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How to make your business more efficient

If you sidle along to a well-known online store and search for 'business efficiency' in its books department, you'll run out of fingers and toes quite a long time before you manage to count all the titles. There are thousands of the things.

But frankly, who has time to read them? Fortunately, Luisa Grey, who as a Director at Eazipay Ltd, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing Direct Debit bureaux, knows a thing or two about business efficiency, is on hand to offer a few tips on the matter.

Let's start with communication. Clear communication is key to the success of anything you do in life and business is no exception. Good communication leads to getting things right first time, which is clearly more efficient than having to redo the work, and happier employees.

In extreme circumstances, bad communication can cost millions. In the 1990s a Chilean stock trader lost $30 million when he pressed buy instead of sell. Not content with that, he then lost over $100 million more trying to rectify the mistake.

Granted most errors on communication won't be that serious, but a lack of understanding, or a badly phrased email, can still result in delays and frustration all round.

Communication should of course work both ways. Employees need to feel they can ask if they don't understand something without worrying about feeling the ‘wrath of the boss’ if they don't grasp the nuances of the project first time round. And employers need to admit when they get things wrong, rather than blame the faults on innocent underlings. Businesses may, in some way, shape or form, ultimately be dictatorships, but there's no reason why you shouldn't be a benevolent leader.

Many businesses depend on technology, so it's critical yours works properly. Old or poorly supported software can cost thousands not just to repair, but also in lost clients who will ultimately get fed up when your server crashes as they are completing a detailed and substantial order.

And unlike trying to make a circle, technology is not an area where you want to be cutting corners. It might (definitely will) cost you more initially to get a system that works well, but it will more than pay for itself in efficiency and happy clients.

Part of this brave new technological world is the ability of your team to work from anywhere. Out of the office shouldn't be out of touch, so equip them with smart phones and an iPad or tablet so that when they are travelling to see clients they can still be gainfully employed.

And while we're on the subject of technology – back stuff up! Backing stuff up is a bit like taking out home insurance, and almost as exciting, but you'll be glad you did if you come in to work one day and find Gremlins have been at your mainframe. Backing up takes away time. Not backing up can take away livelihoods.

Facebook and other social media outlets are a lot of fun, but they can slip into your office unnoticed and move time forward. Before you know it, that early start you made has been wasted on a vigorous discussion of the merits or otherwise of last night's Bake Off.

As tempting as it is, there's a place for this sort of electronic gossip, and it's called home. If your staff can't resist a natter, install a water cooler. That way you'll at least be able to see who's not working.

Everyone loves a good meeting, or as they are also known by some, ‘work avoidance time’. But are they essential? Do they accomplish anything a good group email can't? Does everyone need to have a say? As we’ve all seen recently, too much democracy can have unexpected consequences. If you must have meetings, keep the agenda small and only invite key personnel.

Does it make sense to automate? Some things don't require the milk of human kindness and can be done more efficiently by technology. Take invoicing, for example. Do you send out lots of invoices? And then spend a lot of time chasing them up? Ever thought of setting up your customers to pay by Direct Debit? A lot of the time automated processes are just better and can leave you to spend your time more efficiently.

Ultimately, the question you have to ask yourself about any activity is – does it need doing?

And if so, by when? In your heart of hearts, you know what's important to your business, and it's pretty hard to argue that includes getting to the next level on Candy Crush. Strict time management, as dull as it is, will see you achieve a lot more and raise your self-esteem – and the company's profits - in the process.

Luisa Grey is a director of Eazipay Ltd, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing automated payment processing companies. Eazipay provides regular Direct Debit collection and processing services to thousands of SMEs and corporate organisations in a wide range of market sectors throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

For more information visit www.eazipay.co.uk

★★★★★

James Simpson
SkinViva Ltd
Wonderful company. They offer a very efficient service with a quick turnaround time between Direct Debits being processed and the funds being transferred to your business. They provide good reporting that has helped our business gain a better understanding of our own clients. We've been with Eazipay for several years and all throughout that time we have received great customer service that has a very personal feel to it. It can often feel like you're their only customer!

★★★★★

Michelle
John Cashin Tuition
We have been using Eazipay for our private tuition business for approximately seven years and we couldn't be more impressed. Deciding to use Eazipay has been one of the best decisions we have made. It is so much easier for me now that I do not have to chase customers for payment, it's all done for us - like clockwork. The staff are so helpful, courteous, friendly and super efficient. A very professional service indeed. For me Eazipay are worth their weight in gold!

★★★★★

Mark Ward
Midland Tech
Midland Tech have been using Eazipay for nearly four years and the service has been excellent. It's easy to use, payments are received promptly, and customer service is very good. Emails are answered quickly, nothing is too much trouble, and everyone you deal with is very knowledgeable and friendly I would recommend Eazipay to anyone.

★★★★★

Oliver Thompson
CCCit
We have been using Eazipay to take direct debit payments from our clients since 2008. As a long standing customer our business could just not run without the assurance that we are going to get paid on time. Eazipay has allowed us to grow our business without the hassles involved in collected numerous monthly payments. We really appreciate all the hard work and expertise that the team at Eazipay bring to our business. Thank you from everyone at CCCit

★★★★★

Andrew Straton
Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
Eazipay have been collecting Direct Debits on behalf of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club since 2009 and we have never looked back! It has made our administration, run entirely by volunteers, so much easier and saved us large amounts of cash by not having to post reminders to members every year. Thank you EAZIPAY, you do a great job and I would (and have) recommend you highly to anyone thinking of using a Direct Debit system in the future.

★★★★★

Emma Statham
We have been using the services that Eazipay Ltd offer for some years now and cannot recommend them highly enough. in a nutshell, they offer an incredibly professional, personal , and faultless service allowing us to collect direct debit payments from some of our customers, hassle free. Natalie Terris is our account manager, and she is helpful, friendly and knowledgable. All our queries are dealt with simply and swiftly. All the Eazipay processes we use are simple to use. We wouldn't go anywhere else- Thanks Eazipay! x

★★★★★

121 IT Services Ltd
We started working with Eazipay in September 2013 and since that time they have made both our clients and 121 IT's life so much simpler. The staff are great, friendly and very good at what they do. Would totally recommend them, thank you.

★★★★★

Mark Wyatt
Telecom Network Services
Telecom Network Services has been a customer of Eazipay for 14 years, since I started the business. The staff at Eazipay are outstanding, always efficient and process payments accurately and on time everytime! I recommend Eazipay Ltd, they are a great company to do business with.

★★★★★

Steven Bourne
We have been a client of Eazipay for over two years now and the service is excellent. There is always someone available on the end of the telephone to deal with any queries and it is a very professional set up. The way in which the system operates is very straightforward and we save hours of time and hassle compared with using the old method of standing orders. I would thoroughly recommend Eazipay to any business which wants to make collecting money easy!

★★★★★

Emma Martineau
Phones 4 Business started collecting payments by Direct Debit in 2007. We chose Eazipay and have never looked back. I daren't calculate how much time I have saved in using Eazipay and staying with them is a no brainer! Why change when I have such a good supplier? It is service that counts; Natalie Terriss and the whole team are always very friendly, efficient and reliable. I have no hesitation in recommending them.

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