Any business owner is constantly on the prowl for new and innovative ways to increase the size of his business – and, as a small business owner, you’re probably even more zealous than most about your quest for expansion. Maybe you’ve thought of a few interesting ideas yourself, but, if you’re still a little stymied, it may be time to look at ways you can use an accounting system – something you probably already use or have thought of using – to give you easy ways to expand your reach and ultimately bring you more money.
For small business owners, QuickBooks is usually an ideal accounting system, well-developed enough to handle most tasks (like invoicing, inventory management, reporting, payment processing, etc.) but simple enough in its interface not to overwhelm users with extra features.
But, I don’t use QuickBooks at all! Is there hope for me?
Of course there is!
If you’re a small business owner and you don’t use an accounting system, you might consider QuickBooks; and, even if you already use another common system like Sage 50 or Sage 100, if you feel overwhelmed by the features of those programs, you might also consider going simpler and using QuickBooks. Despite its relative simplicity, you’re perfectly capable of growing your business just by using features already included inside QuickBooks.
Here’s how QuickBooks can help you expand your business:
#1. Sending invoices quickly gets you your money faster
If you send invoices to customers using standard mail, you know what a hassle that can be.
Rather than accepting it as the norm and receiving your funds weeks after you’d like them, you can use an automatic part of QuickBooks to email invoices directly to your customers. Invoices will even come with payment buttons, so, rather than email you sensitive information directly, your customers can pay you through a secure portal that connects directly to QuickBooks. Payment options aren’t even limited to direct debits; customers can choose to pay by credit card as well. This leads nicely to the next point…
#2. Integrated credit card processing makes you more efficient
Aside from letting your clients pay you by email, you can accept payments from them on the spot – as soon as you take your order, or whenever it’s appropriate during your sales cycle – with a QuickBooks credit card processing plugin.
Special virtual payment gateway software plugs directly into QuickBooks in this case and allows users to process real credit card transactions inside QuickBooks, which automatically posts those payments inside the program. This helps loads if you normally spend time manually reconciling payments with invoices at the end of the day, or if you don’t use software at all. You can use the time you save each day to do much more productive things, like inspire yourself with other, more trade-specific ways to expand your company (which, for obvious reasons, would be beyond the scope of this article to discuss).
#3. Bank syncing ability lets you project cash flow precisely
Managing cash flow is of huge import to businesses, and QuickBooks comes equipped with an option to sync your business’ bank account and other financial statistics with the program, so you know exactly how much cash you have on hand at a given moment. For cash flow management and projection, that’s easily half the battle. Having those numbers in front of you will, once again, give you heaps more time to do other things you need to do.
Having access to all of your business’ statistics also gives you a multitude of reporting options, available with just a click – not hours of data compilation.
#4. Mobile app capability allows you to do business without being at your desk
These days, it really pays to be mobile. Intuit, designers of QuickBooks, anticipated this, and added a great mobile app capability that allows a user (or users) to access a business’ vital statistics without even being at work, invaluable for anyone on the go – which these days seems to be the case for business owners more often than not.
And, rather than just save you time, using QuickBooks’ native mobile app allows for mobile payment processing as well, which means you can take payments at trade shows, from your food truck, walking down the street… Anywhere, really. This lets you expand your business to places you simply couldn’t have gone before.
One thing that can really slow a business down is when the boss needs to approve everything. Try as you might, you simply can’t attend to all matters of your business at all times – and, knowledgeable as you may be, another perfectly capable employee may be able to work with your accounting system on your behalf.
With QuickBooks’ multiple user capability, you can allow multiple members of your company to manipulate QuickBooks – with varying permission levels, of course. This eliminates the need for you to constantly approve things because QuickBooks itself can act as your moderator with its varying levels of permission for each user on your system. This means you can spend more time away from the business, more time delegating, and more time thinking of ways to expand your business.
With QuickBooks, you can customize your growth
As a business owner, it’s easy to get too involved with your business to really affect any notable change – and this isn’t good for you, your stress levels, or those of your employees. Though QuickBooks may not come equipped with a manual titled “How to grow your business,” the tools native to QuickBooks will help give you the ability to create your own manual and lead the proverbial horse to water. How much you drink is your choice, but at least you’ll have a source from which to drink at all.