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Every business owner strives for more automation in their business to increase performance and reduce overall costs.  Manual processes can be very inefficient. A few years ago I worked with a client who was printing off hundreds of invoices and scanning them back into their system. This was their current process and they didn’t know of a more efficient way to do things. This slight shift ended up saving the company tremendous amounts of time and money. 

As a small business owner, you wear many hats which can feel overwhelming and lead to exhaustion which can decrease the productivity and enjoyment of the company you have worked so hard to build.  Manual processes hinder small businesses from scaling and turning larger profits. It is so important to cut costs where you can.

Here are 5 key areas where you can start automating processes in your company to free up your time, your employee’s time and yield great returns.

  1. Copy and Pasting Data Items between multiple software platforms

Employees spend a good amount of their workweek doing manual data tasks like copy and pasting information from multiple pieces of technology together. I see this happen all the time, it’s a time-consuming task that can be highly susceptible to error. For example, The client was copying customer data (email, address, contact name, etc) from one software to another. This was leading to errors. There are programs like Zapier for instance that allows you to automate tasks. You can have someone sign up for your newsletter for example and have that data “zapped” into a CRM.  A new client signs up? Set Zapier to “zap” their information into your accounting software. You can set up a zap for nearly any task you’d like to automate.

2. Sales  

Using marketing automation platforms or email clients like Mailchimp or CRM tools like Hubspot allows you to take the most interested clients and continuously keep in touch with them. You can use these platforms to send out emails and some even allow you to send text messages through their platforms to your clients to keep your business top of mind.

3. Reporting

This is one of the biggest areas of opportunity for a business to have automation. If you aren’t on an ERP system or using a very antiquated system, reporting can be a time This is one of the biggest areas of opportunity for a business to automate. If you aren’t on an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system or you are using a very antiquated system, reporting can be a time consuming task due to data manipulation ERP software is used to manage day-day business activities throughout an organization (accounting, compliance, supply chain, manufacturing, shipping/receiving, budging, etc.  I’ve seen multi-million dollar companies use spreadsheets for reporting and run into inaccuracies with data or the document losing data. Eventually, you will have to move to an ERP system to further help with accurate reporting, reduce data duplication, and have a single source of truth.

4. Inventory Management

Automating the ability to see inventory on hand at all times, what is in production, and Automating the ability to see inventory on hand at all times, what is in production, and what has shipped out allows a business to scale and decrease counting errors.  Errors are especially problematic when attempting to manually track inventory on a spreadsheet. The best way to see inventory on-hand and any movement is having either a full ERP system or at least an inventory management software in place like Fishbowl. These software’s, will allow the business to set up various inventory workflows with automation and allow full transparency to see what inventory is on-hand, where it’s stored, and what work is in progress (WIP).

5. Invoices/Payments

In 2019, Forbes did a study that showed 69% of small business owners are kept up at night with concerns about cash flow. Automating your accounting system can be relatively easy. If you are using QuickBooks you can set up invoices to be emailed with a link for a customer/client to pay with their credit card. If you are sending invoices out manually you can have companies set up to have a credit card on file or pay via ACH so you aren’t waiting for a check to come in the mail.

 The key to increasing revenue and reducing costs throughout your business is automation!


Profit First is a book about cash management, and so much more. It is the perfect accounting hack for busy entrepreneurs who are time-poor and overwhelmed, this is a system that is rooted in human nature and psychology, easy to understand, and perfect for small business owners.

Below are 5 ways to make your implementation successful from the start:

1. Get all your bank accounts set up. DON’T try to track it on a spreadsheet.

2. Set up your business financial goals and have a clear path to achieve them.

3. Understand your percentages that go to each account and why you have those specific percentages.

4. Continually adjust your numbers each quarterly review

5. Take the baby steps necessary to be successful. Get in the habit of setting aside that 1% and leaving it alone, without borrowing it for expenses. Get in the habit of managing with a little less, and spending less.

If you want to implement Profit First in your business but you’re still not sure where to start, or simply don’t have the time to figure it all out, we are happy to help.


cash flow

Cash flow. It’s a word business owners hear all the time and we all know the word can’t be ignored. Managing cash flow is important, and a healthy cash flow ensures your business has money for growth and paying expenses. 

The key to running your business is to have more cash today than you did yesterday. If that’s not the case, then we need to get more cash flowing from your business. 

As your company grows, it can be challenging to know how much cash you will need and when you will need it. 

All business decisions depend on a cash flow projection.

To plan ahead you need to depend on previous cash flow patterns. These patterns will give you a complete look at how and when you receive and spend your cash. This info is the key to unlock informed, accurate cash flow projections.

How to measure cash flow

Being able to accurately measure cash flow will make you aware of any trouble ahead and plan accordingly. The cash flow plan will need to be closely monitored as some clients may cancel or change their membership, vendor payment terms may change, or you may have additional loan payments to make.

Manage your payables

Take advantage of vendor payment terms. Just because you get a bill doesn’t mean you have to pay it that day. Look at the bill, they may have Net 30, Net 45, Net 60 days. Think of that time as an interest-free line of credit available to you to use on other things as well as time for incoming payments to be received. Some vendors will offer substantial discounts if you pay earlier. Evaluate if those discounts are worth it. 

Surviving lean times

The key to managing the lean times comes down to identifying problems as soon as possible and having accurate and up-to-date financial statements. Take steps to actively prevent cash flow shortages. Analyze your bills, and carefully paying vendors and employees will help you keep cash in your bank. It’s important to stay in contact with your vendors to talk about payment plans.

Important Considerations

  • Know how many months/weeks your business can survive before tapping into reserves.
  • Determine how much money needs to come in on daily/weekly basis to stay afloat. 
  • Have some information about how to analyze bills to pay.
  • How can you still pay yourself something during lean times?
  • What expenses can you get help with or pushing off payment?

The lag time between when you pay your suppliers and employees and when you collect from clients is the cash flow problem, and creating a cash flow plan is the solution.

Delaying payment of expenses as long as possible while encouraging anyone who owes you to pay as soon as possible will make your cash flow again!