Small business hacks right at your fingertips

Approximately one-third of Aussie small businesses have switched to online accounting software to make their lives easier. If you’re one of them, are you getting the best value from it? Whether it’s getting paid for jobs you’ve done or paying your people, there are many hacks that will help you spend less time sweating the small stuff.

Getting paid on time just got easier

Getting work done on time is only half the battle. Nearly three-quarters of all business invoices are paid late, according to research we conducted with PayPal Australia. Australian small-business owners are collectively owed $26 billion in unpaid invoices at any one time, averaging $13,200 each.

So how to make life easier? Research shows people tend to take action on tasks that are fresh in their mind. Sending your invoice fast will increase your chances of getting paid quickly.

Did you know Google Calendar can help you get invoices out faster, ensuring you get paid for your work? The QuickBooks Google Calendar integration allows you to import key details like title, description, hours worked and date making it easier to get an invoice to your customer faster.

Too much time spent tracking time?

Many Aussie businesses are still tracking their time using paper and spreadsheets. That’s a lot of time spent tracking time. Some use an online system but manually entering time after the fact, a workaround rather than a new way of working. TSheets helps you track who is on a job and where more accurately.

Stop doubling up on data

Garbage in, garbage out, or so the old saying goes. Which is why it’s so important to get your data right. Research suggests that incorrectly entered data is the top cause of accounting mistakes. To solve this problem, we have direct bank feeds that allow your transaction data to flow directly from your bank into your QuickBooks account.

Benefits of using a direct bank feed include:

  • greater insight into your day-to-day operations
  • minimise duplicate transactions
  • reduce missing transactions
  • more accurate transaction categorisation
  • save time on manual data entry
  • greater reliability.

Building your profile

A positive online profile is a non-negotiable part of running a successful small business. The average buyer is about 60 to 90 per cent of the way through the purchasing decision before they even step through the door. In fact, none of what we’ve mentioned above around invoicing, payroll and the like is relevant at all unless you’re finding and retaining customers.

As a small business, you can build awareness through social platforms like Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. The challenge is using them strategically. Consumers feel bombarded so how do you stand out from the crowd?

We have partnered with digital-marketing expert Jeff Bullas to produce an entire series of in-depth guides about what makes effective content, how to grow your web traffic and how to convert this into leads, sales and loyalty.

A few starting points:

  • Build deep audience knowledge – focus on identifying customer pain points.
  • Have a plan – no effective content strategy lacks one.
  • Diversify your content – look beyond blog posts to videos, events, podcasts or webinars.

Nobody ever wanted to run a small business because they enjoy manual data entry or invoicing. Online accounting software makes a world of difference but there’s a whole lot more you could be doing with what you’ve already got. Now is the best time to get started.

Nicolette Maury, Vice President and Country Manager, Intuit Australia

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