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August 5, 2016

Why virtual businesses don’t have (or need) a back office

10299799 - cloud computing symbol represented by a cloud made of gears and cogs raining down on laptop computers that are connected to the virtual servers.

Cloud-based business systems have come on in leaps and bounds over the past few years. We’re now at a point where many businesses can run ‘virtually’ in the cloud, with no need for costly office-based servers – removing the need for the associated IT support and back-ups that a server-based system requires.

So, how does this benefit a virtual business? And why should you go about setting up an online system to replace your existing back office set-up?

An integrated cloud business system

One of the key advantages of a virtual set-up is the ability to integrate a large number of different cloud tools and solutions into a working system.

With a cloud accounting package, such as Xero online accounting software [link to Xero page on Inspira site], as the financial centre of your business, you have the capability to plug in a huge number of different business tools.

Whether you’re looking for a fast quoting system, an automated way to manage your credit control or a fully featured CRM system, there will be third-party ‘Add-ons’ that will do the job for you. And the huge advantage is that everything is linked in together, working seamlessly with Xero and all safely backed up in the cloud.

It’s cost-effective, it’s efficient and it helps you to create a totally bespoke way for running and managing your business.

A more efficient business system

The integration between Xero and the wide ecosystem of Xero Apps is central to how we work with our business clients.

When we start working with your business, one of our chief aims is to help you find the Add-ons and software tools that will make you more efficient, more productive and will help you to manage your business more easily.

And the key to this is getting to know you, your business and your internal processes. By observing your internal processes, we get to know which ones are central to the running of your business – and we can then find the best possible App to replicate these processes in the cloud.

It’s about understanding things like:

  • How your sales are won, and where your leads come from
  • How you manage your workflow and production process
  • How you deliver your product/service to your customers
  • How you invoice customers, and how they then pay you
  • How you manage your cash and financial admin

Once we have a handle on all these elements, we can replicate them, improve them and enhance your underlying efficiency and profitability with a virtual business system that completely replaces your old-school back office.

Systemise your processes: and feel the benefits

A fully integrated, online system really does help your business to do more.

Being able to directly link your different solutions together reduces the double entry of data and saves you hours of time in the process. We can even run a process review of your existing systems to help you streamline processes and give you back all your wasted admin time.

And by delivering these operational efficiencies, we can help you transform how you work. We look at your processes and break them down into types, based on the ‘Runners, Repeaters and Strangers’ categories of lean manufacturing.

  • Runners – these are your frequently run, weekly processes and tasks. The things you do every week, without fail. Things like processing sales orders or sending a customer their invoice.
  • Repeaters – these processes are also frequent, but with bigger gaps in between. Things like paying your software subscriptions or running your monthly payroll.
  • Strangers – these are the ad-hoc processes that are new to you and which you have to think about and action individually as they’re received. Processes such as an unexpected payment for a breakdown, or dealing with a change in business or tax legislation.

What we’re aiming to do here is to understand the nature of every single process, and to systemise as many of your internal functions as we possible can. There’s real value in documenting these processes so that everyone can learn and becomes familiar with the required steps.

It’s a simple way to improve your business, both operationally and financially. By constantly reviewing and reassessing your processes in this manner, you’re also always looking back at your return on investment.

Don’t be afraid of positive change

Change management is integral to how we work with clients – always looking to enhance and improve systems and procedures where we can.

We work with you to strip your business down to its bare bones and ask you WHY you do what you do. If your process happens in a certain way ‘because it always has done’ then there’s room for change and improvement – and it’s helpful to embrace this desire for change if you want to get the most from your business.

By collaborating closely with you to suggest new ways of working, we can have an instant impact and help you run your business to its optimum best. What we do is enable you, as the business owner, to work ON the business, not IN the business. And that gives you the time and freedom to really focus on your strategy and long-term goals.

Ditch your back office and explore the Xero Apps ecosystem

The Inspira philosophy is always to breathe new life into your business. And moving to a cloud-based virtual business system is an amazing way to transform your processes and start finding brand new ways to make yourself efficient and profitable.

With Xero as your accounting and financial bedrock, you have a choice of over 500 different cloud tools and solution in the Xero App Marketplace. They all link directly with Xero, making it easier than ever to pool your business data, streamline your processes and get back the time that’s currently being wasted on duplicated admin and data entry.

Every app needs to have a reason to be there (always ask yourself WHY you’re plugging a new app into your system). But the overall benefits of having a virtual business system behind your company really do make everything so much easier for the small business owner.

Want to know how to replace your ageing back office systems and take a forward leap into the cloud?

Get in touch to arrange a chat and we’ll give you a hands-on demo of Xero and the Add-ons that provide the most value for your business and industry sector.

Find out more about Xero online accounting here

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