I have an assistant and interns who come and go, but for most, Lorna Syson – inspired an award-winning provider of interior British landscape accessories – is an adaptation of a woman for five years. I wear many hats: founders, design, marketing, accounting, customer specialists, and marketing services manager.
People always ask me what my secret of success – is the technology. From the beginning I have Google Apps for Business to help finish all jobs. I have access to Google Apps on my smartphone and tablet, I am able to manage the entire race in both directions between sessions: my email, calendar, inventory, invoices and estimates. The beauty of the folders in Google Drive is that my team and I are able to work at the same time, thanks to real-time collaboration.
I recently use Sage One, online billing and accounting Sage added to my workflow and works seamlessly with Google Apps. When I spend money or send an invoice to a customer, Sage One captures and stores it in Google Drive. This way, I know exactly how much money I’m on the end of the day, and it helps me make smarter business decisions. Previously I have nowhere until one week, two days through boxes and enter invoices in Excel, trying to figure out how much money I had in my bills and debts that were outstanding. Now with a few taps, I can see what customers are in arrears, finding them to settle the account in Google contacts, and monitoring immediately.
I find myself working from the road far more than from my office because I juggle a lot of roles. At one time I may be on a train, in a park or in coffee shop. This would not work well if I don’t have mobile capabilities of Google Apps and Sage One. I can stay on top of all aspects of my business anywhere with those cloud-based services. This, in turn, makes me free to do works that has be to be done in person such as meeting up with customers and suppliers face to face.
My next step is now expanded internationally for I’m somewhat established in the UK. It’ll take a lot more marketing and face time with prospective customers, but anything is possible since I’m now equipped with the right mobile tools.