OK, so last week we announced our new blog series “5 Steps to Increase your Hospitality Profits”, where over the coming weeks we will be taking you through some core, practical foundations to help you increase your hospitality business profitability. However, before we jump into the first step (how to accurately track and understand your sales), we wanted to give a little technological context. Kind of a step zero if you will.
The Golden Age of Small & Medium Business Technology
There’s lots of talk about the fact we’re in the ‘Golden Age of TV’ or even the ‘Golden age of Podcasts’, both of which I’d be inclined to agree with, but neither of which is likely to help your business significantly. Actually, I take some of that back, there are some great and helpful podcasts out there you can listen to while on the go, but binge-watching The Walking Dead is probably not going to move the needle on your weekly sales.
However, the amazing software which as hospitality operators we currently have available to help us run our businesses means that we are undoubtedly in a much more practically useful golden age: the Golden Age of SMB Technology! In fact, if you are in Australia or New Zealand, you are also in the Golden Region of SMB Technology, as these companies continue to push the envelope of what is possible with modern, cloud technology, truly leading the world.
So without further ado, we’d like to introduce our top picks for the most important software you need to run your business, in the most critical categories. You should take the lead from amazing operators like Momo Bar in Manly (pictured above at 28 Market Place), who use this full technology stack to set themselves up for success. And also make sure go and eat there, you won’t be disappointed by their insanely good momo (Nepalese dumplings) and poké bowls (Hawaiian sushi salad). But enough food, on to the technology:
Accounting in the Cloud: Xero
This is a no-brainer for most new businesses. It’s affordable, easy enough to use for any fairly tech-savvy business operators, and you can use it to do all of your statutory accounting and payroll. Oh, and it’s continually improving, without you having to do anything. Many of the most capable and forward-thinking accountants will only work with clients on Xero, so you will have access to the best-of-the-best to support you. Plus the fact that it’s cloud-based means that you don’t even have to go and meet them, you can just give them access online. Oh, and the mobile apps make account reconciliation kind-of-fun, which is a miracle!
iPad Point of Sale: Kounta
iPads are amazing. The amount of computing power Apple can squeeze into something so compact and elegant is amazing, not to mention the intuitive touchscreen experience, or the fact that you can pick one up new for less than $500 (or used for even less). Combine it with some beautiful mounting hardware and this immaculately functioning piece of kit it will complement any aesthetic.
But it’s what you run on it which matters. If your sales are the lifeblood of your business then your Point of Sale system is your beating heart. And we think that Kounta is the best platform to have at the heart of any hospitality operation. Simple to set up, mobile, affordable, impressively featured, intuitive to use and with great payment integration options and add-ons – Kounta is hard to beat.
Staff Rostering and Communication: Deputy
Deputy has amazing benefits for employers and employees alike, massively simplifying all of your critical processes relating to your most valuable resource: your people. It makes rostering and time & attendance tracking a breeze, in addition to managing all staff communications and task lists. Any business which manages employees shifts should take Deputy for a spin and they’ll see how much more efficient they will become.
Connecting it all Together: Floodlight
You should then set up some simple connections to ensure that you can run your core business processes as efficiently as possible. Connect Kounta to Xero so that your daily sales are uploaded to your accounting system. You can then keep an eye on cash and card deposits and flag any discrepancies. Connect Deputy to Xero so that your rosters automatically your weekly pay run. You can also connect Kounta to Deputy if you want to compute some simple sales metrics and synchronise staff and timesheets. If you need any help getting this set up then get in touch and we can point you to one of our fantastic partners.
But the best next step you can take is to head over to Floodlight and leverage our simple one-click integrations to connect your cloud systems to our powerful, automated integrated platform. More to come in future weeks on the critical metrics you need to succeed and how we can help, but in a nutshell: you should use Xero, Kounta and Deputy to run your business.
And then you should use Floodlight if you want to truly understand, control and improve your business.