Boss Lady

What Kim Kardashian and successful businesses agree on: backend management


Entrepreneurs could take one lesson from Kim Kardashian: the importance of looking after your backend.

If you’ve ever tried to start your own business, you’ll have noticed something: there’s an endless stream of admin jobs. These admin tasks can be everything from managing social media profiles to viewing your website analytics. In business speak, this is all “backend” stuff. It’s all the apps, gadgets and gizmos you use to keep your business’s digital presence plodding along.

There’s just one snag. All these little jobs take up an enormous amount of time. Just posting your blogs on different social media sites can be a real hassle. And if you’ve got slow internet, you can forget it. Both entrepreneurs and Kim Kardashian can agree, backend management is critical. If the correct steps aren’t taken, things can quickly spiral out of control. You become obsessed and snowed under by all the annoying things your customers can’t see. Is there anything that you can do about it? You bet there is.

Put all your documents on a server, and share them

Many businesses today are still relying on antiquated legacy systems that don’t serve their needs. Documents are contained in folders on local hard drives. And this means that they’re usually only accessible over the business network.

This was okay in the past when businesses just operated from a single office. But with virtual offices, hot desking and mobile, that’s all changed. Now employees want access to company data any time, any place. But that’s not possible if your business is still implementing old-school systems. There is, however, a solution: start using servers. Servers tend to be more reliable than local networks because they’re designed to cope with large volumes. They also tend to provide better security and reliability.

On servers, it’s far easier to store and backup your files. Most cloud services that allow document sharing use servers with multiple backups. So even if your systems go down, your business’s data is secure. It’s estimated that CIOs spend around 80 percent of their time just fixing issues. Wouldn’t it be good if their time was better spent?

Get rid of outdated phone systems

One thing that is really slowing your business down is the phone system. Right now, you’re probably paying somebody to sit by the phone, listen to voicemails and pass messages on. It’s hardly ideal, and it’s time-consuming. If there’s a voicemail for you, somebody has either got to transcribe it and put it in an email. Or you have to then ring up the voicemail provider to listen to it. Wouldn’t it be easier if you could just get a colleague to email you audio files of all relevant voicemails?

According to Henry Kaestner, CEO of a VoIP company, this is all now possible. People can listen to voicemail and just email it along to the next person to listen to. Thus, email and voicemail can become two integrated systems, each keeping its distinct benefits. It should be noted that these systems are still relatively new. But if your small business gets a lot of voicemails, it could be a massive time saver.

Make your dashboard your go-to digital location

Right now you’ve probably got a bunch of apps you’re using to manage your apps. And all those apps are spread across multiple tabs in your browser. What’s more, they each have their own individual passwords and login requirements, and it’s all a big hassle. Wouldn’t it be better if you could find a custom software development company to put all those apps on a single dashboard? Well, fortunately, you can. Dashboards are useful for businesses who have to pool product information from multiple locations. They’re also good if you want all your employees or people you work with to have the same accessibility options. A dashboard can bring together email applications, product data, and even analytics.

Get rid of those parts of your business that take up all your time

One of the great things about the modern economy is that small businesses don’t have to do everything themselves anymore. Just think about the value that small businesses can get their hands on, all thanks to digital technology. They can outsource their web development, secretarial functions, and social network marketing. And it all helps them waste less time doing all of the menial tasks people hate. The cool thing about going to an outsourcing company is that they’ll treat you with real respect and decency. They have to work hard to keep your business. And if they’re not providing value, that’s going to be difficult.

Become a luddite

Some modern entrepreneurs aren’t tech-savvy enough to make it in the digital marketplace. But for many, the problem is precisely the reverse. They become obsessed with all the latest marketing tips and SEO that they forget what really makes a business tick – customers. Once entrepreneurs become enslaved to gadgets, they end up becoming “reactive.” This means that they aren’t taking the initiative and always having to respond to developments in the company.

Minimize the number of service providers you use

All small businesses know that they have to have a good relationship with their suppliers if they’re going to provide an excellent service. But often, small businesses get into way too many relationships. This, in turn, causes a bunch of managerial and organizational issues. John DuBiel is a partner at a logistics firm in North Carolina. His advice is that startups cut back on the number of supplier relationships they form. Businesses should consolidate wherever possible and negotiate for better prices on volume. Fewer suppliers mean less administrative burden. And that means that companies have more time to spend doing the things that they are good at.

Automate your accounts

We’ve had software to automate accounts for a long time now. And what’s more, a lot of it is free. Despite this, however, thousands of small businesses still aren’t investing in the platforms. Instead, they’re filing their taxes using spreadsheets and other outdated methods. This has got to stop. Purpose-built software is far more effective in tracking your spending than you might imagine.

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