You’re a small business or a startup—whichever way you put it you have similar logistical and administrative requirements when running your business. More specifically, you need one or more systems to help better manage your operations and at the end of the day if you don’t have the perfect tools (or too many of them), and you can’t focus on the what your business is trying to deliver.
If the majority of your business is run on spreadsheets and paper you’re potentially setting your business up for little success. You should give the cloud some serious consideration for the majority of your business tools. It will save you time, money and is much more secure than being offline.
Only 37% of today’s small businesses are in the cloud. However, by 2020 that’s expected to be 80%. Inevitably when these swift periods of change arise you will have too many players flooding the market confusing you with unnecessary or inadequate products.
At the core of all small business operations is accounting. If you aren’t using any software yet then it’s a no-brainer who you should choose. QuickBooks Online’s intuitive system that covers your all your small business needs. As you can see in the diagram below, the capabilities are significantly better in their cloud offering.
Looking at what other categories of operations your business needs—do you need to cover Inventory, e-commerce, web, or sales (CRM)?
The biggest error here is not only choosing the wrong system, but forgetting to ask yourself whether or not these new systems will be integrated to your core one – Accounting. You don’t want to create more work for yourself.
Many small businesses moving to the cloud get bogged down with data-entry and believe it’s a normal part of the process. In fact the average person spends about two hours every day, or 25%, entering and re-entering data into their systems. Two hours doesn’t sound like much until you do the math. That’s a whopping 480 hours a year per employee. Assuming minimum wage – $9,600 per employee on data entry…
Maestrano works with popular applications and ‘glues’ them together to make it easy for businesses to select which apps they want to use and ‘just get started’. The patented technology (Connec!™) allows an automated one-to-many connection, two-ways, and in real-time. Users just have to sign up to Maestrano and select the apps they want to use and off you go with automatically connected systems!
The synchronisation between applications is happening out of the box, in real time and for free. Also, for good measure there’s a dashboard that pulls all your info from each of your apps to one consolidated report of your entire business operations from HR, Sales, Accounting, and so forth.
Data synchronisation and reporting comes free. You just pay for the apps you use and click on the widgets you want!
Zapier is a handy tool to automate workflows and if you are using apps that may not be on the QuickBooks marketplace. It triggers apps to talk to each other and give an app customised ‘push and action’ instructions to another app. Example: every time you get a customer buying one of your products on your website then you get a notification in your WhatsApp (when normally an ecommerce platform wouldn’t integrate with WhatsApp, Zapier can set up a custom action for you by connecting two systems on a basic level).
You pick which apps you want to connect, then create or choose a batch of “zaps”, and map out the workflow you want to automate. Once it’s up and running, the processes you’ve mapped are automating every 15 minutes and you don’t have to do any of the leg work after that!
If your business needs data-synchronisation to be both ways and happening in real time, this may not be the tool for you. However, this is great for businesses that only need to do unique little integrations.
The free plan allows you 5 zaps and then pricing starts at around $20 per month for 20 zaps (Two-way synchronisation doubles your cost with Zapier).
A smaller directory, PieSync boasts popular names and two-way synchronisation. PieSync can push and pull data from both apps where the connection is made. This is a great tool because it’s in real time and perfect if you want to have it running in the background. Just use your apps and the data will transfer automatically.
With PieSync you can create as many two-way connections between apps allowed, and have them synchronised as long as you remember to create the 2 ways connection between all apps.
Pricing starts at $5 for one connection between two apps for one user, and adds up to the plans of each of your apps.
While tools like these might be daunting to non-technical people—they’ve done actually made the process much less intimidating and easy to use! After set-up, you can pat yourself on the back for a job well done and save your business heaps of time on data-entry!
If you need other business apps to run alongside your QuickBooks check out Apps.com and find your business tools today!