digitise your business

How To Digitise Your Business

With the impending changes to the UK tax system and Making Tax Digital (MTD) for VAT a few weeks away. Now is a great time to jump on the digital bandwagon, even if your business is not VAT registered. Digitising your business can bring many benefits to your work and personal life.

In all likelihood, your business will already be digital in some form. You may use your phone for email, social media or use a website and apps. You should be looking to take every aspect of your business digital. Using pen and paper for more than a note is now a thing of the past. Go to any high street bank now and the pay-in slips have been replaced by smart computers.

So where do you start on your digital transformation?

1. Identify your processes

Every business is made up of systems, such as sales and production. Also processes, these are the things that make the systems work. Such as a conveyor belt in a factory. So for the small business owner such as a plumber, the system might be fitting a new bathroom. The processes will be buying the right materials, fitting the right pipes and furnishings.

So let’s think about fitting that bathroom. In a traditional sense, the plumber would take an enquiry perhaps over the telephone. Write down some notes in the diary, then go and see the customer and view the bathroom. Prepare a quote, check the work diary, order materials and eventually start work.

With the job information stored on paper and in the brain. Problems and inefficiencies can arise when passing on information to workers. Or recording important information from the customer. Let’s go back to the conveyor belt. In a modern factory the job information is stored in a computer system.

The digitally controlled conveyor belt can produce a far greater output than manual labour. Therefore digitising your business will improve efficiency and overall performance.

In top restaurants you don’t see the staff taking orders on pen and paper anymore. Mobile phones and tablets send orders to the kitchen. Stock levels can be checked by staff when taking the order.

Think about the systems and processes used within your business. Write down every stage of the process from enquiry through to job completion. This is called process mapping. Once you know your processes you can start to identify where using tech can be used to save you time, improve output and give you better data.

2. Choose the right software

Whether it is implemeting software to manage your customers or business finances such as Xero or Receipt Bank. Or adopting an e-commerce platform such as Shopify or WooCommerce to sell online. The software you choose should align with your processes.

For all businesses collecting cash and being paid quickly is a must. Accountancy software Xero can turn a quote into an invoice in a couple of clicks. Therefore no need to manually type out an invoice on Word and then manually type into a spreadsheet, paper cashbook or accounting software. Payment services such as GoCardless, Stripe and PayPal can collect payments from the generated invoice. Making it easy for customers to pay. Our time is precious and paying bills manually are not only time consuming but bring negative thought. Therefore automation is key.

You might find off the shelf software that offers the same solution at a similar price. Most software comes with free trials these days and you can test the product before you invest.

Map out how the software will replace your current processes. Using software within your business should save you time, Improve efficiency and overall output, and give you better more accessible data. This might not be today, this week or this year. However, digitising your business will lead to better results in time.

digital business

3. Implement

Coming up with great ideas can be for many the easy part. Executiion can prove a much tougher challenge. So how do you implement taking your business digital?

Well we want a smooth ride, with a seamless transition. This means a well thought out plan. Think about when, where, who and how? Think about reducing risk and covering all bases to avoid disruption.

Having a designated resource to manage the implementation or overall project will lead to better results when digitising your business. If you are self-employed and working on transitioning to digital in your spare time. This will take far longer. Appointing an expert consultant to manage the project will lead to faster and often better results.

We can help take your business digital

At Accounting Inc. we can help take your business digital. Our skills are not just limited to financial systems. We can help you implement new tech into your business to improve different functions of your business, such as the sales system, customer and people management. Feel free to contact us for a free consultation.

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