How to Free Up 5 Hours a Week in Your Business

This story is one that will show you how Tony, a small business owner was able to free up 5 hours a week every single week in his business.

Tony has an earthmoving business.  To be ready to start work at 7am he needs to be up at around 5am. There is plenty to do.  He loads the excavator, bobcat and truck, fills everything up with diesel and drives to the first job for the day.

Once on site he conducts the safety checks, drives the machinery, removes concrete, dirt, trees and whatever else the owner or developer requires.  At the same time he is responsible for taking phone calls from new clients and discussing new projects.  He rarely has time to make a packed lunch or cook himself a hot meal to bring on site.

At the end of the job he cleans up, packs up, puts grease on his machines,  loads everything back onto the truck and trailer and goes to his next job. Day after day he repeats this process.

Tony’s wife works shift work and has never really been great with numbers.  She mightn’t be great with numbers but she is a fantastic nurse.  By the time they both get home from work they are exhausted and on weekends when they finally do get some time together the it is the only time they have to try to fit in some bookwork.  Tony sits at his old computer trying to find all the bits of paper and enter in all the jobs into his MYOB system that was set up for him a while ago.

It takes hours and there is plenty of other stuff he would rather be doing.

On 1 July he contacted us to see if we could do his tax and to see if there was a better option for his bookkeeping.  Of course there was :)

Two nights later he was logged into his new bookkeeping system with xero.  So, in 48 hours we were able to get him set up and transfer his bulky MYOB stuff over to xero including all of his contacts and addresses.

It soon  dawned on Tony when we showed him the xero app for his iPhone that he would be able to do his invoicing from the site so that the customer paid him to complete his invoice before he left the site rather than that job having to be done on his time when he finally got home to his wife.

As he started making invoices we kept adding the invoicing and inventory items like Bobcat hire, truck hire, concrete removal etc and gave them little codes.

We did this while sitting next to him (showing him how it was done along the way) and because xero is all one system, as we loaded it he could use it….Tony was so happy.

We were also able to load the whole years worth of bookkeeping into xero in a really short time, for the purposes of his tax return for 2014-2015.  This also translates to saving hundreds of dollars in accounting fees.

Because Tony banks with ANZ he was able to download an entire year of transactions for each of his accounts and with a bit of help  loaded them straight into his xero the following day. His xero was populated with all the info and ready to reconcile for his tax return.

Tony saw first hand that with great software and support he and his wife were going to:

  • be able to have more time together
  • charge the client for the time it takes to invoice
  • get some of the bookkeeping done during the day through his iPhone and
  • pass the rest off to his bookkeeping and xero specialists at diligence

Tony does about 20 jobs a week he said that each invoice before xero used to take him around 10 minutes to complete and he often left it to the weekend. Because he would often wait till the weekend he always missed out on time with his family that the 200 minutes of invoicing time took.  Not only that, he always found things to get distracted from doing the invoicing so his 3 hours of invoicing often took him 5 or 6 hours (thats a whole day gone just trying to get paid by his clients).

With his iPhone app for Xero he thinks he’s going to be able to complete an invoice in five minutes and do it before he leaves the customer site and even email the invoice before he drives off.

He says it’s a revolution and any tradesman can really benefit from it.

Neither Tony nor his wife want to become bookkeepers and never did, they just wanted to run a successful business.

Now with the right systems they don’t have to become bookkeepers and they can get on with the job.

Steve Miller
 

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