Preparing to Scale
Between the third and fifth year of a business, successful entrepreneurs begin to realize that they can’t do everything. They must prioritize daily to-do lists while also focusing on innovation and other high-value contributions to grow their business. This means investing in technology that can manage time-consuming tasks they once handled themselves.
At the same time, small business owners are always focused on the numbers.
The Struggle with Manual Processes
Crazy Aaron Enterprises is an example of how technology can eliminate menial tasks and improve
Founded in 2002 by Aaron Muderick, the company’s flagship product is Thinking Putty®, a silicon-based substance that bounces, stretches, snaps, molds, and even glows in the dark. To manufacture it and related products, Muderick employs “exceptional individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities,” to use his words.
Like many small business owners, Muderick began his company on a
Muderick was so busy that was dealing with tasks like expense report paperwork in the evening, long after the business day was over, rather than recharging for the next busy day, “I noticed that the stack of bills that needed to go out every month was growing, and I knew it was time to look for a more mature solution, even if we were a very immature toy company.”
Expense Management in Action
Fortunately, as Muderick learned, there are solutions for gaining visibility into
Many entrepreneurs may shy away from these solutions, thinking they’re not ready for what they consider to be enterprise technology. Muderick would strongly disagree. His move to an expense management solution brought nothing but benefits: “It frees us up to stay focused, and that’s what every business really needs to do if they’re going to find success and growth over the long term. Focus on your mission.”
AI, Mobility Are Key
A key technology behind these solutions is
Another important feature is mobile access. Modern apps give employees anywhere/anytime access to the expense management system. For example, employees can submit an expense report for a business trip using their smartphone. They simply take pictures of receipts and upload them to expense reports, saving time from the manual, paper process. A full
The Foundation for Success
Growth brings many challenges. When it comes to expense management, these challenges are particularly important, because it’s cash that fuels growth. Some tips for success:
- Focus on strategic activities that add value and promote innovation.
- Use technology to automate manual processes that eat up time and energy that could be better spent growing the business.
- Don’t assume that sophisticated, high-powered solutions are only for giant enterprises.
Expense management solutions require some adjustments to processes, but it certainly wasn’t a problem for Muderick. He saw in his expense management system “a way that has been really well thought out that will work for our business, just like it works for a thousand other businesses.”
The lesson in this story is that high-powered technology that was once available only to global enterprises can now serve the needs of small and medium-sized businesses. Implementing this technology can make life easier on entrepreneurs and have a positive effect on their bottom line.
Article submitted by Mari-Frances Bentvelzen,
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