The past few days I’ve spent time with clients, planned out my next masterclasses (more on that later), sorted through heaps of emails, worked on sales strategy, and much more. As a business owner, I often must wear many hats. It’s undoubtedly one of my favorite parts of my job, but it’s also one of the most difficult parts.
Often when starting out, you believe you can or need to do everything yourself. That all the details in your business can be kept track of in your head. While some may be able to, often it’s a humbling experience when you realize you can’t. This is why business processes and systems are so important. They allows us to eliminate workplace inefficiencies, save time and energy, and even make it easier to train others on your team.
There are a few key areas that I recommend starting with: accounting, task/project management, and customer relationship management.
There are many other aspects of running a business where new processes can be helpful, but if you’re looking for a place to start, these are some great first steps.
Account & Invoicing
Finances are critical for any business owner even if many of us dislike working with numbers. Without the right amount of money going to the right spots, your business will suffer. While it’s not always fun to implement a new finance system, it will be worth it in the long run. Below are some of the best ones for small businesses.
- From Intuit, this software has been around for a while. In that time, QuickBooks has become a robust tool that allows for a lot of customization, offers plenty of add-ons, and is easy to use. With a variety of plans and price points, there is something for everyone.
- Sage easily integrates with Microsoft 365, so if you use Excel to manage your finances now, this tool will offer a simple transition. If you need good inventory management along with financial support, Sage is a wonderful tool that can do both.
Task & Project Management
Managing the million things on your plate is impossible, but the tools below can help make your time management a breeze.
- ClickUp is a simple way to organize all of your projects and work in one place. It offers teams collaboration and shared task-setting functions, complete with status alerts and project updates to better align workflows around goals.
- Keep Notes
- For some things I find myself still using handwritten notes. But since we’re talking about technology, Keep Notes from Google is a great alternative. As the name implies you can type all of your notes for projects in one place and its “list” feature allows you to check off items if you want to use it as a “to-do” list.
Customer Relationship Management
Every business owner knows that customers are the most important part of our businesses. To make your quality of life better AND improve your customer’s experience, you need great customer relationship management tools.
- You probably think of Salesforce as a massive tech company, and while that’s true, it also offers a much less expensive platform that is great for small businesses! There’s a reason Salesforce is such a household name; its easy integrations, beautiful interface, and extensive customer tools make it the cream of the crop.
- Zoho CRM
- Zoho CRM allows you to manage your sales funnel, automate many processes, and access advanced reporting and analytics. It’s also one of the most affordable options, starting at just $14 per month. (There’s a free version of Zoho, but I’d forego that due to its limited capabilities)
Your Time is Worth Money
While changing business processes and investing in new systems may come with a cost, you will be better off in the long run. With the right business systems in place, you’ll have time to focus on growing your revenue and time to do the things you enjoy.
And with that extra time, I also encourage you to join me on November 8th for my Business Success Interview with Financial Advisor, Mike Olinger. It will take place Live on Facebook. To watch join the Streamlined Business Strategies group.