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Using apps to help your business

How apps can help increase efficiency

Help your business be more efficient and use apps to help manage your business.

Increasing efficiency is at the top of many business owners’ wish lists. But even deducing where your business could be more efficient can be a challenge. One way to figure this out? Tapping into your business’ data.

By analysing insights across your business – on everything from cash flow and sales to marketing and staff performance – you can get a clearer idea of where efficiencies can be made.

Despite these clear benefits, many small businesses are not delving into or making the most of their data. 56% of small businesses admit to checking business data rarely to infrequently – while 3% have never looked at it. The overwhelming reason for this is a lack of time; a third of businesses asked said they were too busy with other duties1.

But digging into data needn’t be a mammoth task. Barclays SmartBusiness Dashboard saves you from scrolling through spreadsheets by delivering instant topline insights from your Barclays bank accounts.

If you’re one of the two-thirds of business owners that uses apps to help run things day-to-day2, you can connect your chosen apps to SmartBusiness Dashboard and that data will be integrated into your insights, too.

Check out these 4 key areas where apps could help your business.

1.    Take control of your cash flow

Cash flow crunches are a key factor behind a lot of business inefficiency, with UK small businesses spending 130 hours a year chasing outstanding invoices – losing £10.8 billion in the process3.
 
If you need a clearer picture of your cash flow, apps could help by allowing you to see what’s going in and out, track invoices, reconcile payments and manage tax.

By connecting your chosen accounting app to your SmartBusiness Dashboard, you’ll have at-a-glance financial updates at your fingertips so you can take any needed action quickly.

Of the apps available, FreeAgent is a great option for freelancers and contractors, while QuickBooks has dedicated features for those who are self-employed and on the move. SageOne and Xero also offer adaptable packages for businesses of different sizes.


2.    Stay up-to-date with sales and inventory

No matter the size of your business, sales and stock can fluctuate by the hour. But whether you’re selling coffee, clothing or even concrete, there are tonnes of apps to help you stay on track.

Bricks and mortar retailer? Vend offers point-of-sale software that delivers all the data you need to keep on top of sales – from your most profitable products to inventory values.

For e-commerce retailers, there’s Shopify. Build your online shop within its easy-to-use platform and you’ll get live updates on orders and fulfillment. And with inventory management apps TradeGecko and Unleashed you can manage all your products in one place.

No matter which sales or inventory app you choose, integrating it with SmartBusiness Dashboard means your cash flow and sales data is combined in one place – helping you to monitor sales revenue, volumes and profit easily on a single screen.

3.    Maximise your marketing

An online and social media presence has become an integral part of running a business. But tracking your marketing activity – and, more importantly, its impact – is a time-consuming task.

If you’re one of the 49% of small business owners unsure if their marketing activity is effective4, having at-a-glance insights can help you see what’s working and what’s not – and where best to channel your efforts.

Link your business’ Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts to your SmartBusiness Dashboard, and you can keep an eye on activity while you check in on your accounts.

If you send email campaigns with MailChimp or Campaign Monitor you can connect these apps to SmartBusiness Dashboard to see topline insights, such as open rates and click-throughs, so you can better understand your marketing performance.

Similarly, by adding the Google Analytics app to your SmartBusiness Dashboard you can keep an eye on web traffic and analyse its impact in real time.

“It’s really handy having as much information in one place as possible,” says David Grabowski, Managing Director of Stonegate Medical Clinic. “I can check our web traffic while I review our turnover and easily see the correlation between the two.”

4.    Simplify staff management

Admin poses a significant drain for many business owners. On average, a business owner spends several hours a week weighed down by admin tasks5. Comparatively, for 1 in 10 business owners, less than an hour a week is earmarked for business growth – and 8% say they struggle to find any time at all5.

Connect SmartBusiness Dashboard to your preferred admin management apps and you’ll get a summary of staff performance, jobs in progress and who’s working whenever you log in – helping you to get a handle on core admin tasks and free up time that’s better spent elsewhere.

Take GeoOp and WorkflowMax, apps that help manage job allocation. The former is great if you have a remote workforce, while WorkflowMax links directly with Xero. If you need full workflow visibility, project management app Wrike lets you allocate tasks, track progress and discuss project details – and you’ll get a topline view of all of this within your SmartBusiness Dashboard.

You can also connect your SmartBusiness Dashboard with your Office 365 application, as well as attendance monitoring apps Deputy and When I Work – so you always know where you need to be and where your workforce is.

SmartBusiness Dashboard

Each of these key areas are covered by SmartBusiness Dashboard, helping you make more of your data and connecting all of your apps in a single view.

“On one screen, you can see how your sales or email campaigns are performing, whether your invoice has been paid, what cash flow is available or who’s working,” says Dan Posner, Director, Business Propositions, Barclays Business Banking. “From there you can work out any actions you need to take and jump straight into the relevant app to do so.”

You can also personalise your Dashboard to make it work for you. Explore the directory of over 30 hand-picked business apps, to connect and fully integrate those you already use.

You can also trial any of these apps for free* with no obligation to buy – so you can work out which ones are the right fit for you.

 

*Subscription fees for third-party apps may apply once the free-trial period ends and you wish to retain usage. The free-trial period will not automatically roll over into a paid subscription; you will need to subscribe if you wish to use the app after the trial period ends. Individual retailers’ terms and conditions apply.

SmartBusiness Dashboard in action

Find out how the SmartBusiness Dashboard helped David Grabowski, Managing Director of Stonegate Medical Clinic save time and stay in control.