I have worked with hundreds of business owners and managers over the years with one particular problem; the implementation of new software to improve productivity. I am always amazed at how some of these managers have asked to implement the solution around existing processes. This often leads to issues with the capabilities of the software and results in project failure - the wagging blame finger always being pointed at the software vendor.
The most successful software implementations are done with individuals in the business that are willing to change their processes around the capabilities of the software. I am now witness to this behaviour on a daily basis when I work with small business owners and their adoption of cloud based accounting solutions.
Technology has significantly changed the way we work today. However, does it improve or impede productivity. Let's look at email as an example. Email can help you achieve some of your daily tasks, but if you were to get through your inbox, have you fulfilled your role? The answer will be no as email is just part of a process. More often than not, there is a better way to communicate rather than email - ever considered talking to someone? Not just on the phone, but face to face? Email is a great tool for sending documents or information to multiple people with an audit trial. There are more effective ways to communicate today, so just think before accessing your inbox and finding that daily dose of procrastination.
Many of the small businesses I meet with before implementing the tools we work with have processes in place that they created themselves. The challenge here is to encourage them to step away from their intellectual property and see a better way of working. It is not about showing them a demo though. It is about showing them how to do more with less. Less time, and less money. It's about making changes to their processes and the way they work.
Technology allows us to change our working patterns. Our working pattern tends to be 9am to 5pm. In this day and age, this is a monasterial way of working and we are not driven by bells anymore - unless, of course, you are actually a monk. Technology allows us to work more on our time. If you need to take your children to school, then take your children to school. If you need to work from home, then work from home. It is time to start working to your pattern with technology to support you. As a human, you can be more productive by doing things on your terms. Get more motivated, get more done. Change the process and use technology to keep you connected. This is how I work with my clients - I am connected to their businesses at all times and engage with them on their terms.
Small business are always under pressure to do more with less. Sometimes it is just worth taking that one step outside to look in and step back in with change in mind. For the clients that I have worked with, I have seen huge changes in the way they work. Not only that, but I have seen them change personally by easing time pressures and automating processes for them. A small business owner should focus on their core business at the front of house and not worry about the things going on in the back office. This focus will increase productivity, resulting in increased profitability and success. If you want to get a feel for a better way of working, try KashFlow Software for 14 days for free.