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SME owners with outdated systems: 5 areas of your business to upgrade & improve

Business systems and processes

Many SME owners in New Zealand want to make improvements to outdated and inefficient business systems and processes.

The problem is knowing which systems to focus on first and finding the right system for your business.  Investing a bit of time educating yourself in advance is important.

Modern, cloud-based business software is now readily available for most key functionalities business need, for a reasonable investment.

The payoff is certainly worth it – with more accurate business data, better integration with other systems, greater automation and less manual processing of data.

In particular, focus on developing the following five core business systems…

Business systems and processes: Improve these five areas…

1. Accounting systems and processes

There are still some business owners who don’t see the value in small business accounting software.

Unless your business has hugely complex needs, accounting software like Xero more than meets the general requirements for keeping accurate accounting records.

These are required by law for every single business, no matter what structure you’re operating from.

The $25-$80 a month fee you’ll pay is worth its weight in gold for what it can do for your business systems and processes.

It automates many of the accounting tasks and allows collaboration with an accountant or bookkeeper, who can help you keep your business records within the system accurate in real-time.

This means that you always have visibility of an up-to-date financial position, with a great forecasting basis at your fingertips and simple reporting and compliance.

2. Inventory management

For businesses selling any kind of stock, whether you’re in manufacturing, or wholesale, you should be using an electronic inventory management program system.

There are various systems available which best suit each type of business that carries inventory. Manufacturing software, provides the ability to contain bills of materials for accurate costing of products. Wholesale software can either provide the ability to sell wholesale to retailers and directly to the public or simply only wholesale to retailers. It usually has the ability to sell at different rates.

These systems can provides you with greater accuracy, which in turn helps to maximise profits and minimise waste or shrinkage and also provide you with valuable reporting trends and analytics.

3. Customer relationship management (CRM)

A CRM is a system that allows for the managing of relationships and interactions with customers and potential customers.

The customer is your be-all and end-all. You should have a centralised hub, where everything you need to know about each customer is detailed.

A great CRM will help you communicate with your customers and potential customers and, depending on the system you choose, could help with your marketing and sales processes too.

4. Point of sale processes

If you are in retail and selling directly to the public, you need either an ecommerce or bricks and mortar point of sale system – or one that integrates both.

A robust point of sale system incorporates an inventory management module, allowing you to track stock from order to receipt to sale, regardless of whether you sell online or offline. These days, these systems often integrate seamlessly with different payment products like Laybuy or Afterpay, which give your customers more ways to buy from you.

By utilising a full-feature point of sale system, you’ll be more informed about the “rhythm” of your business: by accurately recording sales, discounts, stock, customer information and trends.

5. Payroll systems and processes

A robust payroll management system is integral to your business too.

Firstly, it will allow you to comply with the most recent changes in legislation. Payday filing, which was introduced in April this year, means that the majority of small businesses are required to file statistics about their payroll within two days of paying employees.

Most electronic payroll management systems can do this for you with the click of a button. This saves considerable administrative time and reduces the risk of filing errors.

Good payroll software also returns any payroll-related taxes to Inland Revenue and will file all relevant lodgements on your behalf, further reducing the burden of compliance.

Any questions about improving your business systems and processes? We’d be happy to talk through your options – contact us here.