When you run a small-and-medium-sized enterprise (SME), it is important to be versatile and multi-skilled to overcome any challenges that come your way. This is especially so when it comes to managing back-office processes.
Fortunately, or not, many SME owners tend to have a high tolerance for pain, and often put up with many difficulties in this arm of the business, without doing anything about it. The question is: should you, and at what cost?
The best analogy to describe this scenario, and what eventually happens, is that of a frog being placed in a pot of water set to boil. Unknown to the amphibian, the temperature gradually climbs and it eventually gets cooked alive.
As an SME owner, the last thing you want is to suffer a death blow caused by problems in the back office.
A sure-fire (no pun intended) way of preventing this is to first be aware of the challenges that can come up.
Cash flow and profitability
Just being in the black on paper is pointless. It is important that there is cash in the bank to pay employees and suppliers and be profitable too. This responsibility falls upon the finance team to monitor, preferably with real-time reporting that will flag the owner if cash flow is negative or the business becomes unprofitable.
Cost of running back office is far more than it is worth
Let’s face it. The back office is a cost centre that is absolutely necessary. But should it take up a major slice of the revenue pie? Obviously not. The general consensus is that back office costs should be kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, it is often not the case.
Outdated systems and inconsistent processes
While technology is improving every day, and your business isn’t expected to always have the latest systems and processes, having outdated ones that don’t maximise growth and efficiency will lead to low productivity levels – something an SME can scarcely afford.
Lack of information visibility
We live in a knowledge-based economy, but many SMEs do not place enough value on the importance of gathering intelligence to improve their business. Instead, they prefer to remain oblivious to the real world. For example, many SMEs don’t get their financial data until 30 days after month end, which has an obvious negative impact on your ability to make informed decisions about the business.
Compliance with changing government and industry standards
Perhaps one of the biggest chores, but an important one, is to keep up with the law and industry practices. Failure to do so can lead to unwanted associations with a legal professional. Are you compliant? Amazingly, many SMEs don’t have an answer.
Now that the list of back office challenges is laid out, the next step is to understand how to overcome them effectively and efficiently. This is where PikoHANA can come in.
The Singapore-based technology firm is a sector agnostic provider of back office solutions through its proprietary Platform as a Service (PaaS). Through paying a flat monthly fee, you can manage everything from payroll, to finance, administrative support and customer relationship management. The PaaS is also fully integrated with PikoHANA’s proprietary business intelligence platform, AO.
In addition to processing all transactions, it also ensures you have access to KPIs and operational data in real-time, at any time, allowing you to make informed decisions when running your business.
We get it and we get it done!