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As a business owner or someone who manages the development and growth of a business, have you ever found yourself in one or more of these situations?
- You feel like your business can improve, but you have no idea how to or where to start.
- You’re monitoring and tracking your business data but you’re not 100% sure what to do with the information or even, how to make sense of it.
- Your business is not keeping up with competitors.
- You are overwhelmed with so much data from multiple sources and you don’t know how to see them in one place.
Research has shown that businesses can spend up to 80% of their time just collecting, monitoring, analysis and reporting on data.
The heart breaking aspect of this (and trust us, we’ve been there, done that), is that this big chunk of valuable time spent on data collection and analysis might not yield the information we need for business improvements.
So, how can we fix this problem?
Say hello to business dashboards
Business Dashboards are platforms that offer a visual representation of your business organisation’s real time performance.
We call them “dashboards” because they work similarly to car dashboards. Think of your business as the engine under the hood and your business dashboard as a car dashboard that shows you all the important information about your engine’s performance.
Here at Neorise, we believe that every business can benefit from having a powerful and easy to use business dashboards.
Well, because a dashboard simplifies all the information that you collect – such as sales figures, resourcing hours, trends and more – into one place and in manageable “chunks” so that you can see what your business is doing right and where you can improve!
There are many benefits of a powerful dashboard, but in our experience, the thing that businesses love most is the ability to make informed decisions that can really impact business performance.
Types of dashboards
There are three categories of dashboards:
- Operational Dashboard – the most used dashboard type, this gives you real time data on what’s happening daily in your business, without too much drilldowns. An example is a project management dashboard that gives you a bird’s eye view of projects, tasks, to-do lists, events coming up.
- Analytical Dashboard – this one is for the analysts in you, who love looking at trends and pinpoint patterns to inform future decision making. An example is a marketing dashboard which tracks your communications channels for the last year or so might show which is the better platform to use, when you should communicate and what type of content engages better.
- Strategic Dashboard – if you have key performance indicators (KPIs) and want to track how you are meeting them, this one is important for your business. This is typically the dashboard you share with everyone in the business so that everyone is aware of how the business is doing. For example a sales dashboard can help motivate your team to be more competitive.
The right dashboard for your business
The table below from Technology Advice provides options to look at based on pricing, and accessibility.
But before you lock yourself into one of these, in our experience, it is best to first think through and have answers for these initial questions:
- What aspect of your business do you want to improve or what questions do you have about your business performance?
- What data is required to give you the information you need?
- Do you have someone who will be in charge of implementing, reviewing and interpreting your dashboard?
- What is your budget to develop your dashboard?
If you need assistance with choosing a business dashboard, one of our analysts would be more than happy to have a chat and help you through the process of choosing the right one.
Finally, the benefits of dashboards
We can write on and on about the benefits of having a business dashboard. But we thought, why not show you in real life, from a local business perspective.
We worked with Wembley Autocare to create a custom workshop management software system with a dashboard of information such which services brings in the most value and how satisfied customers are.
The result: higher profit margins, more time to work on the business and higher productivity.
As a business owner, you would be familiar with “assets.” Without going into too much detail about the definition or meaning of assets, we at Neorise agrees with this definition from Accounting Coach:
- Resources or things of value that are owned by a company as a result of company transactions
- Prepaid expenses that have not yet been used or have not yet expired
- Costs that have a future value that can be measured.
So what are some examples of business assets?
Assets that are most likely listed on a business balance sheets are: cash, inventory, land, buildings, machines, equipment and furniture, vehicles, temporary and long term investments.
Assets often missed but valuable to the business
Some assets that most businesses don’t think of or add to their balance sheet can be some of your most valuable assets.
These can include:
- Brand – a highly respected and long time trade name has engagement and connections with your audience and the market / industry you operate in
- A valuable patent
- An awesome (and productive, effective and efficient) management team
- An amazing company culture
- Long term, dedicated team members who know the ins and outs of your business and is committed to its success.
How and why should you manage your assets?
The simple answer is because controlling your assets is an important part of building your business wealth so that you can grow, expand, be innovative while also being prepared for emergencies.
Managing your business assets might involve a few or all of these activities on a regular basis:
Knowing what assets you currently have – from the sum total of everything your business owns through to debts the business owns – is very important.
Do you know what your business is spending on week to week, month to month, year to year? If you are asked “what can we cut down on in terms of spending?” are you able to provide that information easily?
Create one and carefully keep track of your spending and earning to make sure you are never overspending to get your business into too much debt or seriously underspending so that your business can’t grow.
Pay down debts
Interest on debt cuts into your business assets and reduces the ability to increase business wealth. Much like your personal home asset, if you have that extra money to be able to pay down your mortgage and interest rates, you can do the same with your business debts.
Re-evaluate your plans
If you are using an asset management software or system, you would be able to easily check how your business assets are doing anytime, anywhere. When you review this information you might decide that you need to re-evaluate your business goals or growth plans.
So, what is an asset management software?
Running a business is already complicated enough without having to create, update and track spreadsheets to list all your assets and their values.
Luckily, the magic of technology helps us in managing our business assets more efficiently and accurately with a variety of software options.
Simply put, an asset management software is an application used to record and track an asset through its life cycle, so when your business first acquires it to when you might dispose of it.
The awesome thing about an asset software management tool is that it provides businesses with important information like where the assets are located, who’s using them, how are they being utilised and even how it is depreciating or appreciating through automated algorithm.
There are so many asset management software out there nowadays – some free, in the cloud or paid versions. If you are wondering which one is best for your business, the best option (in our opinion) is to take a step back and answer questions such as:
- What do you want to know about your business assets?
- How often do you want the information?
- How do you want to access the information?
- Who should have access to the software?
- What other existing software does your business currently use which might need to be integrated into your asset management?
- What resources do you have to acquire and manage the software?
If you need assistance with answering these questions and also determining distilling what are the best options are available in the market or if it’s more effective to get a custom solution, our analysts and developers would love to help.
They enjoy these challenges!
Bookkeeping and accounting takes a considerable chunk of our business time.
And yet it is a super important aspect of maintaining a financially viable business.
Accurate receipt recording is also a good way to not get into a panic when tax time comes and your accountant asks you all the paperwork required to lodge your business tax. We’ve been there, done that and a whole day can be wasted to get all this important information across.
If you are a bookkeeper or own a finance business, we can also see how this can be a stressful time managing your clients’ receipts.
The good news is that accurate receipt recording and keeping has never been easier with good technology solutions.
There are two today that we ourselves use and can recommend to save you valuable time, money, resources, and more importantly, sanity!
Let’s find out more about Receipt Bank and High Speed Scanner.
Receipt Bank is an app that helps clients stay up to date with one tap. All you need to do is snap the receipt and Receipt Bank will extract all the data.
Then you just need to review and publish to your accounting software.
Receipt Bank integrates with popular accounting systems such as Xero, MYOB, Quickbooks and Workflow Max.
Some of the best features of Receipt Bank that we love, include:
- Accurate data extraction – Receipt Bank automated receipt scanning recognises data with the highest accuracy of any cloud bookkeeping app;
- No more lost receipts – enjoy instant data capture with the app’s receipt scanner, email or invoice fetch.
- GST support – Receipt Bank reads the exact GST off receipts and invoices, saving you more time.
- Bookkeeping reminders – you can set regular reminders to your phone or email to stay on top of your expenses.
- Easy integration – with some of the world’s best accounting software (as mentioned above)
As you can imagine, these features of Receipt Bank helps us to save time to focus on what matters most.
If you are an accounting business, you will love the efficiency and productivity that Receipt Bank brings – from offering more competitive services, having a more well defined process to encourage confidence in your brand and of course, getting more clients.
High speed scanner
If you are scanning large amounts of paper and receipts, then we can recommend getting a high speed scanner. Starting at about $400, you can process 50 pages at a time, quickly and automatically.
If that is not time and resource saving, we won’t know what is!
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Have you heard of Zoom?
It is an easy to use communications software that allows you to conduct video conferencing, engaging online meeting, chats and mobile collaboration.
We at Neorise love using Zoom, because it helps us to support a flexible working culture for our team members.
Zoom also connects us with clients anywhere just like you’re meeting them face to face, saving you travel time, parking fees and office costs.
Plus it’s free version offer is amazing enough to just stay on if you’re tight on budget.
So, if your business is looking for some ways to save time, money and make your team happy, let’s check out how Zoom can do that.
Features of Zoom
There are many features of Zoom that you can use and the list keeps growing. Here are some of the functionalities that help our business be more productive and efficient:
- Meetings: The “Meetings” service is designed for collaboration, training, and technical support. It features whiteboarding, screen sharing, HD video and audio, and remote screen control features
- Video Webinar: For those who want to host a webinar online, the Zoom video webinar feature provides access for up to 100 interactive participants, with packages that allow for up to 100,000 view-only attendees. Sharing is simple with a single click, and there’s even dual-screen support
- Zoom Rooms: Zoom Rooms are Zoom’s collaboration offering, intended for everything from huddle rooms, to executive offices, and conference rooms. You can include remote participants, use one-touch meeting start features, and enjoy interoperability with a host of legacy endpoints, including Cisco, Lifesize, and Polycom
- Business IM: Companies can stay connected with text, image, and audio file delivery over instant messaging communications. You can build groups, set presence status, and search through content for the files you need
Now let’s see check out the top 5 ways that Zoom can actually improve your business.
Reduce travel time and improve efficiency
Meetings can take up a big chunk of your available work time. Leaving on time, parking, then driving back to your office can take up 20 – 45minutes extra of your precious time. Imagine being able to click a link and have your meeting, seeing each other’s faces, talking and taking notes at the same time. Just like the real thing but without the added travel time or parking fees.
Cost savings and convenience
Not only do you save time by using something like Zoom video conferencing but you also make money savings by not having to pay for parking fees, petrol or a taxi to get to your face to face meetings. The fact that Zoom’s free version gives you unlimited number of meetings and up to 100 participants at a time… now that’s more cost savings.
Enhanced learning opportunities at lower costs
Sometimes training is done in bigger cities and you and your staff miss out on going because of the extra added travel and accommodation costs. Imagine being able to conduct training online via videoconferencing. Time, cost and resources savings for you, your team and the presenter. Win-win-win.
Opens up your business to new markets
Want to expand your business across the nation or globally? One way to make contact or communications to establish that new market sale or work that’s cost and time effective is by using Zoom to conduct engaging videoconferencing. Remove the distance and location barrier to connect with more opportunities.
Create a flexible workplace
Flexible workplaces are on the rise. The ability to work from home to avoid long time travels or be on time for school drop offs and pick-ups are some of the things that employees are looking for in today’s workplace. Using Zoom to conduct planned meetings or impromptu chats via videoconferencing when needed helps promote flexible workplace.
Try out Zoom today for FREE see the time, money savings, the workplace improvements and new business it can bring.
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