Presented by DocuSign
Taking business processes digital can help reduce errors, speed up agreements, reduce costs, and most importantly, turn the focus on growing an SMB. To learn more about modernizing business processes with technology, don’t miss this VB Live event!
For small businesses, growth directly translates to gaining more customers. But the trick is knowing when and where to allocate time and money – the lifeblood of an SMB. All money spent marketing, whether that’s going toward keeping existing customers or spent on actively wooing new customers, ultimately impacts cash flow, receivables, and inventory.
Without striking the difficult balance between maintaining a solid customer base and growing a larger audience, small businesses rapidly run into cash flow issues, says Leo Rodriguez, small business ecosystem director, DocuSign Inc. And in today’s climate, he adds, cash flow is king.
“If all of a sudden you choke at the top of the funnel, you need to turn your focus to preserving current customer relationships now and put growing on the backburner,” Rodriguez says.
So how can a small business grow if cash flow is always strained? Freeing up cash can be as easy as streamlining day-to-day business processes.
“A small business should think about the business being as it’s being run today. What are the small adjustments, investments, tools, and technology that can help in the short and in the long term?” he says. “Streamlining those activities will ultimately help SMBs find, grow, and keep customers.”
Take payroll. Let’s say it takes a clerk five hours a week to manually process payroll for five employees. Automating the system saves 20 hours a month, and frees up the clerk for more valuable work. The technology itself is also faster, which can dramatically reduce errors and boost reliability. And then the data collected can be analyzed and applied to better business decision making, and ultimately growing the company.
Rodriguez advises: “Start by evaluating which business process can be improved, or is wasting too much time, is too much of a headache, or is too expensive. Consider the most essential criteria for your business and work around that.”
Some qualifying questions: How much time am I spending on this task every week? Can this be switched from manual to digital? If I go digitial, will it help me grow revenue? Grow my customer base? Improve customer relationships? Give me time back?
“Asking those qualifying questions will help determine which tools or mix of technology products to evaluate,” explains Rodriguez. “Being clear on your criteria first helps limit your research to the tools you want to bring in house.”
Many services are free to get started. Closely scrutinizing the impact on business, users, and customers will go a long way to making you feel good about a financial commitment and purchase.
Before taking the plunge, talk to other small businesses about what has and hasn’t worked for them. Keep in mind that every business is unique, and what worked for another might not work for you. That said, finding several other businesses who’ve had positive experiences should make you more confident in your decision.
“As a small business owner, you’re going to want to go with trusted brands and trusted solutions that represent your overall ethos and your values”, he says.
Which business processes should you start digitizing right away? Rodriguez has a few suggestions. A bookkeeping tool like QuickBooks Online can help small businesses get a better grip on finances, manage cash flow, and understand profit and loss. For customer relationship management, Salesforce has a CRM tool for small businesses just starting out. e-signature products like DocSign’s Agreement Cloud can take agreements digital. That can streamline processes, speed up turnaround, improve record keeping, and reduce your environmental footprint.
To learn more about how streamlining businesses processes and adopting digital technology can help small businesses turn their focus back to where it belongs – getting people in the door and growing the business – don’t miss this VB Live event!
In this webinar, you’ll learn:
- How to get work done faster, more efficiently, and at lower cost
- How to transform the way you handle all your business processes from start to finish
- How to transform the way you prepare, sign, act on, and manage agreements
- How the right technology can help grow your business
- Laurie McCabe, Cofounder & Partner, SMB Group Inc.
- Leo Rodriguez, Director, Small Business Partner Marketing, DocuSign Inc.
- Stewart Rogers, Analyst-at-Large, VentureBeat