Looking to Technology for Help
Small businesses, micro companies and property managers in the UK are facing a growing number of challenges which have virtually doubled over the last year following: political turmoil, dramatic fluctuations in the value of the pound and a vote to leave the EU. No one knows yet what Brexit will mean for UK businesses, which is why many companies are gearing themselves up for the future, further scrutinizing their figures and assessing the way they operate.
In the face of these growing challenges, many business owners are finding themselves trying to juggle too many tasks and becoming the “Director of Everything”. He or she may play the role of the company’s finance, HR and sales departments all in one afternoon. Therefore, the business needs a new way to become efficient without employing new staff or increasing work hours. Instead, businesses can turn to technology, find simpler ways of operating, consider what could be automated and “go digital” to free up more time to focus on other areas of the business.
For many small companies, the answer may lie in new apps, online tools and cloud-based solutions which have become more accessible than ever. Accounting for example has historically been left in the hands of high-cost agencies, private accountants or “Sage” experts, but rapidly changing technology means that business owners can now do much of the accounting themselves with easy-to-use applications. This creates a much more level playing field between small and big businesses when it comes to balancing productivity with the day-to-day management of the company.
The examples we use are QuickFile.co.uk (free) and QuickBooks.co.uk (subscription based). These could be the ideal solutions for freelancers, microbusinesses and professional landlords who need an on-tap accounting platform, containing details of their clients, suppliers, costs and payments all in one place. These tools also save time with document editing, by allowing users to generate job quotations, setup recurring invoices and create monthly reports – each of which could take days at a time without automation.
The principle of using technology to improve efficiency can be applied to other areas of your business too. Consider tools such as social media schedulers to dramatically cut down the time you spend on marketing, try task timers to assess where your team might be spending too much time, or find applications specific your profession e.g. property management apps for landlords. Apps have become increasingly easy to use in the office and at home and by choosing to use an application created by a reputable developer, you can be sure your data is safe and secure.
Everyone wishes they could buy more time but in business time is money, so you really must have a strategy that maximises the use of your own time. Typically, many business owners will try to decide which parts of the work can be outsourced but we encourage you to assess your use of technology in all departments first and make more affordable changes. Do some research or read on in our blog to find out about more applications which help to future-proof the way you operate and streamline your business.