Strategy, Legal & Operations

Small talk with Peter Jones: How you can increase business productivity

In our Small Talk series, we delve into how your business can tackle some of the many challenges you face so you can elevate your performance.

Peter Jones, our Sage customer for life, sat down with interviewers Nina and Jed to talk about what you can do to ensure your business can perform at its best.

Plus, there are a few challenges that Peter was set by his intrepid interviewers. Watch the video to see how he got on and below is a transcript, followed by some advice on how to increase business productivity.

Nina: Hi Peter, I’m Nina.

Peter: Nina, great to meet you.

Nina: This is my colleague, Jed.

Peter: Wow.

Jed: Let’s talk about increasing productivity. That’s like giving your business superpowers.

Peter: It is. It’s like employing Superman for your business.

Nina: Productivity is like a puzzle. How can businesses stop losing time on admin, and what is admin, anyway?

Peter: Admin is all of the things. It’s paperwork. So much paperwork. There’s so much stuff to do. Filing, putting things in the right place.

It’s the past. Those days are over.

So when you set up your next company next year, you’ve got to go and get software in the cloud and make it easy. Don’t get bogged down with paperwork and admin, because otherwise you’ll never focus on building the business that you want to build.

You [Jed] won’t become the billionaire that you want to become, and you [Nina] won’t become the multi-billionairess that you want to become.

Nina: So when I’m older and I have my own dancing business, would it be alright if you could come down and invest, like a million pounds? Or, if not, just a bit more, because that’s just, like, your pocket money for washing the dishes.

Peter: Wow, it’s a lot of money. That’s going to have to be a really good pitch to try and get a million pounds from somebody.

Nina: It’s OK, because I’ll just give you 1% of the business. Well, back to fun things. Kids versus you, and it’s a buzz wire.

Peter: Yeah, OK, I’m in.

Jed: So we’re going to have a race around the hand. You should know how buzz wires work, but if you don’t, just try not to touch the metal parts.

Peter: Where do you start, at the bottom?

Jed: Three, two, one, go.

[Peter, Nina and Jed play the game]

Nina: If it touches, go back to the bottom.

Peter: Right, ready? Go again? Watch how fast I can do it. Look.

Nina: Your switch is off!

Small talk with Peter Jones: Check out the rest of the series

Three ways to increase business productivity

1. Say goodbye to manual data entry

Your business can lose a lot of time due to manual data entry. However, by automating your manual data entry tasks, you’ll be free from such toils and will have control over your processes.

From bank statements and employee expenses to sales invoices, using automation to deal with data entry will save your staff time. It also puts paid to inputting inaccurate data, which will slow your business down and could open you up to critical issues further down the line.

2. Use smart bank feeds

Step away from spending hours on entering receipt data into your software. Instead of that laborious process, use smart bank feeds and rules so you never have to enter a payment or receipt again.

With automation, your bank transactions will securely flow into your accounts. All you need to do is confirm what you want to be posted. This will not only save you time, but having accurate data to hand will lead to accurate reporting.

3. Automate your payment processes

Do this and you’ll provide peace of mind for your customers. By allowing them to pay you online, over the phone or face to face in a secure manner will offer confidence. And using software means figures can be worked out automatically.

By freeing up time spent on dealing with your payment processes, your team will have more time to spend on those value-add tasks that can result in increased business productivity. This includes finding new customers and satisfying your existing ones.

Final thoughts on how to increase business productivity

Increasing business productivity can be challenging but there are ways to tackle the blockers holding your company back. Turning to software and automation can make life much easier for you and your business.

And by using good accounting software, for example, you’ll be able to automate numerous process (such as invoicing and bank reconciliation) – and this will free up time, which can be used for tasks that add value and help to elevate the performance of your business.

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