Do you ever wonder if you’re doing everything you can to boost sales in your…
How to Simplify Your Business in 7 Easy Steps
If your business is a mess of systems that are probably creating more work than they remove and you have things all over the place, including ones that you have forgotten or are only ‘half done’ then here is a simple way to make your business life easier.
Are you struggling with too many programs, apps, systems, tools, widgets and stuff?
Let’s look at how to take your business from a ‘dog’s breakfast’ to ‘simple and efficient’.
Most business processes break down into a few basic areas:
- Finding new leads for potential clients with marketing.
- A process to sell your goods and services to your new customer/client.
- After sales service where you look after your clients with product support or follow ups.
- Administration, banking and finance, which is possibly the most important of them all.
This model fits well for most service businesses and product sales.
These are my 7 simple steps to simplify almost every small business:
1. Set up a mailing list – Make it simple for people to follow you and for you to contact all your customers with announcements with a mailing list from MailChimp.
Hot tip – You can set up a free account in five minutes quickly and simply. This is your starting point for your sales and marketing funnel as well as your after sales care.
2. Ticketing system – Set up a simple ticketing system with Freshdesk. This will give your customers a simple interface to lodge questions and complaints about your product and services so you can ensure your customers are happy.
3. Build a website FAQ – Using the questions and answers you get from your ticket system you can build a list of frequently asked questions and answers, this is a simple way to answer customers’ questions without you having to repeat yourself over and over again.
4. Simplify payments – If you are still waiting for direct deposits or taking cheques via mail, then it’s time to look at simplifying this process. You can set up a credit card processing service or even PayPal to take payments from customers. You get paid straight away, rather than having to chase money for months. Everything is handled by your accounting system. If you still take physical payments look at Square Reader Payment Solution that plugs into your phone.
5. Use Cloud-based accounting systems – A system like Xero will cut the time it takes to reconcile your bank accounts by about 75% and will allow you to keep your finger on the financial pulse of your business. There are other options on the market, but Xero is currently the best of them. For the technical things, like balancing and lodging your BAS each month, spend a little extra to have a skilled tax agent or accountant do the necessary journals. It’s worth the money.
6. Save hours and hours – Present a professional image with Quotient app, generating quotes on the fly and the ability to save templates and directly chat with clients via the quote itself. This gives you a quick and easy way to close sales faster and once a customer is happy with the quote they simply click accept and you can generate an invoice from Xero with one click, saving you tonnes of time.
7. Hire a VA – I have had a virtual assistant working with me for almost six years now and to be honest, this has multiplied my effectiveness in magnitudes. You will, however, need to spend a little time when you first hire a suitable candidate. They don’t have to be overseas; you can get a local VA at reasonable prices.
I found they become the most effective with the more control you give them, mine has access to my main work email accounts, my Facebook page, and I use 1password to share sensitive login details. The real power comes in with all the little follow up tasks I simply run out of time to do or because I’m relaxing.
She reads my emails and negotiates times for meetings and schedules them into my calendar. She enters invoices into Xero, adds new leads to my CRM and alerts me if my social media account needs attention urgently. And she follows me up on my tasks as she knows what’s important because she knows what’s important to my business.
I used to have stuff everywhere, and every time I got busy, I would kick myself with all the disorganised stuff I had all over the place. I had a computer with files strewn across my desktop and passwords written on little bits of paper, a paper diary and business cards stacked like little towers all around my office. None of these was much use when I was in a rush or had an urgent call in the car from a client or supplier wanting information.
Once I started making the conscious effort to get better organised, things changed, and I could focus on meeting clients and sending invoices quickly and easily. So make the change now, move your quotes to a cloud based system, if you want to find out how to simply do this, check out my simple 5 step process.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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