As business owners and executives, we find ourselves with an ever-increasing to-do list and just when you think you're on top of things, it grows longer again. Do we actually thrive on being busy or do we crave a little less chaos and a little more control?
If things are going well and demand is high, then it’s all hands on deck. The sales, operations, procurement and finance teams are all busy, and they will be working away to meet customer requirements. If business isn’t doing particularly well, operations may experience some “calm” time, but other teams like management, sales and marketing will be working even harder to re-imagine, re-invigorate, re-engage and work out a strategy to generate additional revenue.
With all this busyness constantly going on around you, it can be easy for important tasks to get pushed to the bottom of your ‘to-do’ list time and time again. You may find yourself spotting issues when it’s just a little too late and all of your best-made plans for the day being scrapped as you try to find solutions to whatever it is you’re up against. Being hit with several reactive situations throughout the day such as your top salesperson being poached by a competitor, an important project missing a milestone or your best customer being let down with a late shipment, can cause you to take one step forward and two steps back every day.
If constantly being in fire-fighting mode and not having the time you need to drive the business forward sounds familiar, this article is for you. Your business is probably running you, rather than you running it and technology can be used to help you overcome operational challenges. Below we have looked into common issues business owners face that result in them being reactive rather than proactive and how Sage small business solutions can help to resolve them.
Business performance - what’s happening?
Pinpointing potential issues before they explode will help to reduce reactive pressures and the right technology can help you do this. Having KPIs in place against products, projects, services, locations and customers will enable you to see exactly what’s happening on the ground.
One important question to ask yourself is how much time is currently spent gathering, compiling, extracting and consolidating data to see your reports? There may have been a point in time when this key information was “on the top of your head” but as you grow your business, there are many more considerations to factor in, such as:
- More employees and more overheads
- More customers, suppliers, invoices and expenses
- More locations and more remote workers
- More legislative requirements
- More financial transactions
Regardless of whether workers are in the office full-time, working from home or following a hybrid model, it’s important to understand any operational issues and inefficiencies that may be impacting business performance, as well as team morale and motivation. As a team member, knowing that your job involves filling up a “leaky bucket”, motivation will inevitably begin to wane and productivity will suffer. One great way to unearth any hidden operational issues would be to conduct staff surveys or to work with managers and map out the time spent doing various tasks, so you can at least get a grip on the bottlenecks.
From our experience working with customers in the Services, Wholesale Distribution and Retail sectors, updating, checking data, inputting data, re-inputting data and producing reports are always high up on the “frustration" and “negative productivity” lists. These are all things that can be streamlined with the help of Sage software to stop your business from running you.
Digital transformation - manage your business
If you’re struggling to keep up with your business, it might be time to do a comprehensive review. Is there a quicker, more automated, integrated, smarter way to run your business? Are you just making do when you could be forging ahead at speed?
Identifying and then eliminating any time-absorbing tasks will free everybody up to be much more focused, and ultimately improve the way you manage your business from end to end. Here are some of the common culprits that are holding businesses back and preventing them from reaching their full potential:
- Manual data entry into different systems
- Manual bank reconciliations
- Manual supplier payments
- Entering quotations, then re-entering sales orders/invoices
- Stock counts with pen and paper
- Creating budgets, forecasts and scenarios
- Reporting on spreadsheets
Now, re-imagine your business where data effortlessly flows from A to B to C, where real-time business insights are instantly accessible, where you can monitor performance across departments and where employees can see what’s relevant to them. Implementing Sage small business solutions can make this possible.
Businesses were run very differently a decade ago from how they’re run in 2023. A lot has changed between now and then, and the recent economic challenges have prompted a response from business leaders to revolutionise the way they operate, ensuring they’re not left behind and they’re driving business forward by reinventing how they do things. The impetus for change has come about by necessity, but in the longer term, businesses that have invested in Sage systems and absorbed technology right into their core will undoubtedly have every chance to successfully compete in a very different digital world.
Is your business running you?
If you can relate to any of the operational problems mentioned above, it’s beneficial to explore how Sage small business solutions can help you in more detail. With the help of our team at Envisage, you can take back your workday with insights and automation, and use Sage software to improve your business operations.
As a Sage partner with years of experience working with businesses in a range of industries and helping them to revolutionise what they do and how they do it, you can trust you will be in very good hands with our team. We follow proven methodologies for each unique Sage project and we genuinely care about the outcome of Sage implementation. As a dedicated Sage partner, we can confidently say we can deliver creative, flexible and long-lasting cloud solutions that help you to overcome common challenges.
Contact us today for a no-obligation chat with one of our Sage experts to find out more about the software available or to arrange a free trial.
For more on this topic, download this interesting Whitepaper
Author: Steve Boyes, Customer Care Director
Steve has been a valued member of the Envisage Team for over four years. In his role as Customer Care Director, Steve oversees project deliveries and customer care. Steve's meticulous planning and scheduling skills ensure that customer projects run like clockwork . Working closely with our project delivery, customer support and account management teams, Steve aligns customer challenges with the best solution for their business, helping customers get real value from their Sage 200 investment.