadth of backgrounds, cultures and approaches that make up our community. But while small businesses really do take all sorts, we’ve been able to observe the common traits that all successful owners appear to have. In this article, we’ll cover what some of these are. The good news? All of these traits can be worked on and developed with a bit of focus and the right support.
Okay, it may sound like a silly question. Of course you know your business! Who’s closer to your day to day operations than you? And that’s fair enough. But when small business owners are doing everything, there’s going to be elements of the business that get more attention than others. It’s only reasonable that providing your service to your customers is priority number one. Even well-established small businesses turning over reasonable revenue can lose sight of the detail around the financials.
Ever competed in a race where you weren’t told where the finish line was? Tried your hand at baking without a recipe book? How about leaving for holiday without packing your bags? If these all sound ridiculous to you, then let us draw the comparison with a business that doesn’t make plans. Making plans and understanding parameters is so important for business success, but many fledgling businesses have barely planned tomorrow let alone the long term.
It is very normal for business owners to be entrenched in the daily goings on of their businesses. With varying to do lists and high priority tasks requiring their daily attention, it can be hard to take the time to stop and look at the big picture. And that’s just the business part, let alone our busy, and somewhat chaotic, personal lives.
However, it is vital as a business owner or business manager to periodically pull your head out of the trenches and take the time to sit back and review your business as a whole, to ensure you are on track to success.