Fueling Small Business Efficiency with Connections in the Cloud

Ronan McLaughlan from Xero discusses the many benefits of cloud accounting ~ WizeOwl

The cloud is changing the way we form teams and run companies. It’s now possible to work from anywhere, at any time, from just one device. But as well as adding mobility, the cloud is also removing some of the heavy lifting needed to run a business.

“Thanks to the online tools we use, our entire team can work flexible hours, from any location that suits them,” said Nathan Frater, head of strategy at Outliers in Orbit. “We can collaborate on the same document at the same time, from anywhere in the world using Google docs, and our timesheets will be automatically uploaded into Xero. It’s a huge timesaver.”

Nathan woke up early to the potential the online space has to offer. He paid his way through university running company Facebook pages, back when they weren’t the norm, and also helped start New Zealand’s first online organic meat delivery business in 2009.

Nathan founded digital advertising agency Outliers in Orbit with a team of other entrepreneurs, who all have a successful track record in the digital space. After operating for only six months they have already on-boarded 17 clients.

“We’d all had bad experiences with agencies asking the wrong questions because they haven’t been in a small business owner’s shoes. So we formed a team of digital experts who have all been there. An outlier is a deviation from mean, which is why we chose the name for our business. We do things differently, and work with businesses who are the same,” he said.

Deviating from the mean

It’s clear from talking to Nathan that his ideas are anything but average. Determined to live rent free in Auckland, he has also started Palace Coworking, where fellow entrepreneurs can let living and office space within the spacious home he rents.

“More than the money, it’s about allocating resources most efficiently. That’s one of the most crucial things a startup can do – building efficiencies and allocating resources wisely,” Nathan added.

This in an area where using the right technology can play a huge part. With cloud technology, real-time data can flow between two systems, minimising the time it takes to complete many admin tasks. So business owners can focus their resources on driving their businesses forward.

Finding efficiency

“When I’m looking for technology to run my businesses the first place look is Xero’s App Marketplace. Because all of the apps connect to Xero, I know it’s where I’ll be able to find tools to add efficiency to my operations. Quotient is one of my favourite apps. It saves us so much time putting together customised proposals, and once a quote has been accepted, a Xero invoice is created automatically,” Nathan said.

Getting the right advice

“The online space has smashed down barriers to entry when getting a business off the ground and destroyed many excuses as to why people haven’t started that business they dreamed of yet. But I find there is a lot of frustration out there with small businesses, particularly when it comes to knowing how to make the most of the online space and technology.”

“There is a wealth of information out there to help and having conversations with the right person can decrease your risk. Talking to an adviser can actually help save you money in the long run, by ensuring you aren’t spending money unnecessarily,” he said.

To learn more about cloud accounting & how it can help you, contact Bizwize today.