A Guide to Management Technology for Growing Businesses
Business growth is always a good thing. But when your order book is bulging, your team is growing and the demands on your time are leaving you stretched thin, it can be overwhelming. With so much happening at once, business owners need to find a way to get to grips with their business. With the right management technology, you can gain a full overview of your business and make sure you are headed in the right direction. But choosing the right management technology can be a challenge in itself.
If you want to make sure you don’t drop the ball with everything from customers to the tax man, choosing the right technology is essential. It’s not just about the day-to-day admin. By putting your trust in technology, you can see the bigger picture and identify ways to help your business grow. You can use the technology to monitor staff and make sure you are making the best possible decisions for your business. If you want to stay in control, consider these factors when choosing your management technology.
No matter what business you are running, financial tracking will be essential. Accounting software can help you in many different ways. Perhaps the most important is that it will help you to raise and sent invoices as required. Otherwise, it might make it possible to accept payments in your online or physical store. Either way, creating a quick and simple way to get paid will always be essential to a growing business.
Getting paid is obviously essential, but keeping track of your payments can also help when the time comes to settle your bill with the tax man. Bookkeeping software will allow you to automatically update your ledgers and manage everything from tax and payroll in once place. You will even be able to calculate your VAT and tax returns without lifting a finger. Before choosing your financial management package, make sure that it is HMRC compliant.
Another thing to think about when choosing financial management technology is reporting and forecasting. The best software will work with your payment system to flag issues with payments, chase late payments and help you to identify persistent offenders. This type of early warning system can help you to avoid running into issues with cash flow. And financial reporting will help you to understand your cash position so you will know if and when you are able to expand your business.
How you manage your staff will be unique to your business. Some businesses handle remote staff and need to be able to collect their expense reports and mileage in order to be able to calculate their wages and compensation. Some companies will require rota management, allowing you to let staff know when and where they are required to work.
Always choose a system that is built for your industry and never make a compromise when it comes to staff management. For example, those in the beauty and salon industry should choose a system which is tailored to their needs, such as Salon Iris. This will ensure that you are only paying for the features you will actually use. If you are a software development company then you might only need task management software. This will allow you to let everyone know what work needs to be completed and the required deadlines. A system like Trello or Asana could work well in this situation.
Customer service management
Keeping customers happy will naturally be a priority for many businesses. You may need a place to keep track of leads, or a system for managing enquiries. A good customer relationship management (CRM) system will allow you to do all of this and more. You can keep track of the customer sales history and target individuals or groups in your database with specific offers. Keeping everything in one place also ensures that you have complete oversight of everything happening in your business. This is perhaps the best way to ensure that no customer complaints slip through the cracks, and no sales opportunities are lost.
So far, we have looked at companies that might sell services. But what if a large part of your business is all about physical products? A management solution that can keep track of your stock will help to ensure you never run out of the stuff that sells the best, and you’ll never have excess stock that you can’t shift. Tools like TradeGecko will allow you to run forecasting reports and use this insight to make better ordering decisions. It will also help you to maximise your existing stock levels, advising the best times to run promotions and which products to discount.
Some businesses will be less focussed on stock they are planning to sell and more concerned with stock they plan to use. If you’re a catering company, you would be more concerned with stock levels and expiration dates. Software like Caterease would help you to manage this easily.
When it comes to your website, you want to know exactly how many visitors you are getting and which pages they are spending the most time on. This can help you to understand the demand for your goods and services and adjust your approach accordingly. Google Analytics can help you to understand your website visitors and how to make the most of these valuable website sessions.