Running a business is tough. It is a constant struggle to divide your time between managing the business, growing the business and actually doing what you are in business for. Which often leads to late nights, working on weekends, or losing jobs because you were unavailable.
With everything already on your plate, the idea of changing the way you do things and implementing new processes can seem overwhelming. But we know from experience that making strategic decisions about outsourcing, automating and streamlining your business admin and bookkeeping can pay off big time. In return for investing in setting things up, you get back multiple benefits. Like cost savings, improved productivity, less stress, better customer experiences and opportunities for growth.
Do you know that famous definition of insanity from Albert Einstein? “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Well, your mountain of paperwork is not going to disappear if you don’t start managing your business admin and bookkeeping differently. (Fun Fact: apparently Albert Einstein never said this quote, it was traced back to some fictional book character)
Here are four things you can look at changing now to start reaping the rewards, get back on the tools and reclaim your weekends.
- Move to a virtual reception model
- Streamline your job booking process
- Get into the cloud for your invoicing
- Record expenses on the go
Managing customer enquiries and bookings takes up a huge amount of time. And if you aren’t responsive in answering and following up on calls and emails you risk losing jobs. How much time do you spend every day answering calls, responding to emails or calling people back?
A virtual reception model is the answer to giving you this time back so you can focus on getting jobs done. A virtual receptionist can do all the same tasks a traditional receptionist would - and more! A virtual reception service offers flexibility to scale your admin support up and down to suit your business, without adding to your payroll expense. They can ensure your calls don’t go unanswered when you are unavailable, and they can tailor all their responses to suit your business and customer service requirements.
Virtual reception services can include:
- Answering incoming calls (or follow up voicemails)
- Responding to text messages
- Providing information about your services
- Qualifying potential jobs
- Providing indicative prices
- Following up on quotes
- Booking jobs (we are highly skilled in using a range of booking software)
- Managing bookings across a team
- Creating and sending invoices
- Processing booking/upfront payments
Imagine how much extra time you would have to work on jobs or other areas of your business if these tasks were taken care of for you!
If you want to know more, check out our article Virtual reception: Everything you need to know about what, why and how.
How are you managing your job bookings right now? Through google calendar or outlook? A whiteboard in your office? Spreadsheet? Are you double booking jobs or struggling to maximise your staff capacity?
Job management software has come a long way over the past few years and there are a few really good platforms that are set up specifically for tradies.
These platforms are the key to working smarter across multiple jobs, teams and locations. Some of the common features of job management software include:
- Online booking system integrated with your website so customers can book jobs themselves based on your availability and job parameters
- Multiple calendars for different teams/tradies so jobs can be assigned based on skills and availability
- Geographic groupings (booking and assigning jobs within same geographic regions to minimise travel time between jobs)
- Take photos, add notes and communicate with team members within the platform so everyone has access to all the information they need in one place
- Integration with accounting software to streamline invoicing and payroll
We can help you choose a platform that is best suited to your business needs. We are familiar with the major job management platforms and can also learn any other program you might be using. Our services include setting up the system to suit your business and ongoing job management.
If you haven’t jumped on the cloud-based accounting software bandwagon yet, then you need to!
Move on from that complex spreadsheet, or clunky Word template. Stop spending your weekends drowning in paperwork, and get paid on time more often.
You can save a heap of time creating, sending, tracking and following up invoices if you transition to an online platform. Customers can choose from multiple payment options and pay with a few clicks.
One of the big benefits of cloud based systems is that you can access your invoicing anywhere, anytime. This means you can be creating or modifying invoices while you are on the job, real time. Plus, having all your invoicing streamlined within your accounting software is going to make your bookkeeping, BAS lodgments and end of year accounting so much easier.
Not sure how to get started with setting up your accounting software? Check out our article that covers How to choose the right accounting software for your business.
We all know that person with the glove box crammed full of receipts, right? Or the mountain of receipts on their desk. Or the overflowing office cupboard. Come tax time, the accountant is asking for your expense records and it totally stresses you out.
Image from www.xero.com/au
The key to getting on top of your expenses tracking is to record them on the go, into the cloud, integrated with your accounting software. Every time you spend money on business related items you take a picture of the receipt on your phone, add it in the accounting app, record whatever details are needed and save. And it magically flows through into your bookkeeping records, ready for BAS preparation or EOFY. Combined with your cloud based invoicing, you can have real time data at your fingertips about money flowing in and out.
If you are using accounting software like Xero, you already have receipt recording functionality available. Through the HubDoc integration in Xero, the system can learn to automatically recognise key financial data on different types of documents and extract them without you needing to manually add details related to your expenses.
So when you scan in your electricity bill, it automatically recognises the supplier, the amount, the expense category and populates that into your accounts without you needing to type a thing. Voila! Seriously, this is such a massive timesaver and the more you use it the better it gets at learning what information is needed. Xero can then automatically match that expense with your bank feed to reconcile your accounts and give you real time, up to date financial data.
If you feel like you are drowning in paperwork and it is holding back your business growth or making you lose your passion for what you do, then you need to make a change. Outsourcing, automating and streamlining your business admin and bookkeeping is going to help you reclaim that time so you can get back on the tools, focus on other parts of your business, or just enjoy your weekends paperwork free.
If you want to have a chat about any of the options in this article, book in for a free, no obligation consultation with Dream Admin Managing Director Tennille Skelly.