Whether you are an owner of a small business or a manager within a larger business that has 50+ employees, managing the administrational needs of a growing business can be the cause of so much stress and headache. Even the smallest of changes have ripple effects and if not managed correctly, can not only cause a magnitude of internal problems but also damage to the business itself.
Risk Averse v Risky Business
Yes, there are people out there that find it easy to make decisions on growing a business, who can take risks whilst not thinking about what issues may or may not arise, they go with the flow and address each issue as it occurs as reaching for the skies is their main priority.
Growing a Business – The stress new systems can cause!
There is nothing wrong in throwing caution to the wind and taking risks in business, most owners/managers of larger business have a good balance of risk takers versus risk averse people around them. It’s what could be making them successful but if you are like me (and there are a lot of us – apparently risk averse) you are the ones that want to look at the granular level issues. Us ‘risk averse’ people need to look at what growth would mean in all aspects of the business, try to pre-empt any issues that may occur prior to putting a plan into action. In our eyes planning and preparation is the only way to ensure growth will not cause more stresses and headaches for us along way.
No-one can predict the future and we all know when growing a business there are always risks but those of us who are risk averse have so many questions to answer and the cogs continue turning along the journey of growth.
Time for growth
Planning for growth is essential to any business, many people consider growth in terms of increased sales but focus needs to be on how to maintain or improve the profitability of the business thus streamlining systems and processes is an essential cog in your journey. There are so many things to consider that even remembering the questions to a risk averse person is a stressor. The internet is inundated with advice from business advisors promising increased sales etc but the government website ‘Growing Your Business’ provides basic but easy to follow guidance with no hidden agenda but best of all, can provide guidance in discovering the answers to the ever increasing questions that are going around in your head.
Managing growth, is a balancing act, ensuring your current customers and employees are happy whilst managing new ones is essential. Creating work processes and streamlining the paperwork enables owners/managers to have the time needed to work on the team/business and not getting bogged down with paperwork and administrational workload.
What software systems does my business need?
There are many systems out there that a business, no matter the size, needs to utilise to help owners/managers manage the internal business administration more effectively to enable growth. I have listed just 10 of the internal administrational responsibilities below, that I believe are needed to be considered for any growing business.
- Managing Marketing – Getting the marketing machine working is another key element to business growth and in today’s world that doesn’t mean just visiting prospective customers and cold calling. Today, social media, email campaigns and websites have a huge impact on how our customers purchase. Monday.com the #1 collaborative platform marketing & creative teams love to use, is just one marketing platform that helps business get the word out there with very little foot work. Monday.com
- Managing Customers – Every business wants to ensure each and every customer feels like their number one customer. Knowing your customers and their needs is essential to building a good lasting business relationship but when trying to keep track of all customers in a growing business, memory is just not good enough, a system is needed. These systems are known as Customer Relationship Management systems (CRM’s as they are known in the industry) – ACT! Is just one currently on the market which allows you to keep track of all current and prospective customers, chase sales and market like pro as they say and helps the sales team keep on track with all their customer needs. ACT! CRM
- Managing Suppliers & Ordering Stock – Purchasing products at the right price and managing stock levels correctly is crucial to the profitability of every business. Maintaining accurate records is the only effective way in ensuring your customers receive the correct goods and within the agreed lead times. Basware is just one product on the market that claims to manage everything for procurement.
- Creating Professional Quotes – Providing a professional quote is a must for any business, after all these are the first impressions to any new customer. Keeping track of quotes and ensuring they are chased helps keep the acceptance levels high. Quoter is a quote management system that claims to configure, price, quote and get paid faster Quoter
- Managing Jobs – Any business needs to ensure that all jobs (or orders) are managed effectively and to the customers’ requirements. Keeping track of these especially with big projects can be mind boggling. Big Change – The all-in-one job management system Big Change claims to make this easier.
- Invoicing – Invoicing is the one thing that will ensure your business has the necessary cashflow to keep growing. Sage is just one system of many on the market.
- Managing Employees – Happy employees, enables any business to perform effectively and help provide the environment for potential growth. Managing large number of employees without a system is just not feasible, Access People HR, HR software that gives you control by automating your HR tasks Access People HR
- Managing Premises – Most business have premises even if it’s your own home. Ensuring they have the correct certifications and that leases are duly signed etc is important to the future of any business MRI Powerful software for facilities management MRI Real Estate Software
- Managing Vehicles – Keeping a check on company vehicles is a must, not just for the security of the vehicle but for the health & safety of its driver. Fleetcheck – the UK’s most recommended fleet management software Fleetcheck
- Managing Health & Safety – H & S can get very complicated but keeping it simple with simple processes and forms ensuring employee buy in . Intelex Inspection Management Software for a safer workplace Intelex
Even just reading the list causes headaches, imagine trying to constantly move from one system to another. An owner/manager would need to have a wide insight across the whole of the business or at least their department to enable them to manage effectively, but spending time training and using many differing systems is not best use of the businesses resources.
So how do we address the issues but still reach for the skies?
Can one software system do everything for my start-up business?
So, what has ESP done to address balancing the issues of growing a business whilst keep the internal administration side of the business down to a minimum?
After endless moans of the stresses of existing systems from employees, trialling possible new systems to implement and paying out thousands of pounds for numerous systems that only could address a few of our issues, we decided enough was enough and to develop our own system. And so, the creation of CORE!
ESP is a growing business that started out with just a few employees who provided IT services to predominantly charities across Sheffield. Now it employees 40 employees over numerous sites and provides IT support, Connectivity, Security and of course CORE our Software system, all primarily running through its one system CORE!
With Core being at the centre of all its internal operations ESP is now not only operating more effectively but has also reduced its environmental impact by reducing its paperwork over 80%. Below are examples of just a few internal operations that CORE is now managing for our business.
- All administrational operations for our sales – from new business leads through to invoices.
- Internal Job communication – are now done on the job in the system rather than via emails, so no more trekking through hundreds of emails to find information.
- Finance – raising invoices that are automatically imported into our accounting system.
- HR – recording and monitoring of holiday forms, absence recording, uniform requests, supervisions, appraisals, expenses.
- Procurement – all products within the Core system and daily ordering generated from customers’ orders.
- Health and Safety – recording and monitoring of DSE checks, premises and equipment checks, first aid kits, fire safety equipment and coming soon those most important risk assessments.
ESP’s employees are now not moaning about using previous systems but looking at what other systems/processes can be reduced and moved over to the CORE system.
Growing a successful business is not only about having a great idea and the guts to take the risk, but also about knowing how you are going to manage the growth internally whilst still trying to make everything look seamless to the outside world.
CORE is a system that grows with your business, so whether you are a small business just starting out or a large business with many employees to manage CORE has the flexibility to grow with you and it is the answer to all your business system headaches!
Coming soon is another example of how one of our customer’s implemented CORE within their Start-up, to help them deliver their services to their customers, more quickly. Watch this space! If you can not wait to find out more just give us a call on 0330 2020 101 or Contact Us from our webpage.