One of the best ways for new business owners to become business savvy, meet the challenges and avoid the pitfalls that face most startups is to learn from those who’ve gone before. So we gathered some of the best tips from successful entrepreneurs about how they learnt as they grew and expanded their fledgling operations into streamlined sustainable businesses.
Go digital from the outset
You may have an amazing product that people want, like the modern jewellery designed by the Mindful Company. But haphazard back-office functions are a major road-block to growth. To deliver a great customer experience as well as great products, it’s crucial that back-office functions run smoothly and efficiently. Orders need to be filled accurately, invoiced promptly and delivered quickly. And the way the Mindful Company achieved all that was to set up integrated digital systems right from the start.
By integrating everything they could, from processing orders for their digitally native jewellery, to barcode scanning, to fulfillment, the Mindful Company reduced human error, streamlined transactions and reduced costs on overheads like printing.
“Keep as much online as you can.”
– Lim Wen Ling, The Mindful Company
Get the manual and the digital working together
Boxgreen delivers natural and nutritious snacks to homes and offices, with delicious boxes of goodies being conveniently posted or couriered to their customers. Physically distributing goods is at the heart of what they do. But receiving orders online and taking payments through online payment services means short transaction times and healthy cash flow, which has enabled the business to grow and prosper.
“Discovering that we could easily set up a Stripe payment link in our invoices and link to with our inventory management software was ideal.”
– Walter Oh, Boxgreen
Provide personalised customer experience
As a bespoke curator, arranging trips to surprise destinations, Anywhr’s success with its customers relies on customising and personalising each trip to match their interests and preferences. Key to creating an individualised travel experience is collecting, organising and analysing information about the person or people travelling. Anywhr has digitalised this process, using technology to map the data from the answers people give to a short questionnaire, the surprise trip curators at Anywhr will create a travelogue with local information and recommendations handcrafted for your trip.
“Travelling with my family from a young age exposed me to the world and made me understand what I liked, and didn't like, about the way we travelled.”
– Zelia Leong, Anywhr
Take control with digital processes
The business owners we spoke to agree that going digital – using integrated apps for online accounting, ecommerce, POS, inventory, customer relationship management and more – makes for improved efficiency, streamlined operations, better profit margins, and faster growth. They were all driven by a passion to start their business and inevitably faced challenges along the way. But with digital systems to take care of essential back-office functions like accounting, they can pour the majority of their time and energy into building a successful business knowing everything else is under control.