I wanted to share an ironic “contrast” from two clients last week, and of course, I’ll not name names, but these two entrepreneurs are polar opposites. Perhaps I use the term “entrepreneur” too loosely, as one is a classic “small business owner” while the other truly does seem to embody the spirit of entrepreneurship.
At any rate, their financial success in the respective companies is nearly equal, and I’d argue their overall quality of life is, too.
Meanwhile, one embraces technology and automation while the other is VERY “old-school.”
Here’s where things get a bit ironic: the tech-savvy owner loves their gadgets and widgets and gizmos, but aside from having them, frankly, he doesn’t use them to the fullest extent possible. The other side of the coin, my business owner who begrudgingly adopted QuickBooks doesn’t “use” it, but he has empowered his team to learn and use it, and – in his case – it works pretty well.
Now, which one is better off as a result of their technology?
In this example alone, it’s the one who’s actively using the technology they’ve paid for to deploy. In other words, the most technologically advanced systems in the world can do NOTHING unless someone uses them, and that’s the conversation this week.
Are you truly using the technology – and in this case, of course, I’m talking about that pertaining to your business’ financial tools – effectively, or are you simply paying for a software each month and bypassing it?
Trust me, we see this all the time: a client will read about this or that tool in an article, play with it a bit, use it for a few weeks, and then discard it. The results can be expensive, since inevitably, my team and I end up having to chase those two weeks’ worth of “lost” information (or recreate it from (gasp!) paper documents) and in cases like this? It’s simply straight billable time.
There’s a flip side to this example, and that would be strict adherence to old systems – especially those in the bookkeeping and tax world – isn’t the best idea, either. There’s a balance, and in many cases, that balance has to rely on the free exchange of ideas and best practices from both a business owner and their tax professional.
So no matter what side of this conversation you find you and your business on, I want to encourage you to educate yourself on the options in the market to make your financial data easier to track and document, but before you go “all in” on a software or a tool, let’s talk about it to see the best way to use it, ensure your team is trained properly, and everybody involved knows where the data goes and how to find and track it. Technology, at it’s essence, is only cool if it works.
All the best,