5 essential systems you need when starting (or growing) a small business

Having started my first business at 16 and my current one over 13 years ago I have come to realise that systems and defined processes are a key element in the success or failure of a business.

The five systems we couldn’t live without include:

Online Accounts Package -

We use Xero for 5 different businesses and it is a fantastic accounting tool. Simple enough for non-accounting staff to manage and use, with enough features to keep your accountant or bookkeeper happy as well.

Set up is really straightforward and day to day maintenance of sales and expenses takes minutes. It also interfaces with a number of business bank accounts so transactions are automatically imported from your bank account ready to reconcile.

Payroll System -

Although Xero has payroll built in we prefer the feature of Payroo. Their user experience is not great, but it has some amazing features and is free for up to 10 users. It links to HMRC for RTI submissions and our pensions provider Nest Pensions.

Staff can login to see their payslips and P60’s and when someone leaves its really straightforward to generate their P45.

HR and Holidays -

Tracking holidays used to be a fairly nasty and manual process with staff leave forms filed against personnel files. We then discovered and life become a lot more straightforward. Staff can be set up with their annual holiday allowance and assigned between 1 and 3 managers. These managers are then notified when ever a holiday request is made. A single view shows who is off over a month, and it can sync with your calendar.

Client Relationship Management -

As it’s most basic Agile CRM is an address and notes system that ensures that client contact information is up to date and in one place. It also includes some more advanced features which include marketing automation and managing outbound telephone calls via sip integration. Its easy to use and very cost effective.

Recurring Checklists - is an interesting tool as in many ways it does what other systems can do, allowing users to set up and manage checklists. Where it excels is the ability to set up templates of checklists and then repeat them on a pre-determined time scale. Its uses are limitless, we have induction plans for new staff and clients as well as health and safety compliance lists and lists to manually check that all of our servers are backing up as they should be each month.

If you are using a great tool or SAAS system business management tool I would love to hear from you - Please contact us.

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