When starting a business it’s important to have an idea of what you are getting yourself into.
The reality is that starting a business can be very costly, as there are a number of services and systems that you may require to keep your business and yourself in check.
Making the right decision and knowing what you will need to purchase for new business will go a long way towards keeping your startup lean and healthy.
Get set up with a payroll system
Invest in client relationship management
Make use of professional business service
Get set up with a payroll system
Generating your employees pay can often be a nightmare to manage. However, if you are going to employ people to work for you, it’s important that they are well looked after. Payroll can often be outsourced to an accountant.
However, it may be best to enroll your business with a payroll system. Some systems such as Payroo’s payroll system, can be used to manage a number of legalities surrounding pay ethic. This service links to HMRC for RTI submissions, Nest Pensions for your employee pensions and it allows up to 10 free users to access its features. Your employees can also check their pay slips and manage there taxes, P60s and P45s.
Get an accountant
Hiring an account can be considered a necessity for your business. They can help with a bunch of different things that may otherwise be difficult to do by yourself. They can help with loan applications, government audits, payroll and general bookkeeping.
You won’t always need to hire an account full time, you can hire one on a pay-as-you-go basis and just use them for the tasks you deem most fundamental to managing your business.
Hiring a professional to look after some of your business practices makes serious sense. You’ll have the reassurance that a professional is looking out for you and your businesses legalities.
You may need an accountant to help with;
Writing a business plan
Advice about legal structure
Help with managing your business’s finances
Audits & Pension Schemes
Xero.com is great accounting service provider and may be a good place to start looking.
In a recent article, Xero stated that it may take you up to 10 hours to do your taxes, if your time is worth its weight in gold, outsourcing this particular task to an accountant could prove to be a win win scenario.
Invest in client relationship management (CRM)
There may be a time when your business is starting to kick-off. When your startup really gets started you will need a platform from which to manage your clients and customers.
A CRM is also used to manage the data associated with those customers. As your customers use your site and its popularity increases, making sure you maintain the profile, accounts and data of your customers will become increasingly prevalent for your business.
Every time someone at your company picks up the phone to talk to a customer, a vast amount of information is shared and exchanged.
Without a CRM or some basic data recording you will miss out on a potential truck load of information you can keep on your consumers. Everything you find out about them can be recorded in a CRM. If a customer calls or makes an input on your website you will need to be there to capture their data.
Every inkling of information you can get on your customers will go along way towards converting those leads into sales.
By making sure you invest in good quality CRM you can keep a closer eye on your customer base and tailor your products, sales and marketing techniques accordingly.
CRM tools are plentiful but again, shop around and make sure you find the best deal. The services can vary greatly in what they offer and some are more tailored to specific business types so bare that in mind when you come to make a decision.
CRM or customer relationship management will be essential for any B2B or B2C based business.
A more detailed article here.
Use a project management tool
No matter where you work in business, it’s quite likely that you will have a vast number of tasks to do on a daily basis. It can be easy to keep track of these task by simply creating a list or by creating a sheet in Excel or Google sheets.
However, most businesses that have 5 or more employees with a busy workload will need a centralised and preferably cloud based, project management tool.
Tools like Dapulse, can help you to keep track of your tasks with all the benefits and requirements that are desired by professional project managers.
Most project management tools use online cloud based systems that allow multiple users to login from varied locations.
A project management tool may include;
Projects & Tasks – List based input with schedules and deadlines
Contact Management – Simple CRM
Real-time – KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)
Quoting and Invoicing
Team collaboration – Tasks to be tracked and scheduled by multiple team members
Online Team Discussion and Live Chats – For real-time collaborative work
Reporting and Tracking – For large projects with multiple inputs from team members
Task delegation – for project managers and team leaders
Message Boards – For project discussion
Email and desktop notifications
This list includes just some of the many technicalities and good project management tool can offer.
Basecamp, Dapulse and ProofHub are good places to start looking for project management tools.
Make use of professional business services
Last but certainly not least. Professional business service are a must for most new businesses. They can be useful, especially if you are not fortunate to have an official office location. A professional business service is an essential service to keep your business healthy.
Often a professional business service comes in the form of virtual services. The professional business provider can give you mailing addresses and phone lines that do not exist in your office. Instead they are managed from the physical location of the provider’s own space.
For example, a virtual mailing address would be suitable for business owners who do not have a physical office address themselves. By signing up for a virtual office a new business owner can find a cheap solution for the management of their business and personal mail. You can also get packages and parcels signed for and kept securely.
This is certainly useful if you are out of office or a busy entrepreneur. You can rest assured that a team of professionals will be there to answer your business enquiries. A provider will sort through all of your physical mail. Most will even notify you via your preferred contact method to let you know that you have received mail.
Employees from a professional service provider can even open letters and parcels for you in your absence. As a business owner you will never miss an important letter from the bank or delivery of goods whilst at work.
In addition, most virtual office and virtual mailing address services will forward your mail to you. Here at LowCost LetterBox we can even scan all of your letters to be sent directly to your electronic inbox (email).
Virtual address services will be essential if you live in temporary accommodation or if you are a serial entrepreneur.
We hope you found these tips useful.
Be sure to keep an eye out for our latest posts.
All the best,
The LCLB Team