Three ways to simplify your small business

John Reeve | June 19th, 2008 | ,

When you stop to consider the amount of responsibilities required to run a small business the conclusions can be overwhelming. It turns out the only thing ‘small’ in a small business is the number of people. That means fewer people wearing many different hats handling a larger set of tasks. Diversity is a requirement, not an option. As a company who has waded their way through most of the difficult issues faced by a small business in the creative industry, we have a few tips on the process of simplification.

1. Take advantage of hosted applications

Regardless of what type of small business you run, there is a web-based application out there targeted at your company. Creatives who rely on tracking billable time, freelancers who need help invoicing, or IT companies requiring issue tracking — there are online services that will make running your business go much smoother. The beauty of using Software-as-a-Service is that the applications and your data are not physically located in your office. You are not responsible for upgrades or data backups, because someone is doing that for you.

2. Outsource the irrelevance

Often times the ‘requirements’ of a small business owner are not relevant to the business. Marketing, IT, and Email are all examples of critical business components that should be outsourced. There is nothing worse than having to redirect your resources to an IT crisis when you should be focusing on your business instead.

3. Redefine your space

A small business can become so enveloped in the day-to-day worfklow that a few years will go by before anyone realizes the office is growing in on itself. Stacks of papers accumulate in the corners, the closets become full of discarded boxes and instruction manuals, and desks are no longer recognizable underneath the long-term residue of business life. Take a day to reorganize. Move the desks around and clear the clutter. Rent a cheap storage unit and put all of your unused stuff in it. You’ll end up with a fresh new office and a rebooted attitude. A new start for an established business can work wonders.

8 Responses to “Three ways to simplify your small business”

  1. Andrew Price says:

    Could you possible give some examples of companies that do this “business hosting”?

  2. Andrew Price says:

    haha just realised you’re a company that does this… never mind. You should point it out! I came here from design float, I had no idea.

  3. rob says:

    i find most hosted apps for smbs a setback. point 3 is silly. god

  4. John Reeve says:

    Big Bird always said not to knock it till you’ve tried it. You would be surprised at how much of an effect the work environment has on a business. Why do you think people hate cubicles so much?

  5. Aditya Gholap says:

    i agree – web based tools are a boon; As a media business owner i’ve been using Deskaway for project management; its light, easy, hassle free and neat. I couple that with using Google apps to host my email and i use zoho for invoicing – so its a neat package. Ultimately everything gets intgraed into DA which is now increasingly becoming a Project Management + PROCESS MANAGEMENT tool. There’s so many other light tools which firms can us – i found the above 3 the best and easiest in terms of interface so i opted for them (considering price as well) — but there’s loads. We just moved to a new office. Redefining your space is necessary.

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A collection of useful tips, tales and opinions based on decades of collective experience designing and developing web sites and web-based applications.

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Intervals is online time, task and project management software built by and for web designers, developers and creatives.
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John Reeve
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John Reeve

John is a co-founder, web designer and developer at Pelago. His blog posts are inspired by everyday encounters with designers, developers, creatives and small businesses in general. John is an avid reader and road cyclist.
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Jennifer Payne
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Jennifer Payne

Jennifer is the Director of Quality and Efficiency at Pelago. Her blog posts are based largely on her experience working with teams to improve harmony and productivity. Jennifer is a cat person.
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Braden Jones
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Braden Jones

Braden is a co-founder and strategist at Pelago. His blog posts draw from his worldwide business travels and forays into the retail apparel industry. Braden loves to surf and recently adopted a Doka named Moose.
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Michael Payne
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Michael Payne

Michael is a co-founder and product architect at Pelago. His contributions stem from experiences managing the development process behind web sites and web-based applications such as Intervals. Michael drives a 1990 Volkswagen Carat with a rebuilt 2.4 liter engine from GoWesty.
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