For most of us—but business owners especially—time is scarce. There is always more to do than hours in the day. So what tech solutions are you leveraging to be more productive with the time you have? When time is money, tech solutions can bring in a lot more of both. See how these five options might enhance the day-to-day operations of your business.
Virtual Meeting Tools – Nothing beats a face-to-face meeting when it comes to cementing a business partnership or getting a deal done. But with the use of virtual communication tools like Skype and GoToMeeting, business leaders can spend finite resources on in-person meetings in ways that provide the greatest return. For example, web conferences can be used to present preliminary proposals and, based on initial feedback, be modified for a later in-person presentation to clients in refined form.
Bookkeeping Applications – With so many viable and cost-effective accounting applications for small businesses, no one should be manually tracking income and expenses across multiple tables, spreadsheets and systems. Software and cloud-based options allow business decision-makers to create and track professional invoices, see payments and outstanding balances at a glance, enter bills and print checks, and reconcile for tax purposes.
Online Timesheet and Payroll Services – Online time-tracking solutions make it easy for employees to submit timesheets (and managers to approve them) from anywhere and everywhere. To choose the right system for your business, think about the ways different employees would use it and where their data will need to go, from payroll to billing to reporting. If you have an existing accounting program like QuickBooks in place, a payroll solution that syncs data and issues paychecks to employees can be a great option.
Social Media Tools – It’s a full-time job creating a strategy for a business’s social media presence, selecting the channels that best suit outlined goals, and then implementing a plan of action. Programs like Buffer and HootSuite help connect accounts so businesses can plan, schedule and post to multiple outlets at one time. Leaders can set up a schedule for sharing content based on the best time for it to be released. Plus, you get the chance to see comparative analytics that can improve future planning.
Customer Service Support – With tech applications like Desk.com and Zendesk, a business can be small but still have a big customer service presence. Help desk solutions can increase the number of positive interactions customers have with you company, improve their opinions of your brand, and raise their intent to purchase from your business. Support staff can field inquiries from email, phone calls, live chat or social media using one main system, giving customers the chance to choose their preferred form of interaction.
If accounting, timesheet or payroll technologies are on your list of productivity tools to investigate, Group 11 Advisors can provide you with important points to consider when choosing the right tool for your business. Contact us and we’ll be glad to assist.
There’s a never-ending supply of new fitness devices and trackers available today, but most of the data they report is useless. Yes, you are counting steps, flights of stairs climbed and hours of sleep, but are you honestly really doing anything with the data? There’s even “smart” clothing on the horizon, which will read your vital signs, stress levels and even tell you to cut back on your Thanksgiving turkey. As our culture moves closer to measuring everything, it seems as if we are moving further away from tracking and measuring what we actually need to know.
For both the fitness buff and C-level executive, the argument for the usefulness of real-time data tracking is valid. It’s not an illogical leap to think any individual could potentially improve performance and adjust strategies on-the-fly by leveraging better KPIs and insightful metrics. For most though, taking that data and knowing how to utilize it is a tough barrier to overcome. We track our steps (and that’s great), but are we getting any healthier?
More data alone doesn’t make better decision makers. While having additional data equals more opportunity to make better decisions, the key to leveraging data and translating it into meaningful results is knowing what to focus on, how to interpret it, and how to utilize it in the decision-making process. Data is only valuable if it is actionable. Are you confident you are taking advantage of all the metrics available to your business?
With over 25 years’ experience consulting with industry-leading companies, Talley & Company and our affiliate Group 11 Advisors are committed to provide clear, knowledgeable and applicable financial data and analysis solutions, enabling management to intelligently track performance, progress and profits. To determine whether your business is taking advantage of all metrics available to make the most informed decisions for future success, schedule a time to talk with us today.
22 Jul 2014
If you have been involved in the business world in the last 30 years, you have most likely had some experience with Microsoft Excel. Excel is the most common software program used for creating spreadsheets that businesses often use for tracking their financials. However, these same characteristics also make Excel a potential crutch for the entrepreneurially run business. In today’s fast-paced business world, business owners have become far too comfortable relying on Excel as an effective business solution.
So, how does this affect my business?
Excel leaves the creation of spreadsheets and the input of information in the hands of the individual tasked with maintaining key management metrics. Often, these spreadsheets are not reviewed for accuracy by someone else. Any auditor will tell you that this leaves the door open for serious errors in reporting, which can lead to costly fines or, in the worst case, the demise of your business. If this scenario applies to your company, stop and ask yourself two questions:
If the individual assigned the management of your business’ metrics had to leave work unexpectedly, how would that affect your reporting mechanisms?
What is the probability of error within your reporting due to manual input?