If there is one rule for business success, its to keep it simple.
That advice might sound simple but it can be a lot harder than it sounds to actually follow. As business owners, we tend to gravitate towards the complicated. We think it hides our insecurities, makes us look smarter and makes our business somehow more irreplacable. We seem to think that simplicity leaves us ‘naked’ and with nothing ‘special’ to distinguish us from our competitors or keep our customers with us.
The hard truth is that we’re all replacable no matter what we do. Your customers don’t owe you any life-long loyalty. Your suppliers, employees, vendors, stockists, all the parts of your system, are replacable by their competitors as well. However, if you keep things simple, you can stay agile. You can adapt quicker, serve your customers and employees better and have a much better chance of sticking around for the long-term.
Simplicity leads to success. It means there’s less to go wrong, less to maintain, less to teach new hires, and more to time to delight your customers.
Simple Steps to Business Success
Every business should have their processes mapped out. Having process guides, employee handbooks, or standard operating procedures, are a key way to make sure things are done consistently across your business, help to induct your new team members and always act as a valuable reference if issues arise. However, having your processes mapped out, written down and collated allows you to see exactly just how much complexity you’ve built into your business.
Look at your processes. Treat all of the steps as a necessary evil. Are there any steps that are an unnecessary evil? If there are, cut them out. Make sure you have the quickest, easiest steps from input to output.
Keeping your processes simple means that you can quickly and easily onboard new team members, you can easily spot issues when they arise in the processes and you can stay agile to adjust and keep you on a path to your planned outcomes for business success.
Being output focused rather than complex process focused is key to business success.
Simple Invoicing & Payment
Once you’ve delivered the outputs your after, whether a product or service, you want to make sure that your invoicing process is simple and payment is as easy as possible.
Simple, Connected Invoicing is an Essential Investment
Making sure your accounting software is integrated with your invoicing is a simple way to make your internal processes simpler. All good accounting systems will have integrated invoicing that is able to be connected directly to other portals where your customers place orders or for your team to efficiently manage internally. These modern systems are well worth the investment. They are a part of your team, automating the steps that people would otherwise would have to do. In doing so, they help you and your team focus on the value adding tasks, while also making your customer experience better overall.
Make Payment a Painless Experience
Once you’ve invoiced your customer, you need to make sure payment is as simple and painless as possible.
What payment options do you offer? Consider these options from your customers perspective. How easy is the process? How long does it take to complete? Does the customer have to log into another app to make payment? Do they have to enter any of your information again? Choose options that cut out as many steps as possible.
The top two solutions we recommend our clients to consider are:
- Stripe – a simple and effective solution for helping with payments, subscriptions, invoicing and integration with almost any platform you use to engage with your customers.
- GoCardless – in our opinion the easiest and best value direct debit system. Set-up is a breeze for both your business and for your clients.
Both of these options can integrate with your website or invoicing. They enable your clients to set up payment from either their bank account or credit card without the hassle of having to log into other apps or re-enter any data.
Ensuring your payment options are simple and easy to use can be a key step to removing barriers to payment and ensuring that you’re paid on-time, every time.
Don’t over think your business. Keep it simple. Don’t hide behind complex processes that add no value.
We’re Here to Help
No matter what stage you’re at with your business, we’re here to help you keep things simple and plan for success. If you’ve got a team, we can walk you through an organisational review to make sure your team is as streamlined and effective as possible. If you’re drowning in piles of processes, we can help you to map out your processes and simplify them with you. Get in touch with the team for a free Discovery Chat so we can get to know you, your needs and how we can best help.