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What is your time worth?

You never get time back…

Missing out isn’t fun.  Whether it is spending more time with family or friends, or having more time to work on growing your business, there never seems to be enough hours in the day. It can be easy to get dragged along by the latest distraction.  Suddenly you wonder where the day has gone and there’s still so much to do.  It can seem that this is the only way to be.  Isn’t everyone else behaving the same way?  Well, not everyone…Read More »What is your time worth?

Keep Your Customers Happy To Grow Your Business

They say it is easier to sell to an existing customer than to attract a new customer.  Studies have shown that the cost per sale is markedly smaller when selling again to people who are already familiar with you and your products.

Cross-selling and Up-Selling to existing customers is a proven way to increase your profitability as described in this article from the people at Marketing Donut. You already have a relationship with an existing customer.  You know which products they have already purchased from you and you can therefore suggest other products that could be useful to them.  Sometimes they might want a certain product but didn’t know that you supplied it.  As they already know you and your brand, they are more likely to stick with you and buy from you again.

You look after your customer and get the sale, and they get the items they want from a supplier they trust.  It’s one of those win-win situations people crave.Read More »Keep Your Customers Happy To Grow Your Business

How To use your Sales Data to drive Targeted Marketing

Capture and analyse sales data

To turn sales data into more meaningful information for your business, make it tell you where the customer came from.  You can do this with promotional codes, for instance by labelling each of your different ad placements with a separate code.  Keep track of which ‘promo’ code a customer uses when making a purchase and you will build up a picture of which ads work, which products each customer likes, and which ads work for which customers for which products!  That’s targeted marketing. (Click diagram below for close-up).Read More »How To use your Sales Data to drive Targeted Marketing

6 Questions to ask yourself before buying Business Software

1. What do I need and want the software to do?

It may seem an obvious question!  I would really recommend writing it all down though.  It will really clarify what your requirements and expectations are.  Getting into the detail early will help you prepare and increase the likelihood of success.  When you contact potential suppliers or prospective developers it gives you a great starting point.

Once you have made your full list of requirements, separate them into ‘must-haves’ and ‘nice-to-haves’.  There will be some requirements which are absolutely crucial.  The sort of thing where you think, if it doesn’t do that there there’s no point.Read More »6 Questions to ask yourself before buying Business Software

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

In the final round we look at which tool is the better long term platform for your business as it adapts and grows.

As your business develops and grows, and your market evolves and matures, you want your business systems to have the scope and flexibility to develop and grow with you.  How is this best achieved whilst ensuring that bureaucracy bloat is kept to a minimum?

Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

spreadsheets-do-not-adapt-and-growAs a business grows and becomes more complex its systems need to help keep you on top of this.

You may need to develop more systems and processes.  These will need controls and measures in place.  Staff training and monitoring becomes more important.

If you were to base a growing business on a spreadsheet system you would Read More »Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 10: Ability to Adapt & Grow

Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 9: Monitor Team Performance

In this penultimate round we look at whether spreadsheets or database are a more effective tool when you want to monitor and review your team’s performance.  How do each of these bits of software help you keep on track with who is doing what, their progress, who is reaching new heights and who needs some help.

Round 9: Monitoring Team Performance

A graphic illustrating monitoring team performance with spreadsheetsHow would you use a spreadsheet to monitor and review your team’s performance?

You could keep track of certain key measurements, such as sales, in a list and then compile these into a graph showing changes over time.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Database – Round 9: Monitor Team Performance

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 8: Task Delegation

In round 8 of 10 we turn to the key element of Task Delegation.  In order for a business to grow, work must be delegated to new and less experienced staff.  How do our two contenders fare at helping the business owner to offload some of the day to day grind?

Round 8: Task Delegation

Spreadsheets

diagram showing the multitude of skills and functions a business owner must performThe most up to date version of Microsoft Excel, at this point in time, is Microsoft Excel 2013.

There is now the option to share spreadsheets more successfully using the subscription based Office 365 which can synchronise files between a shared online folder and individual PCs.

There is also the option to work on the files online using the online versions of the main MS Office programs (Word, Excel and PowerPoint).  These are better than the Google counterparts but are still not nearly as powerful and flexible as the more traditional, locally installed MS Office suite.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 8: Task Delegation

Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 7: Limiting The Damage Caused By Human Error

In round seven we look at how much both of these platforms can defend themselves from human error.  In our businesses we have processes and procedures in place to achieve tasks in the most efficient and coordinated way.  However, simple mistakes and unforeseen circumstances will cause these to occasionally fail.

With computers we can further enhance this protection by systematically blocking certain behaviours.

Round 7: Limiting The Damage Caused By Human Error

Spreadsheets

spreadsheet_formulasWithin Microsoft Excel it is possible to set a password for the entire workbook (or file).  Using that in combination with the individual cell properties it is possible to make certain cells read-only, therefore blocking the user from making any alterations to that cell.

You can also hide columns, rows and worksheets with a workbook.  This means that you can hide certain aspects of the spreadsheet. However, with the single password you can undo all these preventative measures and make hidden elements visible again.Read More »Spreadsheets vs Databases – Round 7: Limiting The Damage Caused By Human Error