3.5 Hacks to Work Faster in Saasu

Working in a small business, you’re constantly being pulled in every direction.

Every day you look for better ways to squeeze an extra few minutes of efficiency from your workflow.

For me personally, this means finding quicker ways to do things so I can get more done, help more people and answer questions faster. So here are my favourite small hacks that can speed up your work in Saasu.

Printing Invoices

Customers often like to receive copies of all outstanding invoices instead of a bulk statement that just shows totals for each invoice.

I had a customer call me and ask for a better way to do this as they were opening each invoice, clicking on Print PDF, saving it and then moving to the next one. This was so time-consuming!

What you can do is use the search parameters on the Sales screen to display only the Unpaid invoices for only that customer. After clicking on Show, you can click on the tick box in the top header row of the results to select all and then click on Print PDF. By saving this to PDF you’ll have a copy of all of the Invoices, in full, to send to your customer.

Invoicing - Saasu Online Accounting

Getting a better picture of your bank feed

Okay, so this one is not so much a Saasu hack as it is an internet browser hack. When you view your bank feed in Saasu, you can view 25 transactions at a time. This is so that the page loads fast and you’re not drowned in information. But sometimes you want to see more.

What you can do is scroll down to the bottom of your bank feed page and click on the next button to move to the second page. This will change the URL (the web address in your web browser) and display the following text: pagesize=25.

By simply changing the number from 25 to say 100 or 1000 you can view a large number of bank transactions on one page. Of course this will take a little longer to load but it’s a great way to get a better view of your bank feed transactions.

Bank Feeds - Saasu Online Accounting

Use the Force of Ctrl + F (Command + F for you Apple users)

One of my favourite features of Saasu has always been the search function JUMP. It instantly brings up results for customer names, invoice numbers or invoice values, which is very useful.

But on some occasions I want to find something that JUMP can’t search for. For example, I want to search my bank feed for a deposit from a customer who has used an obscure reference for the transaction.

I can easily do this by going to the page that I want to search and using the keyboard combination of Control + F or Command + F (for Apple users) to bring up a search box that you can use to search every part of that page.

This is also useful when sifting through a large General Ledger Detail report when I want to jump from account to account. Instead of scrolling forever, I can just use the find function to skip to the one I want.

Command + F - Saasu Online Accounting

Contact Us (the 0.5)

Contact Us (in Saasu) is one feature I love to see our customers using. When you run into an issue, the best ways to get through it are to check our Help Centre or Contact Us. We are here to help make your workday easier and I really enjoy working with customers.

Now the reason why I’ve put this in my list of favourite hacks is because when you submit a question to us using the Contact Us form, Saasu automatically provides our team with information about who you are and which file you’re using.

Contact Us - Saasu Online Accounting

By also giving us clear information on what you’re looking to do or what you’re having trouble with, we can provide you with quick help to save you time.

We spend all day working with Saasu so we can find the fastest and best ways for you to run your small business financials without a headache.

Now we’d love to hear from you. Did you find these hacks useful? Leave us a comment or email service@saasu.com with your feedback. And if you’d like to receive more articles like this, sign up to our newsletter here. We won’t spam you, only good quality content, we promise!

Boost Your Reporting With Clear Jelly Add-on For Saasu

You may be tangled up in spreadsheet hell right now, if you need complex financial reporting for your business.

Saasu reporting is great for all your key financial insights and it works well for the majority of our customers. But we know there’s a portion of business owners we serve who need a deeper level of insight into their business.

If you’re one of those customers, the new Clear Jelly reporting add-on for Saasu may be just what you need to get you out of the spreadsheet mess you may be in.

It’s almost too good to be true, but it handles just about any scenario you need, even if you have a really complex business model.

The highlights

Flexible reporting & dashboards created in minutes

You can access your Saasu data with complete flexibility. Clear Jelly allows you to drill down on any aspect of your data, drill through transactions and a variety of chart types. You can create the exact reports and dashboards you need for your specific business model in a matter of minutes.

Combine all your data from different sources (not just Saasu)

You don’t need to look at your financial data in isolation. You can get a complete picture of every single aspect of your business by combining data from different sources, like Google Analytics and other internal systems.

Powerful modelling

You’re not just restricted to actual data. You can use the Clear Jelly add-on for Saasu to simulate changes, such as introducing a new product to your offering (or any other changes you may be planning) and see how they affect your business in the future.

Easy Budgeting and Planning

Use extensive options for top/down bottom planning on any level of the model with support for multi user data entry. You can modify structures as required to plan for any organisational changes.

Available on any device

Your reports can be accessed from any device, and all changes are updated instantly.

Control levels for different users

You can determine what each user can do and/or see, to suit your team’s responsibilities and structure.

If you need extra flexibility for your Saasu reporting, give the Clear Jelly add-on a go. You can try it free for 30 days to check how it works for your business. Register free here.

Now we’d like to hear from you. Have you tried the Clear Jelly add-on for your business? If yes, how did you go and do you feel it gave you the flexibility you needed? Leave a comment below or email us at service@saasu.com. We’d love your feedback.

Is Currency Fluctuation Impacting Your Cashflow?

OFX + Saasu Online Accounting - Currency Risk Management
If you make purchases in foreign currency in your business, you have to be extra careful. The slightest fluctuation in exchange rate can add up to thousands of dollars at the end of the year and make a dent on your cashflow.

Traditionally, if you use the banks to manage foreign exchange, you’re vulnerable to high transaction fees and less competitive exchange rates. From a reconciliation perspective (in your accounting software), this also makes the process cumbersome and time-consuming.

We know this from experience. In our own business we have a high volume of international expenses and early on we learned we had to have a better way to manage these transactions and cashflow risk.

Which is why when OFX approached us for a partnership, it was a no-brainer. We could finally offer our customers a much smoother way to handle international payments and save them thousands of dollars in the process.

We started with the launch of ‘Pay with OFX’ in Saasu, which means, not only do you save money on international transfers, but also the invoice reconciliation is done automatically for you.

But it doesn’t stop there. From ‘Pay with OFX‘ you have access to an arsenal of tools to help protect you against foreign currency risk.

They’re very simple, and once you know the details, you can start getting the benefits straight away.

With OFX’s help we explain in detail one of those tools – Forward Exchange Contracts (FEC) and how you can use them to save hard Tools to Manage Risk & Save Money on International Paymentsdollars in your business.

OFX created a simple guide on FEC, which you can download below. It shows you a couple of real-life examples, and you can use those calculations yourself to check how much currency fluctuation is impacting your business.

Download Tools to Manage Risk & Save Money on International Payments and start saving.

Are you new to OFX + Saasu? Register Free and get access to great exchange rates, low fees and automated invoice reconciliation. Do it this month and you’ll get 10 FEE-FREE transfers. And if you know someone who could benefit from this guide, we’d love it if you shared it.

5 Saasu Gems to Make Your Accounting Easier

Being a CPA candidate and a Client Manager at Saasu gives me the unique opportunity to hear a lot about people’s business problems and show them how to use Saasu to create a better accounting workflow.

For each unique set of challenges Saasu has different ways to help you manage your finances faster and smarter. And often what seems like a small button or something trivial can be of the most help to you.

Here are the five gems in Saasu that help the most common business problems that land on our service desk.

Sent or not sent?

If you want to know which invoices have been sent, there’s an easy way. Every invoice will have a tick box near the bottom right of the Edit Invoice screen which will either be ticked or not, telling you if it has been sent to the customer or not. Better yet you can click on the More Filters link on the Sale or Purchase screen and set the filters to search for sent or not sent.

Saasu Online Accounting - Invoicing

Locked periods

Saasu is designed to give you a lot of flexibility around backdating invoices or editing past information. This is all well and good until your employee edits a period that you spent an hour reconciling and everything is suddenly unbalanced.

But we do have a function in Saasu that allows you to lock time periods or create a warning if anyone tries to edit, add or delete within that period. You can find this by clicking on the Cogwheel icon and selecting Settings, it is under the Transactions heading.

Locking file - Saasu Online Accounting

Pending transactions

Sometimes bank feeds aren’t quite up to where you are. Feeds will not show if they are still pending through your bank or our data provider.  But you can still view them in their pending state. Just click on View > Bank Accounts > Click on the name of the bank account and you will see a tick box at the bottom of the Edit Bank Account page that allows you to set these to show in your feed.

Include Pending Transactions - Saasu Online Accounting

Export to Spreadsheet (CSV)

Saasu is a very powerful tool in that it draws on all of your data to create really useful financial reports. But it can also be used as a database to give you raw data to use for so many other business purposes. By exporting information to a spreadsheet you can use basic spreadsheet functions like sorting by column, summing and averaging to find extremely detailed information.

General Ledger Detail Report

This is the report I spend a lot of time with. Accounting data is complex and it’s very easy to lose track of everything that’s going on. I often get calls from business owners that have made an error with data entry and can’t find a transaction or have reporting differences that they can’t explain.

The GL Detail report is where I go. GL Detail reports can be run across all accounts or just one for your chosen period. It will show you the type of transaction each entry is and how it affects each account. Too many transactions? Try using Ctrl + F or Command +F on a Mac to search the report using your browser’s function.

General Ledger Detail - Saasu Online Accounting

Saasu packs in a lot of big features that help businesses achieve their goals but I must say that the most satisfaction I get from my day is suggesting that one tidy feature that will save our customers hours of work.

Did you find these tips useful? What other small gems save you time? Join the conversation below. If you’d like to receive updates like this straight in your inbox, sign up to our newsletter (we won’t spam, only good content).

9 Simple Steps to Switching Accounting Systems

9 Simple Steps to Switching to an Online Accounting System

We’ve seen it (and done it) too many times…

We research tools and systems to fix specific business problems, find something that looks great, build our hopes up, take the leap and then… we fall flat.

How many of us in business have downloaded the latest app, bought the latest gadget, signed up to the latest tool in the hope that it will be THE magic key?

Here’s a secret.

There’s no magic key. There are great systems that fit our needs, but they’re only ever as good as the implementation and learning effort we put into them.

So what exactly makes for a good implementation, that helps you get the results you need from a new business tool, specifically a new online accounting system?

We’ve compiled a guide with everything you need to know, based on what we’ve learned from thousands of customers over the last decade. The common questions, the stumbling blocks and what they wished they’d known before going ahead.

Why implementations of new online accounting systems (and software in general) fail

After looking at years of data, failure to implement a new accounting system always happens because of one or more of the following reasons:

  • Bad quality data in your previous system – A new system won’t fix that. You have to role up your sleeves and tidy it up!
  • Not enough time allocated to learning the new system properly – You allocate time to learning the basics but don’t make time to learn what gives you the results you need. Here’s what we’ve learnt: you won’t get to it later. The time is now.
  • Failing to get your team aligned and committed to learning the new tool and use it the way it was designed to. Often what happens is you get stuck with everyone’s own agendas and their preferences… Which almost never lean towards learning something new and doing things a different way.
  • Failing to list out what you want to get from the new software before implementation. This means you may miss out on certain functionality because you haven’t determined exactly what you need.
  • Failure to commit to change – You kind of want to, but when comes time to change, you’re stuck in your old ways. This will be hard to admit, so we warn you: don’t waste your money if you aren’t fully committed.

A little prep-work goes a long way

Before you start migrating to a new accounting system, make sure you’re prepared and fully aware of what’s involved.

Complete this checklist (do not move ahead before doing this):

  • List out business problems you want to fix with the new tool e.g. “reduce time spent on invoicing”, “automate reconciliation”, etc. Keep this simple and specific.
  • List out what you want out of the new system, in order of importance.
  • List out how much you want each person to see and do in the new system (if there’s more than one person accessing the system). Decide who’s your champion, the person who’ll make sure the implementation is done fully. This could be your bookkeeper or accountant.
  • List out all your current processes.
  • Desired changeover date.
  • List out what information you want to bring across to the new system (we share below the right way to figure it out).
  • List what reports you want from the new system, as in what you need to see to manage your business more effectively (this will have an impact on how you implement. More on this later).
  • Schedule specific times for closing off the old system.
  • Schedule specific times for learning the new system.
  • Don’t skip any of these steps. If you do, you’ll risk losing money and precious time.

Have you completed all the steps above? Good. Now you’re ready to start doing the work. Here’s what you need to do.

Step 1 – Your chart of accounts

This is potentially the most important step of them all. Because it can influence two important aspects of your business accounts: the accuracy of your records (which can lead to unexpected tax bills and other liabilities), and the accuracy of your business reports. If your reports aren’t right you’ll be flying blind and that’s not good for your business.

A great starting point is to map out what you want to see in your Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet and Sales Reports. This will give you a good idea of how to structure your chart of accounts.

We’ve seen a lot of clients muck up this step and it’s very hard to fix. In our experience, it really pays to check with your bookkeeper or accountant.

If you want to get your numbers right, it starts with the chart of accounts. Check it carefully and get it right.

Step 2 – Choose a definite cut-off date

Choose a suitable date, preferably around a reporting time that makes sense for you (typically the end of a an accounting quarter or year). And make sure you give yourself enough time for the transition. Just remember that time will fly, so give yourself a few weeks or even a couple of months to complete the transition.

Step 3 – Tidy up your records in the previous system

Bad data is one of the biggest causes for headaches when you move over to a new system.

If you know there are inaccuracies in your books, bad transaction coding or complete messes around invoicing, contacts, items and other areas, you need to fix them before moving over.

Trying to start fresh without doing this is a huge mistake. Even the best software in the world will feel useless if your data is bad. It’s that simple.

So role up your sleeves and get fixing, or hire someone who can do it for you. This is another area where we see a lot of DIY disasters. So save some money and headaches by hiring an accounting professional if you don’t have the expertise in-house.

Step 4 – Close everything off in your old system

After you choose your cut-off date and tidy up your records, get everything closed off.

Get all your invoicing and back reconciliations done for your chosen reporting period. This impacts some of the steps below, so don’t attempt to migrate before doing this.

Step 5 – Get your old system to match your tax return

Run a trial balance in your old system as at your last financial year end and compare to your tax return for the same date. Find the differences and fix them. This might require a conversation with your advisor and some troubleshooting.

If you don’t do this you could end up with your old system, your tax returns and your new accounting system not being lined up. That could be a problem in the future that takes a lot more time and money to fix.

Step 6 – Decide what data you’re importing from the old system and start

Now that all your data is looking good, it’s time to bring it across to the new system. But you need to know what you’re bringing in first, as the order definitely matters.

Start with your chart of accounts (if you’re not setting up a new one from scratch), then contacts (clients and suppliers) and your inventory lists (if you have stock, virtual items or use inventory for faster service sales invoicing). Stop here for now.

Great accounting systems like Saasu have great tools for bringing in your data. Use them but most importantly understand what the format needs to be before importing. Try importing a file with just a few sample rows of data first to check your format works.

Then it’s time to either import or enter unpaid sales and purchases from the old system. You should only enter transactions from the date the previous system was closed off. They need to be the same value in the old system and the new so you have an identical starting point.

Step 7 – Decide between importing historical data or entering trial balances

The decision to whether bring previous years’ data with you, or opting for entering trial balances instead needs to be made with your advisor. Do not attempt to do it yourself.

If it makes sense for your business to bring historical data to the new system, then leave this to the professionals. Get a partner to do the migration as multiple financial years data can be tricky to line up between systems if you don’t know all the differences between the systems.

If you’re opting to enter trial balances, add them in this step. Make sure you also get this right. Again, it would pay to have an accounting professional check this for you, to make sure you’ve done everything correctly.

Step 8 – Final check

This is a final check before you move over to the new system for good. Check that your trial balance, balance sheet, profit & loss and unpaid sales and purchases reports match between the old and the new systems.

If there are any discrepancies, you need to fix them. When everything matches, you’re ready to go live.

Step 9 – Connect your bank feeds

After you’ve checked everything is ready to go, it’s time to turn on your bank feeds to bring your bank transactions from the migration date onwards. If you don’t know what bank feeds are, they’re one of the biggest time savers in online accounting (here are some details).

After you’ve activated them, delete all information from before the migration date as these transactions have already been handled. If you connect them a few days after switching over and transactions are missing for a specific period past the migration date, import those transactions in a csv file for the missing period.

Final Recommendations

Run in parallel

Run both systems in parallel for a period of time (could be a day, week, month, depending on your comfort level). This will highlight any differences in workflow so you can allow for them and learn how to handle them more efficiently in the new system. Once you’re comfortable with everything, turn off your old system.

Role out the new system to your team only when it’s completely ready

Don’t let your team, contractors or other stakeholders use the new system until you’re sure you’re 90% there with your migration. If you’re still working things out, don’t let anyone else touch it. This could jeopardise the change you’re wanting to implement, and we’ve seen situations where the team resists change for a long period of time, which can make your life more difficult than what it has to.

Schedule regular time to learn & apply

The more you know, the more you’ll get out of the new system. The trick is to schedule these learning slots in your diary and stick to them. It may seem like a nuisance but this is crucial. Not only will you become quicker at managing your books, but you’ll also learn the tips and tools that will make a massive difference to your cashflow, processes and overall profitability.

The good news is, good accounting systems like Saasu are super intuitive, easy to learn, and they offer good on-demand tools for learning. You’ll also get access to a support team, so it won’t be long until you’re a pro.

We hope this guide gives you everything you need to switch accounting systems. It doesn’t have to be a big job. It just has to be done right.

If you’d like to pick our brains, leave us your feedback on this post, or get in touch with our team directly. We’d love to hear from you.

Accounting Partner or Software Sales Person? You decide.

Saasu Accounting Partner Network

Let’s face it. Most accounting partner programs out there are complex, and mostly designed to use you as an off-balance sheet sales person by software vendors. All nicely wrapped up under the false pretence of connecting you with your business customers and other marketing rubbish.

Here’s the shocking thing. We’re guilty of this too (to a point) but not in a deliberate way. Here’s what we mean.

Over the years, we’ve battled with trying to keep up with our corporate competitors’ partner programs. We’ve tried using status differentiation (including the shiny badges), tiered rewards based on number of files added (which is really just a way to rate you based on your sales performance), and a number of other initiatives. All because we thought that’s what our partners wanted and cared about. After all, if the big guys were doing it, they must have been onto something.

But this never sat right with us.

We didn’t realise (until later) that this approach left out a lot of partners whom we’d love to work with. The small practices who are happy with a set number of clients, hardworking bookkeepers who love serving their customers but don’t care about status, advisors working from home… You get the idea.

We’ve known this for quite some time now, and we’ve tried to fix it in different ways, but never felt we got it right. So we had to revisit, and that’s what we’ve spent the last little while doing.

After several attempts to simplify our program and trying different ideas to make our Partner Network more inclusive and aligned with our beliefs, we finally got there!

And here’s the result… Better rewards, available to more partners, based on a much more fair criteria.

Here are the main changes we’re excited to announce:

  • Referral rewards of 25% for every client you refer to Saasu (after your first two active clients). You can choose to bill your clients directly and get this as a discount, or you can leave the billing to us, and you’ll receive the reward straight into your bank account. And this applies to your existing Saasu Referral Rewards clients too, so from 1st of April, we’ll apply the new percentage.
  • We’re removing all the different partner statuses and simplifying into two: Saasu Partner and Saasu Certified Partner.
  • Getting Saasu certified is much easier now. Only one person at the firm needs to be Saasu Certified, and the tests have all been combined into one, which can be completed online, on demand, in 30 minutes or less! Plus, we only require you to re-certify every two years.
  • You can claim migration rebates for every client you help move to Saasu, for costs of up to a year’s worth of the client’s file value. This was already in place, but is now more widely available.

We feel these changes are much more aligned with our beliefs and are fairer towards our Accounting Partners.

We also believe they’ll keep attracting the kind of Accounting Partners we love working with. Tech-savvy, vendor-agnostic advisors whom are truly committed to serving their clients and their specific business models.

For all our fantastic Accounting Partners, we hope you enjoy these changes (you can see them in full here). We want to show you our appreciation for recommending Saasu to the clients you feel it’s best suited for.

Thank you for your partnership.

Now we’d love to hear from you. What do you think of these changes? Leave a comment below and our team will join the conversation. Not a Saasu Accounting Partner yet? Join free here.

10 Simple Processes to Help You Stay on Top of your Financials

Saasu Online Accounting - Staying on top of your financials

Staying on top of your financials can seem like a lot of work, but it’s crucial for the vitality of your business… and life!

Here at Saasu, we use Saasu as our own business system (it’s the best way to know what we need to build and improve), so I sat with Emma, our Management Accountant, and asked how she manages Saasu’s financials in less than 30 hours a week. Surprisingly, her tips are very simple but very powerful.

Whether you’re a business owner, a staff member, a bookkeeper or an accountant, these are definitely useful to you.

JUMP

It all starts here. Jump can find anything in seconds, so it’s the best way to find journals, payments, invoices, contacts, stock levels, etc.. Given most things we do in the system are repeated, this is the best starting point, instead of wasting time going through menus and filtering through lists. This leads on to the next point.

Jump Saasu online accounting small business

DUPLICATION

It may seem trivial, but using duplication can save you a ton of time (up to 80% for our business), because duplication takes care of most things.

Duplication of an invoice, for example, is THE major time saving. More often than not, the contact details are the same, description is the same. So by using Jump to get to the invoice and duplicating it saves heaps of time, and it’s so easy to do it that way. In any area. Journals, bank transfers, and more. It makes the system work a lot faster for you.

Invoice Duplication Saasu Online Accounting

SET IT UP ONCE, LET THE SYSTEM DO THE REST

We underestimate massively how much time we waste doing repetitive tasks from scratch each time. In fact, it can add up to hours by the end of the week. And there’s no need for it, when you can quickly set up your basic tasks to cover the situations you need, and let the system do the heavy lifting for you from then on. The major time-savers:

Very few things are one-offs. Even if you think they are, set them up. We’re sure you’ll use it again. While this may seem like a hassle (it’s actually not that bad), you’ll see the benefits almost immediately.

MULTIPLE TABS OPEN

This is a simple navigation trick that we’re pretty sure goes under the radar for most users. Surprisingly, having multiple Saasu tabs open saves you a lot of time and frustration too. If you just have your main tabs open, you can perform all tasks without having to press back buttons or choosing a specific menu every time.

Saasu Online Accounting - New Tabs

AUTOMATION

Automate as much of your accounting and admin workload as you can. It really pays off to explore all automation tools available to you. The highlights (these can save you a ton of work):

RECONCILIATION

Keeping your records accurate and up-to-date is essential to stay on top of your business.

Your first point of call to achieve this is your bank feeds. Money comes in and out of the business via your bank, so start there and apply payments from within the feed. You can see clearly where your company sits if your bank feed reconciliation is done. This is a process that should be done daily, and it can be pretty speedy, particularly if you use fast coding or bank rules.

Then, depending on your reporting period, run a full bank reconciliation (the old school way) either monthly or three-monthly, depending on the size of your business, to keep everything in order.

CHECK FUTURE CASHFLOW

Each week, check your cashflow for the next 30 days (in Forecaster), and chase any overdue payments or create any sales invoices due, so you can boost your position. This helps you keep focused, highlight blind spots and it’s a great tool to help you keep the finger on the pulse and shorten your billing cycle.

30 day cashflow forecasting - Saasu Online Accounting

REPEATABLE PROCESSES

Depending on your business, you might have a different monthly checklist to go through, but the one below probably covers most scenarios.

  • Clearing accounts – They’re created whenever you’re unsure about how to code a transaction. They serve a purpose temporarily, but don’t make these a dumping ground. Clear them out on a regular basis.
  • After you’ve done all your accounts work and your BAS (or equivalent in your country), change the warning date on your file, so next time you (or anyone in your team) know not to add any transactions for that period, otherwise your books won’t balance out. At this point, you’ll know your month is closed off.
  • Complete all reconciliations for all the bank accounts you’ve set up. If you look at Reports> General Ledger Detail, all accounts that have an * next to them need to be reconciled every month.
  • Stay on top of annual leave accrual for the business, as they can cost you a lot of money. It can take a big hit on your cashflow. Inform employees when their leave gets too big. You have to deal with the emotional side of it, as people don’t recognise the impact on the business overall, but it’s worth doing.

MONITOR EXPENSES

Have very clear budgets for different areas (set them up in Saasu), otherwise expenses can get out of control and take a big hit on your cashflow. Consider your recurring purchases. Do it every month. It will pay off in the long run. Keeping an eye on figures is really, really important so you can have a true figure of Profit & Loss.

GOLD TIP

Focus on communicating with clients, particularly around billing, supported by a clear process you follow. Communication is key and can make a massive difference to your cashflow.

Lastly, we can’t emphasise this enough. Even if you don’t have time to do anything else, make it a practice to do your bank feeds daily. This way, you’ll always know where your business is at in real-time and it can save you a lot of panic and guess work, as well as support you to make better decisions for you and your business.

Now we’d love to hear from you. What tips do you use to stay on top of your financials? Join the conversation and leave your comment below. And if you want to receive more tips and insights from our team, sign up to our newsletter (only good content, no spam).

Marketing Judo Move: Content Creation

Saasu CEO Insights - Content Judo Moves

When you’re a small business competing with giants, you need to use what we call effective marketing judo moves.

These moves (which we use here at Saasu) are clever ways to avoid spending large amounts of cash on buying attention and clients. They’re far more authentic, organic, and in line with our values too. And this is important, because we refuse to follow the sharky, corporate way.

In this video, Marc Lehmann, Saasu’s CEO, shares some powerful insights on one of the judo moves we use on content creation.

Content is very important. Sure, you’ve heard a lot of catch phrases around content marketing, but they’re often overused and not given enough context or true meaning. Don’t let them put you off.

We’re drawn to stories. It’s how we make sense of the world. In the context of business, customers are drawn to you if they feel you share the same values, and if you have the answer to their problem, desire, etc.. And the way to effectively convey this is by creating good content and distributing it effectively.

The type of content Marc talks about can help your business grow in ways that many other strategies can’t. The right kind of content, with the right level of quality, distributed in effective ways, and accompanied by the right processes.

For those who are unsure about content marketing and how to use it to help your business grow, this is your chance to debunk some myths and find some simple tools to get started. Or, if you’ve been doing it for a long time, you might have some tips to share with us. Watch Now.

[View Marc’s Slide Deck]

Timeline:
00:50 – The key blocker to creating content
01:57 – Solo content entrepreneurs to follow – key things to learn from them
03:40 – Attention – it’s what it’s all about
04:30 – Juicing the search engines – great content and the SEO effect
04:33 – Passion: the secret to building great content
05:03 – The content sweet spot
05:15 – How to focus on real customer needs
06:06 – Authenticity: if it bleeds, it reads
06:49 – Content is a long game, stick to it
07:10 – Assess content value: cost and ROI
08:31 – How to create a story for the right audience
09:20 – Nearly free tools to create content
10:16 – Tools the content pros use
12:20 – How to cover your target audience and where they’re hanging out
13:10 – Evolve and scale your best content
14:08 – Top 7 content tips
17:40 – Content journey checklist

Did you enjoy the video? We’d love to hear your thoughts and how you make content work for your business, so leave a comment below. And if you want to receive further insights, sign up to our newsletter (only good content, no spam).

4 reasons to take online payments with eWAY in Saasu

Saasu Online Accounting & eWAY integration Whether you sell products or services, accepting credit card payments can improve your cashflow levels and reduce your accounting workload.

It also helps you avoid the common headaches around chasing and receiving payments. You can get paid faster, automatically and with no fuss.

The days when this was a complex and expensive exercise are gone. In fact, you can do it right now from inside Saasu, without any setup, because we partnered with the folks at eWAY.

eWAY is a global all-in-one payment services provider, focused on helping businesses like yours accept secure credit card payments from customers around the world.

The integration between Saasu and eWAY means you can start taking payments online by adding a pay online button or link to your orders and invoices. All your customers have to do is pay, and the integration takes care of the rest.

Why Saasu + eWAY

  • It’s a huge time saver. Your customers can pay you quickly, get a receipt automatically, and the payment gets instantly reconciled in Saasu
  • The more payment options you display on your invoices, the higher the chances your customers will pay you on time
  • You can collect payments on the go and charge on the spot
  • You can integrate with your shopping cart and automate your entire sales process

If you’re already an eWAY customer, you can set this up in Saasu right now. It only takes a few steps.

If you’re new to eWAY, we’re pretty sure you’re going to love them. Like Saasu, they have real human support, their rates are super competitive and they have plans to suit every business, from basic payment gateway to a complete merchant platform. It only takes about 10 minutes to get you activated. Check them out.

If you’re already using the integration, we’d love to hear how you’re going. Leave a comment below and we’ll share it with the team.

7 silent rituals of small business success

Small Business Success Rituals

1. Motivate

I get up early each morning to a ritual. I get out of bed with no alarm, I drink water, I buy a good coffee and I drive to work drinking that and listening to motivational eBooks or podcast. Before I start work I read my goals, watch a motivational video and set my most important task (MIT) and five small tasks.

There are two things I’m not happy about in the above. I don’t always have a decent breakfast and I don’t stretch. I want to do stretching each morning like my 104 year old grandfather attested to but I’m often too keen to get going so I skip it.

Getting going and feeling the crisp morning air is the best way to wake up, feel alive and remind yourself you only get to live once so why not have high standards while doing that such as early starts.

2. Gurus

I’ve surrounded myself with Gurus, online. It works for me. I’ve had in person mentors over time but I found it can be much harder to say no to their advice, say no to the catchups and sometimes trust their advice if it isn’t derived or based on the industry I’m in. What works in another industry can fail badly in my software industry. The mentors I’d like in my own industry are hard to get to in reality so the virtual approach is better.

You can actually have the best virtual mentors. The most successful people in your industry have almost certainly written a book, done interviews, podcasts or given speeches. Hunt out their work, their words and wisdom. Consume it over and over until you start thinking the way they do.

I don’t want to have in person mentor meetups. I enjoy them, the company of people I respect greatly but I’m also suffering an opportunity cost each time I do that in terms of activities around my staff, product, customers and business that don’t get done. I want to curate which ones I follow online and regularly. It also allows me to spend lots of time on people that have passed but are really important (e.g. Aaron Swartz) My 10 key virtual mentors in no particular order are Anthony Robbins, Elon Musk, Brian Tracy, Stefan Pylarinos, Steve Jobs, Aaron Swartz, Kevin Kruse, Jimmy Wales and Mark Suster.

3. 100 People

Managing my 100 special people and influencers list is critical. You can’t manage lots of relationships well. I have a list of 100 people I need to dedicate most of my time to. About 30 are family – yes not all family gets in the list because honestly they don’t deserve it ahead of other people who I know that are doing amazing and often selfless things with their lives.

4. Killing friction

Businesses can have cancers eating away at them. Roadblocks can be stifling your sales. Really you could spend half your days just killing off things hurting your business, things blocking your way. Saying no to things for your staff and business. Removing friction, removing time thieves. Keep your spaceship on course and focused on the destination.

5. Filtering noise

Feature requests, information overload, sales reps, complaints, feedback, HR matters can all create lots of noise not directly contributing to growth. You need filters for these things. System filters, procedural filters and personal standards filters. The best 20% should get through and get you 80% of the result. For example at Saasu we used to take feedback via social media, service email, phone, personal email, in-app support tickets and get satisfaction. So we stopped a few of these that only impacted about 20% of the inbound and thus freeing ourselves up to actually work on solving some of the suggestions.

6. Creating and sustaining powerful rituals

Assess “what works” and “what isn’t working” in your life and your business. Write the two lists, seriously, write them now. Ok what’s on your not working list. I bet there are things there that are backed up by some serious habitual and ritualistic behaviour. You need to break the top one on your list now, today, this week. Break it by replacing it, reminding yourself about it any way you can. Share that you are going to break it with your colleagues. Write it on your desktop on your computer. Put it on a post it and stick it in your car. Stick one on your fridge. When you nail that one do the next one. To share, my one was having chocolate every night, just a few pieces. I don’t need it or want it underneath but my habit is there to satiate myself in the short term by having some. So I got my family to agree we won’t buy it. We agreed to replace it with high quality fruit item like a mango or a peach. Swap the habit. I’ve done this for 3 weeks now and it’s working fine. It’s amazing how my next biggest guilty habit shows up now that that one is gone – coffee!

7. Serving people.

Sometimes you have to throw all the rules out for a portion of your days and just help people. I take the time to answer people just because it’s the right thing to do by customers, contacts and the like. So give yourself a percentage of your time that isn’t about all of the above just to be of service. People are often surprised when I write to them personally, they don’t think they deserve it, but they do. I know they probably have kids at home, have stress and want to create happiness for themselves. Helping people along that reward is the right thing to do for all of humanity. The reality of limited time stops me doing more of it but it is one of the most satisfying things you can do in business.

Invent your own, try other people’s. I’ve just listed some that work for me. It will be different for you.