As a small business owner, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. Very few individuals set up their own venture for the sole love of running a business, but somehow the day-to-day administration takes over and you spend more time away from your passion. In this blog, we’ll run through our top five tips to save you time when it comes to the running of your business so you can focus on doing what you love.
1. Let’s start at the beginning – your business’s infrastructure.
Just like a house, your company needs a solid foundation to start from. But we understand building your business isn’t always linear so having a comprehensive set-up checklist is essential to ensure you’re covered and compliant. Everyone knows the vague basics of registering with Companies House (if you wish to be a limited company) or hiring an accountant, however, it can be a wise move to instruct an agent that offers you the complete package.
If you are operating a side-hustle or in the initial stages of your entrepreneurial journey, having an expert point you in the right direction can help avoid costly mistakes. There are two options here, either contact your local LEP or Growth Hub to ask for advice. Alternatively, to connect with the practical services, there are companies that offer complete set-up packages with added support, to get you on your way quickly and effectively. Start.Biz offers a customisable, comprehensive package that includes a variety of services from formation through to website creation and connections to legal advice. All for a low, rolling monthly subscription.
2. Now let’s get your money sorted with the best accounting software.
Now let’s get your money sorted with the best small business accounting software. The developments in low-cost, digital accountancy apps have massively streamlined bookkeeping tasks so now you’re having to spend less time doing manual filing. Accounting software also gives you a real-time view of your business’s financial position – crucial if you want to keep track of your income and expenditure.
Our top tips when it comes to accounting software:
- Shop around and if you have an accountant ask them what software they like to use.
- Spend some time getting to know your accounting software. Many apps now come with loads of extra features to help you understand your tax, manage your employees’ schedules, and even identify and notify you of potential errors.
Put time aside in the diary each week to look at your finances so things don’t become disorganised. This is easier said than done however will make your life a lot easier in the future.
3. Next, we’ll be looking at how to keep you organised.
OneNote is an app from Microsoft where you can centralise all your to do lists and notes. The intuitive interface allows you to set up folders, subfolders, pages, links to other Microsoft documents (such as Excel sheets and PowerPoint presentations) and enables you to share all of these with your team on the cloud or via email. In our experience, OneNote has been particularly useful when working as a consultant or freelancer but can also be used in small teams utilising the tag features to assign tasks. Working smarter, not harder – that’s the goal.
4. Use digital tools to help with your marketing
Setting up socials and a website can be a great way to advertise your products and help bolster your reputation with potential customers. However, both these essential elements for business can be a massive drain on resources, taking time and creative acumen to execute well. Regular, aesthetically pleasing posts are now the base level when it comes to modern business. 93% of consumers said they would check a product online first before buying so having an online presence is vital.
If branding doesn’t come naturally to you Fiverr is a simple, inexpensive website where you can engage a graphic designer to create a logo and some imagery for you at a fraction of the cost of a traditional branding agency. You can browse designer’s profiles which include past work, reviews, and their pricing structure. Once you’re up and running with your logo, Canva is a great way to save time and money when it comes to creating visuals for your business. The easy-to-use templates make creating graphics for most social platforms and print media a breeze. Some features are behind a paywall, a monthly plan can be as little as £10.99. Finally, to take the hassle out of posting find a scheduling app that you can pre-load your content into, this means you won’t have to set timers and get distracted by posting. Hootsuite is a good place to start with a free package available.
5. Now it’s time to sell, sell, sell.
Having a good point-of-sale (POS) machine is essential to ensure the customer’s journey with you goes as smoothly as possible. Handing over their money is an unavoidable pain point for the consumer so ensuring the traction is quick, easy, and seamless is an absolute must. If you have a bricks-and-mortar location installing a POS will be simpler. There are many portable, convenient options that will be able to sync with your accounting software.
However, what about if you’re doing a pop-up event, there’s patchy Wi-Fi or there’s an outage in your regular service? It’s always a good idea to have a backup. QR payment platforms have been a regular feature in many countries for years and there are some fantastic ones now in the UK. Voilo is an easy-to-use payment system that also allows you to transact in seconds (at great rates) through a QR code and build loyalty with your customers. Having this as an additional option means you’re ready for anything.