The QuickBooks Connect event brings together entrepreneurs, small business owners, accountants, bookkeepers and developers. They share business insights, digital marketing tips, ways to adopt new technology, and the steps owners can take to move their small business to the next level.
The latest QuickBooks Connect event in Sydney was an outstanding success and Lielette Calleja, Director and Founder of All That Counts, was one of the featured speakers. Lielette has 25 years’ experience in bookkeeping and accounting, and her company supports small to medium businesses by helping them manage their business better with the use of innovative and effective cloud technology.
In 2017, All That Counts was named Intuit Australia Firm of The Future, and in 2016, Lielette was named the Sydney Hills Business Person of The Year.
Here are some of the key tips for small business that Lielette took away from QuickBooks Connect.
The cloud is here to stay…
“Cloud technology isn’t going anywhere - it’s only getting smarter,” says Lielette. She highlights the increasing technology and intelligence behind QuickBooks as particularly impressive. “Some of the innovations, such as QuickBooks Assistant… wow! People are going to love talking to their smartphone and asking how their sales went today and what were the biggest expenses. If you are not playing in this space, you are behind the eight ball.”
The whole purpose of cloud accounting is real time access and collaboration - we invest a small amount of time setting up businesses with their accounting system, so their bookkeeping can work for them while they are asleep. “If you just plug and play the software and don’t consult with someone who is a cloud business accountant, you won’t do your business justice. Work with someone who knows how the tech works, and can customise it to your business needs,” Lielette says.
Rely on resilience
Customers, suppliers and competitors can pose different challenges at different times. “As a business owner, you need to be resilient and accountable,” says Lielette. This was a key lesson conveyed by keynote QuickBooks Connect speaker and entrepreneur, Mark Bouris, who emphasised that being a small business owner can be tough but rewarding, and resilience has to be part of their DNA.
Don’t stop learning
“Tools and the cloud are great, but you are the driver of your business. I’ve been a small business owner for 13 years and I read the writing on the wall. You need to educate yourself, to listen to experts and podcasts and to follow the champions in your industry,” says Lielette. Follow what works, but always remember that what you do today may not be in demand tomorrow. Look for the next disruption and know that a simple tweak in your business model can open the door to clients, products or services you may never have considered.
Build an online presence
Whatever service your small business provides, have an online option. “There has to be an online presence for everything you do. That doesn’t just mean having a website, it means being able to give consumers choice to buy from you anytime and anywhere, or even just getting a simple quote online by a digital service or bot,” Lielette says.
Look at CRM
QuickBooks Connect also showcased several apps designed to save time and improve outcomes for small business. Lielette says out of all these apps, improving CRM is a must, and all small businesses should talk to their accountant or bookkeeper about how they can integrate CRM with their QuickBooks Online software. “A CRM allows you to segment your customers and sales - you can see what your clients are buying from you, you can forecast and identify your customers and their spending patterns and something we all want is to close more leads” she says. “That brings in-depth insight to build growth!”