3 smart summer business tools

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The summer holidays are a time for relaxation for some. But for many small businesses, this can be when the real pressure sets in. As we transition into the holiday period, many small businesses struggle to keep up with the demands of this time of year.

During the Melbourne Cup, small businesses using Xero processed a whopping $2.4 billion the morning of the race until noon, an average increase of $400 million from the same period two weeks before and after the Melbourne Cup. This is just one day in the year.

Over the extended peak summer period, many businesses feel the pressure. With added stresses of the summer holidays, family commitments, skeleton staff, seasonal opportunities and 2017 planning, it can be truly overwhelming.

Here are three ways you can use technology to ease some of the pressure.

leverage rich sources of data

# 1. Cloud technology
Cloud technology itself is nothing new, but the changing level of its uptake is – and that’s significant for small business. We’re not seeing cloud technology itself going through big changes, but rather in its adoption by society. Increasingly, cloud technology is becoming integrated into our lives.

Mainstream adoption of the cloud works in favour of small business, which thrives off its nimble, flexible and connected ecosystem. As the cloud becomes a ubiquitous part of life, small businesses can easily connect with others, leverage rich sources of data, manage remote teams, collaborate with advisors and use an ecosystem of business apps, from anywhere in the world. That flexibility can be beneficial, especially during the summer period when people are more likely to be in scattered locations.

Get real-time insight

# 2. Bank feeds
Bank feeds let small businesses and advisors automatically import account transactions into accounting platforms from their bank or other financial institution. Once bank feeds are up and running, you no longer need to download and import bank statements to get transactions into your accounting service.

As we become accustomed to the idea of having real-time, instantly accessible bank feeds, this data can be highly useful for particular periods such as Christmas and the summer holidays. During this time, there are typically spikes in the business, especially for industries such as retail or hospitality. Access to this data will allow businesses to real-time insight and help to manage this period better.

give your business extra muscle!

# 3. Build tailored app ecosystems
It’s often said that there’s an app for everything nowadays, and it’s not far from the truth. A good platform should give you access to a suite of apps, each one a tool to address different needs for your business. These app ecosystems can give your business some extra muscle. Having a plethora of apps that can target different aspects of your business (e.g. invoicing or time-tracking) can help you to work smarter, particularly during high stress periods such as holiday trading. Choose the apps that meet your business’ needs and build the ecosystem that’s right for you.

Summer can be a great time for your business, but it can also be a demanding period. To combat this, small business owners should look to identify and implement technologies that meet your business’ needs. This will help simplify your job and free you up to take advantage of the opportunities available through holiday trading.

Trent Innes
Trent is the Managing Director of Xero Australia, the leading cloud-based accounting platform for small business. Grounded by a strong people-focus, he develops the team to better help small businesses thrive in Australia.

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