Strategy, Legal & Operations

Small talk with Peter Jones: How saving time can help your business

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 saving time can help your business thrive.

Jed: Time is money, and not just pocket money either. Let’s talk about how a business can save time.

Nina: Three ways that saving time can help your business.

Jed: You’ve got 25 seconds to answer, starting now.

Peter: Twenty five seconds? Three ways, three things that help you save time at work and things you could do?

Jed: Uh huh.

Peter: What have I got now, left?

Jed: You’ve got about 15 seconds.

Peter: Fifteen seconds? I can do it in 10.

Jed: Ten starting now.

Peter: Extra time gives you time to go out and get new customers, talk to your colleagues, find out what’s going on in the business, and focus on marketing.

Jed: There you go. Done it with one second left.

Peter: You give a dragon a challenge and he’s up for it.

Time is the biggest, biggest thing in business. I always need more time. I’m always running out of time. The time that you save by automating your business gives you so much time to grow your business.

Nina: We have £20 and an alarm clock, side by side, on the table. If you had to pick, would you choose time or money, and why?

Peter: Well, if I had to pick between that £20 there or that alarm clock, I’d pick that alarm clock, and time.

Nina: Why?

Peter: Because it’s got my name on it.

Jed: Oh, right. If it didn’t have your name on it, what would you choose?

Peter: I’d choose time.

Jed: Why?

Peter: Because, I think, with a little bit of time, I could do things within my business and make more than £20.

So I would choose to invest an amount of money into my business to buy, for example, some software that would make my business more automated, which frees up more time for me to make more money than I invested in the first place.

But if I choose money over time all the time, then I don’t think you’re going to have a really successful business.

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

Three ways to save time for your business

1. Scrap the spreadsheets

Stop drowning in spreadsheets – put them to one side. Instead, use cloud-based software that presents a unified set of data, integrated with all organisational functions, so you and your team can quickly access the information required to make the decisions that count.

Your CRM can work with your finance tool, for example, to provide the best visibility. Decision-makers will get knowledge they can trust, and this breeds the confidence to make the right decisions.

2. Use data and insights

Which of your products is selling well and which isn’t? Which customers pay on time and who fails to do so? These are just two insights that can help you to stay ahead of the game. If you know what’s selling well, purchase more of that product – and the opposite for those that don’t make the grade.

The same goes for your customers – by using data and insights to reveal who is always tardy when it comes to paying, you can use that knowledge to set up processes meaning you can chase earlier for payment.

That means you can say goodbye to the times when payday occurs and payment is missing, which would typically result in time being lost to chase payments and a drop in cash flow.

3. Make data available to who needs it

This isn’t always possible, of course, but always aim to have an open attitude. And it will save time for your employees. Even better is to centralise around a single interconnected platform. Across the company, silos would be eroded as employees work seamlessly through a single platform.

This negates the need to search for various documents hiding in different apps. The right information is always there, ready to share.

Final thoughts on saving time

Time is a finite resource – and one you don’t want to spend more of it on tasks that don’t add high value to the business than you need to. By adopting the right methods – using software and automating your processes – you’ll free up time for those value-add tasks.

But just as important is to use some of that time to make smarter decisions for your business. By using data and insights, you’ll end up saving more time – and money – as you take the best steps to keep your business moving in the right direction.

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