One of the most important parts of any business is ensuring that you get paid for the goods or services that you provide. Certainly, you need to have a great product or service that provides value to other people because if you don’t you will not be in business for very long, even if you get off the ground at all.
Many businesses are started by small entrepreneurs who work for a company after having left school or university and after a while think to themselves “Hey. You know what? I could do this a better way. I could provide the same service/products to the market for less, faster, make them more simple to use, do a better job than the way my employer does it” and much more.
What’s more, most of these people start their business entirely on their own, and only begin to expand when they have had a certain amount of success. This writer did exactly that back in the 1960’s when we didn’t have computers or mobile phones, and began by working from a desk in the living room. I had to do everything from cold calling businesses to offer my services, going to see business owners to sign them up for the said services, and then providing the services – all single-handed.
I must have done something right because it developed into a business that became one of the largest in its’ field in those days, and bought me the big house in the country etc., etc. First it was working from home. Then it was from a one room office in a town a couple of miles away. Then I took on a secretary to handle the correspondence etc. And so it grew.
However, in common with many people, one of the things that became a real pain was accounting. When you run any sort of business, the accounts department – unless you are a cash over the counter business – is a critical part of your operation. Yet many business owners, as good as they are at what they do, are almost useless at accounts. After all, it’s maths, isn’t it? And most of us were poor to useless at maths when at school.
I solved the problem by appointing a staff accountant, who was a Kenyan Asian immigrant who had come to the UK because he wanted a better life for his two children, and who was an absolutely brilliant accountant. (He was also a great guy, and we exchanged Christmas cards until a couple of years ago when he died). But he took the worry of accounting off my hands, did a far better job than I could ever have done, and let me get on with what I did best – selling my services to an ever-increasing number of clients.
Of course, employing an accountant is an expense that most small businesses cannot afford while they are in the growth stage, so the owners have to do the accounts themselves.
Today, we are in luck because we have computers, and software which can handle a lot of the accounts for us, such as Sage, which has become the foremost accounting software in the UK and the third largest provider worldwide.
Sage accounting software can handle everything from the smallest business up to many very large businesses, and deal with all the intricacies of accounting which used to take years to learn and understand fully. For instance, it is all very well being able to raise and send invoices, but what do you do when the customers don’t pay on time? After sales, cash flow is the most critical factor in any business because you can make a million sales but if the customers don’t pay you, your business is, to use a common expression, going down the tubes.
Sage software covers all these things, but of course you have to learn how to use it and all its’ various functions, and this is why at Total Training Solutions we run a Sage course in Leeds that will teach you precisely that.
In fact, we provide no less than 9 Sage courses covering everything from Sage 50 Accounts Report Design to Sage Accounts Stage 3 and Sage Payroll. Nothing is left out, so if you want to learn everything Sage, we have the answers.