Your small business clients tell you all the time—managing a business is hard enough without having to keep on top of compliance, GST dates, and cash flow. That's why they hired you. Or at least, that's what they sometimes think. You know that they really hired you to help them run a smarter, more successful business. Tax compliance is just one part of that equation. Small business clients need smart tech advice. They may already be using a point of sales program or social media, but helping them get an evolved tech stack can transform their business and strengthen the client-advisor relationship. Getting your clients on board with the right tech stack for their business makes your clients more productive and profitable. We've pulled together 5 tips to help you get your clients moving with a tech stack that's right for them and the one thing that really makes it all worthwhile.
No matter what kind of business your clients run, Xero needs to be at the top of their tech stack. Xero makes it easy for your clients to automate invoices and bills, get paid, and access up-to-date reporting of their financial performance. Online invoicing speeds up the process of getting money into their accounts so they can stay ahead with positive cash flow. Most small business clients hate data entry, and Xero helps eliminate the need for manual entry of paper receipts and invoices come tax time. Less data entry means more data accuracy. This helps your client know where they stand and gives you the power to give them advice based on actual transactions that aren't at risk of human error.
Is it hard to learn? What will it cost? Do I have to use it? I can't believe I have to remember another password. It's important to anticipate client questions because no matter how much you prepare the perfect tech stack for a client, they'll inevitably need to ask you questions. Some clients might be hesitant to incorporate something new into their business, especially if they're already struggling to stay on top of everything. Some clients might be worried about safety, especially if they've been using the same system for a long time. You can tell that cloud technology companies invest a great deal in keeping individual data safe and use security protocols that are typically safer than local applications and physical documents that are easy to lose. The cloud is more resistant to a virus or a crash than their business desktop computer.
One of the best ways to help your clients understand why they need a tech stack is to break things down into categories and explain what pain points each solution addresses. Here's a short list of some of the most common general categories for a small business app stack:
The idea of a tech stack can be overwhelming for your clients. It's a lot of new information all at once. Make the process feel more simple and exciting by mapping out how each app satisfies a specific need within a small business and highlight how it's an improvement on what they are currently doing. Helping clients see how a tech stack will make their businesses more successful and efficient is a huge part of onboarding.
To help make things easier for you, their advisor, identify a suite of apps that would work for 70-80% of your clients, and then research more specialized tech to satisfy your clients various industries.
You want your client relationships to be ongoing. The more your clients trust your advice, the more they will see you as the advisor they can count on to help them grow their businesses. Getting your clients the right tech stack isn't a one-off event, especially if part of the goal is to expand the services you offer. Accompanying any recommendation for a tech stack should involve documentation about the best ways to get started. Create documentation of best practices for the type of businesses you advise.
You could do this in PDF form, create short videos, or have template emails ready to go. Your documentation might include the top benefits of each app you want to recommend your clients. Or you could chart the pathway to signing up for recommended technology. At the bare minimum, have a list of recommended apps for each type of business—a retail or hospitality business will have different needs than a consulting firm. Many SaaS companies have a great deal of info on their website that you can copy and paste, and some offer PDFs that you can pass on directly to your clients. Doing this work upfront helps you grow your business without having to reinvent the wheel each time you want to onboard new clients.
Your clients are not wrong. A tech stack involves multiple new systems, and your clients will need to learn how to use them. The secret to helping them get the most out of the recommended tech is to connect them with a digital assistant, at the same time as having a central platform where you can analyse their finances. Aider’s Advisory Intelligence Platform, with it’s digital assistant (mobile app) add-on is a powerful example of this.
In order to provide your clients with powerful, data-driven advice, you must first set yourself up with a smart advisory platform to analyse their data. Aider’s Advisory Intelligence Platform acts as a central point of focus for accountants and bookkeepers (you) to keep track of your clients’ finances, tax returns, and so on. So not only can you easily see all of your clients’ data in one place, with Aider’s automated and digestible overview screen, you can stay one step ahead of things for your clients’, providing them with proactive advice, rather than reactive advice.
With this added technology in your clients’ tech stack, business data is automatically synced from the Advisory Platform to your clients’ pocket, in the Aider mobile app. As an add-on to the Advisory Platform, the mobile app acts as a digital assistant for your clients’ – providing them with an effortless place to view data. No longer do they have to view data on numerous apps (E.g. Xero, Google Analytics, etc.), Aider acts as a central platform for everything. Your clients’ can simply ask Aider, anything. E.g. “Hey Aider, what was my revenue today?” or; “Hey Aider, what was my website traffic today?” This app, as an add-on to the Aider Advisory Intelligence Platform is an invaluable element in your clients’ tech stack, as not only does it allow them to view data in a digestible and accessible platform, it provides a space for you to communicate with your clients directly (via the Advisory Platform).
Digital assistants that link to powerful advisory platform, like Aider, provide accountants and bookkeepers with the data they need to provide proactive advice based on real-time business data. Together, a digital assistant in each of your clients' pockets and a powerful, digestible platform for your practice gives you the power to manage all of your clients more efficiently, all the while offering more specialized advisory services. Your clients will access all of their business app data through a simple, conversational tool while you keep them one step ahead – scaling both your own practice, and your clients’ businesses.