My top 13 programs all business owners need to scale their business!
Delegating sounds easy, right? “Do this because I’m the boss…” However, for businesses to operate efficiently it also requires a lot of team trust, record keeping, management and automation…yes, automation. The better we can automate the daily systems and processes around our business operations and customer experiences, the more streamlined our operations become (and how good is it to be able to locate data when you need it? For things to just happen seamlessly, or for you to be reminded to do things).
At the end of the day, we are all human, and we all want to receive and give the best service possible.
Over the years I’ve conducted a lot of research on the endless software platforms out there for many clients across numerous industries. I’ve put together a list of my top recommended platforms that I’ve tried and tested, that suit multiple industries and that have improved business efficiencies for many of my clients.
When you introduce technology solutions in your business, try to ensure they all work in conjunction together and that you are only incorporating what’s needed. Too much tech can cause issues in the long run.
Communication is key!
With my critical 5 P’s of business in mind (in case you’ve forgotten or have strangely somehow never heard me speak about them, they are People, Planning, Process, Product and Productivity), remember; communication in business is paramount, both with your internal and external stakeholders.
Check out my top 13 programs all business owners need to scale their business!
Accounting and Bookkeeping
Xero is a cloud-based small business accounting software with tools for managing invoicing, bank reconciliation, inventory, purchasing, expenses, bookkeeping and more. Xero makes it easier to get clear on cashflow. Xero’s online accounting software for small business gives you visibility of your cash flow so you can budget and plan efficiently. This means crucial data you need to make important decisions is at your fingertips always, plus you are not spending hours looking for invoices or working out tax payments.
Task/Project Management/Internal Communications
Asana is a web and mobile application designed to help teams organize, track, and manage their work. Asana gives you everything you need to stay in sync, hit deadlines, and reach your goals. You can also work anytime and keep remote and distributed teams, and your entire organization focused on their goals, projects, and tasks with Asana. It is like a digital assistant manager keeping everyone on track with their to-do lists and goals!
CRM, Lead Generation management
Active Campaign is a cloud-based Customer Experience Automation Platform that helps businesses meaningfully connect and engage with their customers.
It creates optimised customer experiences by automating many behind-the-scenes marketing, sales, and support processes such as emails. Taking the time to set up sequences like this can not only improve your customer experience but will save you heaps of time long term.
Basic Team communication
Slack is a collaboration hub that can replace email to help you and your team work together seamlessly. It’s designed to support the way people naturally work together, so you can collaborate with people online as efficiently as they do face-to-face.
Essentially, Slack is a chat room for your whole company, designed to replace email as your primary method of communication and sharing. Its workspaces allow you to organise communications by channels for group discussions and allows for private messages to share information, files, and more all in one place. Instant communication saves more time than you realise and can increase turn over times on projects significantly. No more reading lengthy email chains or waiting for a reply!
Loom is a video recording tool that helps you get your message across through instantly shareable videos. It’s great for internal communication, video demonstrations and marketing videos. With Loom, you can record your camera, microphone, and desktop simultaneously. Your video is then instantly available to share through Loom’s patented technology. Think of things you find yourself training staff on regularly or walking your customers through, and imagine if they were prerecorded and could be sent with a few clicks of a button. An absolute must-have for service-based businesses but everyone can use this as a time saver if you think outside the box!
Client appointment booking
Calendly is an app for scheduling appointments, meetings, and events. Its goal is to eliminate the problematic back-and-forth when trying to nail downtimes. Rather than email chains and phone tag, you can send your availability with a Calendly link (even if the people booking time with you don’t use Calendly. So many people do not realise how much time this is taking you until you begin using it. Then when needing a meeting, they simply book on your link which already has your availability in it and it confirms on your google calendar. A life saver!
Zoiper is an on-premise and cloud-based softphone solution that caters to service providers, call centres, VoIP integrators, mobile operators and businesses that require softphones for overseas staff. It aggregates contacts from various sources such as Outlook, Windows, Android, iOS and all incoming calls to create an address book. Text, voice and video communications are encrypted to prevent eavesdropping.
Zoiper can be integrated with a number of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions. Effective communication is key to all scaling strategies, and this process is a must-have.
Email & Document Management
G Suite is a suite of cloud computing, productivity and collaboration tools, software and products developed by Google. Essentially, G Suite is all of Google Cloud, intelligence & security together in one affordable package with guaranteed uptime and business-grade security. Not only does this help streamline your processes, but ads a level or professionalism when incorporating with client care.
Trade based businesses job management (Esp. electricians and plumbers)
ServiceM8 is a cloud-based field service management solution for small business which enables service businesses to schedule, deploy and manage all their field activities from a single solution.
With powerful communication, job dispatch, quoting and invoicing capability, and real-time visibility on job status and staff location in the field, ServiceM8 streamlines the way trades and services businesses get work, complete work, and get paid. So many processes can be integrated with this program making it a one stop system for service businesses.
AroFlo is a cloud-based job management solution for larger businesses that helps businesses automate a job management lifecycle.
AroFlo helps users to manage job and project lifecycles, starting from the initial query through scheduling and invoicing. Again, for those using a system like this, the streamlining and professionalism will save time and enhance the productivity and professionalism across the board.
Sending payments offshore
TransferWise allows people to send and receive money safely to and from abroad without the high fees added by most high-street banks. In fact, TransferWise lets you transfer money up to eight times more cheaply than with a bank. Saving money and time for those dealing with international clients and businesses!
Scanning on the go
Genius Scan is a scanner in your pocket.
Genius Scan allows users to quickly scan documents on the go and export them as JPEG or multi-page PDF files or upload direct to your google drive. The application is free, requires no registration, works on both iPhone & Android, and is very easy to use. No more sorting through papers when on a worksite or out at a meeting!
Taking payments online
Stripe is an online payment processing tool for internet businesses.
Stripe’s products power payments for online and in-person retailers, subscriptions businesses, software platforms and marketplaces, and everything in between.
They also help companies beat fraud, send invoices, issue virtual and physical cards, get financing, manage business spend, and much more. Having a program like stripe integrated with Xero and others listed above means your booking, payment, invoicing and reconciliations become time effective and streamlined.