With so much responsibility attached to owning and operating a small business, it can be all too easy to get set in your ways. What starts as a stop-gap solution can quickly become ‘the only way’, and it can be difficult to unravel that process.
That’s why we’re such big fans of Xero’s app marketplace. It has been created to help small business owners just like you to find a better way of doing things.
The strength of the marketplace lies in its variety, with a huge number of apps and integrations that work seamlessly with Xero’s core accounting platform. This allows small businesses to integrate and augment their online business systems, creating more efficient and effective workflows in the process; something that would have been prohibitively expensive just a decade ago.
So, where should you begin in exploring the marketplace?
Navigating A Vast (and Overwhelming) Ecosystem
When you first visit the Xero app marketplace, you’ll be met with over 500 applications. This vast array of apps can appear overwhelming for many business owners, and if you decide to dive in feet first you could end up with a convoluted solution that does more harm than good.
This can often result in a return to the old tried and trusted process you were looking to leave behind, such as a simple pen and paper approach, or even the classic ‘shoebox’ accounting method.
But we’re here to tell you that there’s a better way of approaching this incredible ecosystem.
A Better Solution
Instead of rushing into the marketplace and downloading everything that strikes your fancy, you need to know what it is your business truly requires to flourish.
First, identify what it is that’s holding you back from growing and succeeding. Is it invoices going out too late? Or customers not paying on time? Perhaps your products aren’t being sold quickly enough from your website?
Whatever the issue, the first step in solving it is to create a very simple and easy-to-use manual system. Even if it’s just making small updates to your website on a daily basis, or creating a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet listing which payments are outstanding, this manual approach will help you understand what you require from an automated solution.
And with that understanding and experience, you’ll be ready to return to the marketplace with a better idea of what you need to overcome your business challenges. Start by browsing the various categories (Inventory, Time Tracking, Point of Sale, etc.) and pinpointing which of the existing Xero apps and integrations can do the job for you. Don’t try to solve all your problems with one app, and don’t try to fix everything all at once. Take your time and test various solutions to find the one that works best for you and your business.
Too Much Water Kills the Plant
If you have designs on growing your business, you need to find and develop efficient workflows. By minimizing manual input and automating particular tasks, you’ll have more time to dedicate to the important aspects of running your business.
But just as too much water can kill a plant, you need to ensure you don’t overcomplicate things by introducing too many new apps and processes in a short space of time. Plan carefully, and if in doubt, speak with an expert.
Need Some Help?
We’re confident there’s an app or integration available in the Xero marketplace today that could go someway towards transforming your business. The challenge is finding the right one.
So it’s a good thing our friendly and experienced staff know Xero like the backs of their hands and ready to point you in the right direction.
Click here to learn more about Polay+Clark’s Xero services.