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Small business owners can mean business with online planning tools

As the mercury begins to rise and we finally throw of the last shackles of winter, thoughts will inevitably turn towards the Great British Summer. But the truth is that for small business owners, there will be no time to soak up the sun abroad or enjoy a fun-filled staycation at home over the next few months. Paperwork will once again be the party pooper that ensures many are tied to their desks over the summer, crunching numbers and struggling with financial forecasts.

Worldpay research found that 70% of small business owners don’t have a good enough work-life balance to take a holiday. And a fifth claim they haven’t had more than a week off in at least three years. This has to change. Fortunately, there are online admin tools out there designed to do all the hard work, so the under-fire business owner can finally take a break and drive profits.

All work and no play

It’s not easy running a business. And for those with fewer resources it’s doubly difficult. Very often the business owner is saddled with everything from finance to HR, IT to sales and marketing. The effort required to “keep the lights on” means few have time to think strategically or put together a plan to grow the business.

The problem boils down to the tools small businesses are using to run this admin side of their business. One in five still use nothing more than pen and paper. It’s no surprise that the average small business owner spends around 48 days each year just on admin. And over 40% work a six or seven-day week just to keep their heads above water. 

This doesn’t just mean that many small business owners are struggling with a poor work-life balance – it also means they’re missing out on potential growth opportunities. Data is the lifeblood of any business. It can tell you all you need to know to adjust your operations for maximum efficiency and profit. But it’s virtually impossible to extract this kind of insight from paper-based systems. 

Worldpay research found that 

  • One third of small businesses admit to spending no time at all analysing business data
  • 62% can’t identify their top three selling items
  • 48% don’t know their top 10 customers or what they typically order
  • 40% can’t generate an up-to-date financial forecast

Flying blind like this means the UK’s small businesses are missing a fantastic opportunity to drive success. So how can they turn things around?

A helping online hand

The answer lies with automated online business planning tools like Worldpay’s My Business Dashboard. It’s an inexpensive, simple-to-use platform designed to record and analyse your business data. It’s all about providing the visibility into your finances you need to take control of your business.

Knowing when transactions are due to clear, for example, allows you to allocate funds to purchase more stock. And by looking at trends and patterns in card transactions, businesses can create effective promotions and offers – driving the business forward. Better understanding your customers in this way can improve long term planning. And it means you don’t have to wait for monthly statements to come in as your data will be continually updated – helping you to become a more agile business all round.

Automating the whole process of recording business information means saying goodbye to human error. It will finally provide that 360-degree visibility into your finances to help drive profits and improve the customer experience. And it will free up time for that long-awaited holiday this summer.

To find out how My Business Dashboard can support your business log in today.