Systems set you up for success.
They help you to plan, they help you to reach goals, they help reduce stress, and they help to create efficiencies. What more could you ask for?
So what systems do I think you should have in your business right now? Here are five of my top tips:
- Filing System. How do you store tax receipts, invoices, bills? There are so many options and it doesn’t matter what you choose – online storage, removable hard disk drive, computer, folder in the home office, filing cabinet – what matters is that it is in a systematic approach. You NEED to be able to easily find things if anyone (especially the ATO) ever asks you. Become friends with a label maker, a sharpie, stickers – it doesn’t matter – as long as you understand the system and it is all filed in the same manner. Get cracking now.
- Accounting System. As a business owner it is imperative that you know your financial position of your business now. Not in 3 months’ time when you lodge a Business Activity Statement and not in 12 months’ time when you lodge your tax return. You need accurate and reliable “real time” data that tells you how your business is going today, right this instant. There are oodles of systems you can choose and there is no one magic answer that is the same for everyone. Work out who will use the system, how they will use it, where the users will require access from, what functionality you need it to have (think long term here) – and lastly consider price. Getting advice on the setup of your system is worth its weight in gold. Click here to book a one on one tailored training session. A good accounting system should be seen as an investment in your financial information – and worth every cent.
- Human Resources System. This is only applicable for those business owners hiring employees or contractors. You should have a HR system in place. This should include an employment checklist of the required forms and documents you as an employer are required to give to your employee. When you have a stock of these standard documents ready to be handed out should you need urgent help in growing your amazing business you can safely hire at any time and not miss out on potentially great employees due to not being organised. Often hiring staff or contractors happens quickly – being prepared sets off great first impressions.
- Budgeting System. Some business owners say they are too small to worry about a budget. I say you are never too small. Budgeting helps set your business goals – for both sales, clients, customers. It also helps to work out expenses that are vital parts of your business and those which maybe you might have to do without. By having this ‘control’ in place you really can reach your goals easier as you know what you want to be achieving, broken down into easier monthly targets. Your accounting system might have an inbuilt budgeting module, or you can use programs such as NA$$2015 – which is an excel tool designed to help you create your own budget.
- Backup System. Unfortunately things can go pear shaped. Systems can meltdown, computers can crash, servers can be hacked, paper can go missing. They are all genuine possibilities – and they are all excuses the ATO really doesn’t care about. So no matter what accounting system you use, no matter what HR system you use, no matter what filing system you use – have a backup plan. I see all kinds – starting with printing out reports each quarter and filing them in the office as a backup for the cloud accounting system, to people storing things on an external hard drive they carry around in their handbag so that it is completely separate to their computer system at home.