How to Fine-Tune Your SMB and Overcome Challenges

    Regardless of the time of year, it’s important for business owners to keep an eye on their production operations and ensure the different components of the business are running smoothly and issue-free. Losing sight of the ins and outs of these operations can put a business in danger of damaging its reputation, which can be very difficult to repair. For example, a late order due to out-of-date inventory can easily result in an angry customer. It doesn’t take long for word to get around, which can cause a good reputation to disappear in the time it takes to read a bad review. Meeting business commitments every day and every time is critical to an organization’s continued success.

    Unfortunately, several bottlenecks can affect a company’s reputation, and they are different for every organization. For example, a manufacturer could hit a business pot hole due to budget overrun, quality concerns and capacity overload. A wholesaler might face problems with low inventory or late/missed payments. A professional services agency could experience a server outage and lose track of its employees’ billable time entries. The key to overcoming these challenges, keeping the business on track and maintaining a strong reputation with customers lies with having greater insight into the business. In this slideshow, Kae Williams, general manager of Exact, has identified five tips that can keep a business running in tip-top shape all year long.

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    Keep Your Business Running in Tip-Top Shape

    Click through for five tips that can help keep a business running in tip-top shape all year long, as identified by Kae Williams, general manager of Exact.

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    Collate and Automate

    Do collect financial, logistical, customer and product information into one uniformed system, which will result in a single cohesive view of all the organization’s information. Once data is in one place, it’s easier to automate processes and deliver the insight needed into business operations from beginning to end. It enables a business owner to make better decisions, while at the same time responding more effectively to customer expectations. That kind of insight will save significant time on data entry and looking up the latest stats, facts and figures on sales margins, cash flow, stock positions, stock aging analyses, outstanding items and revenue – time better spent on delivering the service customers expect.

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    Report on Everything

    Do instill an easy-to-follow reporting process that everyone in the business understands and agrees to follow. Reporting on what employees input into the organization’s system is the key to good decision-making. Vital reports that every business should always have on hand include prospect and customer stats, outstanding payments and cash flow and, and if relevant, inventory, sales and product margins.

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    Eliminate Duplication

    Don’t use separate systems to manage different aspects of the business and take care of customer relationship management (CRM). It is important that all relevant employees have access to one integrated system so data is available anywhere, for all the right people to access it, whenever they need to. This will prevent employees from completing the same tasks over and over again. In addition to automation, integration eliminates duplication so employees are only required to enter data once – saving a lot of time and money for the organization.

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    Collaborate with the Company Accountant

    Do gain more value from the organization’s accountant by collaborating together online. These days, accountants can do a lot more than simply balance the books, so companies should be looking to gain more value from the services they offer. Start with an accountant who offers specific knowledge of the business and sector. That way, the business owner will know they can really understand the organization’s goals – then offer tailored advice to help achieve them. They can even help by creating a sound business plan and making sure it’s followed. Giving the organization’s accountant secure online access to all necessary data will help them and the organization in unimaginable ways.

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    Always Have Information On-Hand

    Do make sure to keep all important information on-hand through a mobile app that makes any company representative appear professional, informed and reliable. This might include item prices, marketing collateral, spreadsheets or delivery dates. The ability to answer prospect or customer questions during face-to-face meetings can make all the difference between winning a new account and losing yet another opportunity. Take company information to every pitch, meeting or trip and provide the responsive service that keeps customers loyal.

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