Landmark’s Top 10 Tips Spot
This is the first of our occasional series of Top Tips from professional and rural business users on different aspects of managing your business.
Starting with software we encourage you to take the opportunity to ask “‘what is my software capable of?”’ and ‘”how are others doing the same tasks as me?”
The answers can benefit every manager, and not just at the outset of using a new system. At Landmark we use client feedback from daily support calls, workshops, training days and shows to add to our ideas for future software development and to discuss openly any current helpline issues.
1. Know your software
Get to know all the features that are available and what is coming up by attending workshops, looking at the supplier’s website and talking to other users at events or via following social media.
2. Increase efficiency
Time is money. Learn to achieve a regular task quicker by using a shortcut or organising work better. Find out what others are doing with regard to, for example, raising invoices and rent demands and whether your company is using direct debit enough.
3. See the Wood for the Trees
Use on-site or web-based training sessions and workshops to make a big difference in a short space of time by getting hands on experience for example how to be logical with coding and prepare meaningful reports.
4. Increase Profit
Learn to prepare year end accounts to the company accountants ‘spec’ rather than pay someone to re-work the figures. It is almost certainly possible for the accountant to export data directly from your software into the auditing package, thus saving valuable time that could be used for tax advice instead.
5. Put a face to a name
Take a few minutes to get to know the training and support team on the software company’s website (ours is http://www.landmarksystems.co.uk/team/cat/3) at a workshop or on a show stand. It will be much easier to follow through a ‘knotty’ problem on the telephone with someone you can visualise or have spoken to before.
Don’t ever be embarrassed by your level of knowledge. Everyone is at different stages of learning and each office/business has specific needs. Keep in touch and attend events to learn valuable skills and pass them on in the office and at home.
Picking up something new gives you and the trainer a ‘buzz’. Keep up to date and talk to your peers and colleagues about relevant issues. Pick up the telephone to your support line and ask the question! It is surprising how many different ways there are to approach a task.
8. Share Best Practice
All important issues like backing up, virus protection and risk assessment are often pushed to the bottom of the pile of priorities. Don’t forget to review your options and if you are worried ask for a trainer to come on-site and go through the latest advice or show you where to find it.
Busy employees often think ‘I wish I had more time to use my programme without interruptions or the pressure of daily inputting’. Try and put time aside or attend a workshop where you have the chance to play on demo data so there is no worry about making a mistake and if you do, learn how to rectify it.
10. Give Feedback
Customer or user opinions should matter to your software supplier. Keep a ‘wish list’ and mention it when you get a courtesy call, attend a training day or workshop. If there is not an immediate solution the request can be fed back to the development team for discussion on its merits for a future upgrade feature.