6 Tips for Business Improvement During COVID-19

During these tough times, many businesses are being forced to either close temporarily, or slow down. This provides a terrific, unexpected opportunity for business owners to help refine current operations, allowing for improvement both now and in the future. Here are our top 6 tips to best utilise the extra time you now have and work on your business:

1. Improve Processes

Take a step back and look at your business from the outside. How do others see it? How do customers interact with you? What can be improved on? For a café this could be the menu design or contents, the ordering process, how the kitchen receives food orders or how they are delivered. A tradie may consider the way their clients contact them, the effectiveness of their invoice process or the maintenance schedule for their tools.

2. Update Technology

Have you moved everything possible to the cloud yet? A large number of back office business operations are able to function smoothly through a crisis when they have been well-connected with cloud systems. Is your business using a cloud accounting system? Now is a good time to review what is in the market that could work best for you. Xero has been the recent favourite choice for cloud accounting systems, but MYOB’s New Essentials is impressive and certainly worth considering.  

3. Implement Efficiency Tools

Many specialised tools have been created to make life easier for small businesses. Do some research during this time and see what might apply to you. Do you receive invoices? Make the switch to e-Invoicing to improve accuracy and reduce the time spent on tedious processing. Select a simple free option such as Link4 to try out with your current accounting system. Also, make sure you use an e-Invoicing service that supports sending invoices too, that way you can get paid much faster and increase your cash flow.

4. Sustain Communications

Use this time to maintain strong relationships with your trading partners – suppliers and customers. Get in touch with them; see how they are coping through the crisis. Offer genuine assistance where possible. Strengthen these connections now and the rewards will come as everything frees up again.

5. Build Marketing Plans

Work on a marketing plan, while you have time. How will you get back to full speed after the crisis? How does your website look? Now is a great time to refresh it so it reflects where your current business is at. What special offers can you provide? Brainstorm future online campaigns: Instagram promotions, live videos, new platforms to get involved in. Use online resources to create content, create schedules, and centralise your messaging. There are so many free or cost effective marketing options out there. Discover, and begin to implement, what is right for your business.

6. Rewards Programs

Australian’s are great at supporting businesses when they need help. It is an important part of our culture. We will be there for each other as we come out of this. But all of us will be coming out of it at the same time, so how does your business capture the generosity and support of Australians? Return the favour! Be generous to them. Does your business have a rewards program for customers? Now might be the time to review it or put one in place so you can thank your loyal group of supporters when times improve.

We do live in unusual times, but it’s a chance to take a breath and use the slower period to our advantage. Apply these business improvements today, and your business can be ready for a much stronger future. 


Top 5 Benefits of e-Invoicing

Whether you’ve tried e-Invoicing before or you’re completely new to the concept, there are many benefits to e-Invoicing that are important to know about.

Here are our Top Five e-Invoicing Benefits:

1. Save Time

When you receive a traditional invoice, the first thing you usually do is enter the information from the invoice into your accounting system. This is often time consuming and can lead to errors, as the data is extracted electronically or manually entered. While third party applications can make data extraction easier, there is still the added time involved while documents are processed. Similarly, if you enter the data manually, it is a very time consuming process and errors can occur here as well.

e-Invoicing eliminates the need for these processes – saving you time and also reducing errors which can be costly further down the line. By utilising cloud accounting systems and taking away the need for data extraction and manual entry, the time it takes for an invoice to be processed is cut down significantly.

2. Reduce Costs

Do you know how much it currently costs to send or receive a traditional invoice?

It costs an average of $40 to send an invoice and anywhere between $20-35 to receive one. These estimates include everything that is involved in the process of sending or receiving an invoice. However, a hidden catch is that if an invoice needs to be rectified, it can cost an additional $50!

e-Invoicing can reduce the cost of receiving an invoice by up to 90 per cent. Furthermore, the cost of sending an invoice can be reduced by 44 per cent. In fact, e-Invoicing could save Australia’s economy approximately $10 billion a year with government agencies said to be able to save up to $3 million alone.

3. Help the Environment

It’s estimated that the paper consumption for one office worker can range between 10,000 and 20,000 sheets per year. This number is likely to be even higher for those working in the accounting and finance sector given the extra paper they use for invoicing and the paperwork that supplements it. For the environmentally conscience, this is a lot of paper that could be easily saved.

e-Invoicing cuts down, and in some cases can eliminate, paper from the invoicing process because it’s transferred electronically. The Australian Tax Office requires copies of invoices to be kept for at least five years, but there is no need to have boxes of physical papers stored. The ATO accepts electronic copies of invoices! This means e-Invoicing reduces the amount of paper consumed considerably. Not only this, it can save business 1-2 per cent of their turnover as they’re saving money on paper, printers and ink.

4. Get Paid Faster

For suppliers in particular, e-Invoicing helps to ensure they are receiving payments from their customers as quickly as possible. Australians are notoriously know for making late payments. Invoices are paid an average of 26.5 days late to be exact. The Australian Government is aiming to get this number down to 14 days – from the time the invoice is created, to when the payments is made – which can only be achieved through e-Invoicing. With money coming in faster and businesses being paid on time more often, this then causes an increased cash flow for business.

5. Maintain Positive Business Relationships

Chasing people to get an invoice paid on time can be stressful on business relationships. The longer this process goes on for, the less patience people may have when it comes to asking again.

With e-Invoices transferred seamlessly by Link4, the communication is done for you. You’ll simply receive an email notification when your invoices are sent and then your buyer will receive a notification when they receive the invoice in their system. As this initial communication is all done for you and it’s available in your cloud accounting system 24/7, it allows your business relationships to stay as positive as possible. Especially when it comes to making sure your business is paid on time.

This wraps up our top five benefits. Let us know what you thought or if you’ve experienced any of these for yourself while using Link4.

Don’t forget you can trial e-Invoicing with Link4 for free! Find out more about how it all works here.

Information has been sourced from:

‘Australia now has a national standard for e-invoicing‘ and ‘The state of E-Invoicing in Australia’.