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K.I.S.S. Your Business: Why Bigger is Not Better When it Comes to Business Systems

The idea of business systems often connotes large corporations, complicated flowcharts, and lots of money spent. For small business owners, though, simple systems can mean the difference between paperwork in the office or reading a book on the porch before dinner. Personally, I prefer time on the porch.

The other day I was chatting with a business owner about how her customers pay her, and I asked her why she had chosen to not accept credit cards. Her response was that her husband was encouraging her to grow the business bigger, but she was happy with it as it is. Funny – I hadn’t said a thing about growing the business, only about making her payment process easier.  When I said, “Systems don’t necessarily mean bigger, they can just mean easier” it was like the proverbial light bulb went off for her.  We chatted about implementing credit card processing to her business, and what it could change for her – namely, no more customer payment reminders (never fun) and more timely and reliable payments.

In the spirit of finding more time – whether it’s for summer fun, relaxing, or time spent on business tasks to grow your business – here are the top simple systems you can implement to add minutes, or even hours, to your day:

  1. Online or outsourced payroll processing;
  2. Credit card processing or Point of Sale (POS) applications;
    1. As an aside: If your employees rely on tips as part of their compensation, adding Square (www.Squareup.com) as a payment option will also boost their tips.
    2. Social media scheduling apps, such as Hootsuite (www.hootsuite.com);
    3. Scheduling applications for everything from home repair to landscapers and dog walkers;
    4. Financial dashboard data collection, most likely in your industry specific software.

There are millions of apps out there, and chances are if you have a task that consumes more time and frustration than you want, someone else has experienced the same and has built an app for it. Adding an app or a business process does not necessarily mean that you have to grow your business; it can just mean that you will have time better spent on a more meaningful task or some extra personal time. And, it does not necessarily have to be tech related – it could be a better system for opening mail, sending out correspondence, or contacting your clients. Before that can happen, your first step is to stop and recognize your business process pain points and then to define the priority (because you will have several points you want cleaned up!).

Yep, there’s a system for that.

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Helen Dutton, A Vision of Your Own, has provided business and personal coaching for small business owners since 2000, providing online and face to face coaching for entrepreneurs, small business owners, start-up businesses as well as established businesses across the country. Clients come from New Hampshire, her home state, but she has also acted as a mentor to business owners in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, the Denver area, and closer to home in the Boston area. Helen helps her clients develop their small business ideas, create marketing plans, improve operation efficiency, build customer service systems, build management and leadership skills, and develop confidence as a business owner. Helen provides business tips and resources through her blog and her newsletter, where you can also find business templates to help your business prosper.