22nd January 2016
Embracing the Cloud = Improving Efficiency = Increased Bottom Line
No this isn’t just about moving your accounting and bookkeeping system to the cloud. This Blog is more about moving everything you can within your business to the cloud.
In this day and age, cloud based systems and technological advancements are allowing small businesses to improve efficiency more than ever which will ultimately improve your bottom line. If you’re not as efficient as your competition you’ll either lose market share through being outpriced OR you’ll lose market share because your profits are smaller and therefore have less working capital to reinvest for expansion.
From an accounting perspective there is no doubt that cloud based systems such as Xero allow the business owner to keep their finger on the pulse of the business, empowering them to make more proactive rather than reactive decisions. Old laborious tasks such as debt collection which would require hours to email and correspond with hundreds of customers is now literally done with the click of a button – improved debtors means improved cashflow. Ever evolving, it is also allowing business owners to dispense with large time consuming spreadsheets used for things like budgets, cashflows and for some businesses even the need for separate CRM systems. There are now also programs that allow you to take an image of receipts with your mobile device and with data characterisation technology automatically allocates the expense to your accounts for you!
We firmly believe that a small business in 2016 has no reason not to have the same sophisticated management reporting capabilities of large businesses. Cloud based programs such as Xero allow you to sync your data with programs such as Crunchboards which allow small business operators to have critical data provided to them 1 day after the close of a monthly reporting period. Back in the day of zipping desktop files onto a USB and sending them to your accountant would never have allowed for this to become a reality.
Other aspects within your business that could give you a significant efficiency boost include:
• Data Storage – whilst not suitable for every business, there are many sophisticated cloud based data storage solutions such as Dropbox and Google Docs. If you could use these products (which are largely free or extremely cheap) but instead spend tens of thousands on a server then you’re not gaining any competitive advantage.
• Written Communication – It must be said, any business that still uses a Fax Machine has to get with the times. To an extent, emails are also a huge time burden on business owners. Online communication tools such as Asana are a great, effective and collaborative communication tool.
• Verbal Communication – If you have good internet where your business is located then you should be using a VOIP system. Forget monthly phone bills in the thousands. A VOIP system will not only exponentially reduce your phone bills but will give you significant flexibility in being able to have phones in different locations synced, take calls on the road and track calls and statistics to give you vital market information
• Face to Face Communication – Do you have clients or customers on the other side of town? Skype for Business will help you reduce those two hours you spend in the car for a one hour meeting.
• Team Collaboration – If you work within a team and find it difficult keeping track of team members’ schedules, this can slow down productivity within your organisation. Online software such as Microsoft Office 365 is built for team collaboration. Office 365 syncs emails, calendars and contact information across your devices in real time. So it’s up to date, no matter what device you have in your hand.
The point is, as the title of the blog suggests – if you want to be competitive in your industry in 2016 you have to embrace the cloud for what it is, an effective tool that will help boost your profits and ultimately grow your business.
At Momenta Advisors we have assisted many of our clients implementing cloud based solutions for their business. If you would like to find out which of the available technologies could increase efficiencies and streamline processes, contact us to find out more.