Why your business needs a database and how we can make it as simple as sorting socks for you!

Ever had one of those days when you can’t find the other sock?

Plenty of people have. One firm even offers a selection of socks that are all different. So you don’t need to worry about matching them up…!

For the rest of us it can be very frustrating to have socks scattered around the house. (In the wash. In the laundry basket. In three different drawers.) And doubly frustrating when you can’t find a matching pair.

But that’s the way some people run their business.

A client list here. A supplier list somewhere else. A second client list someone else drew up because they couldn’t find the first one. Which is now out of date. (Except they don’t know it’s out of date.) Three different notes about an issue with a major customer, all in different places. None of which they can find…

Would you want to deal with a business like that? Well, it’s quite possible you do. Because you may never know just how disorganised they really are.

Until, of course, they lose your order (again). Or your up to date contact details (for the third time). Or your payment. (Excuse me…?!) And you decide to try one of their competitors.

So what does an efficient business look like?

Well, imagine one of those luxury built-in wardrobes, with a place for everything and everything in its place. (Including, of course, a beautifully appointed sock drawer. With all the socks neatly folded in pairs.)

Boring? Possibly.

OCD? Probably.

But imagine you’re running late for a crucial meeting. Perhaps with a major potential client. You’ve just spent ten minutes looking for that clean pair of socks you need to finish dressing…

…and you can’t find them.

How would you feel?

‘Frustrated’ really doesn’t cover it.

So – OCD or not – shouldn’t your business be more like that? And less like a teenager’s bedroom?

Especially if you’re expecting new team members in your growing business to understand your systems – and use them?

The business wardrobe

To get your business that organised you need a place where all your data can come together. Customer data, team data, supplier data, accounts data, order data, inventory data, and whatever other information you need to work effectively.

You should also be able to mix and match all those pieces in just the way you need them. Exactly when you need them. Safe in the knowledge that the information you’re using is fully up to date.

Orders with customer data, inventory data, and accounts. (Are they still in credit from that last order? Was there a problem with it? Do they have any special requirements?)

Bills with supplier data and accounting records. (Didn’t you query their last invoice? And did you ever get those missing items from the previous order?)

Team data with payroll, holiday bookings, and key information about the tasks they are working on. (Who’s chasing that new prospect? Have they called them yet? And when are they off to Madeira?)

You may well be using spreadsheets for this at the moment , but spreadsheets, on their own, are not quite enough. Working only with spreadsheets is a bit like having all your socks neatly folded in pairs –  but all in different places.

Which is why you need a database. Because – like that sock drawer – it puts everything you need together in one place.

What a database can do

A good database will become the central source of information for your business.

It will store all the information you need, in a clear and sensible way, so that it’s easy to find. (And, just as importantly, easy to enter in the first place.)

It will always be up to date (because everyone in the team has access to it – with the permissions appropriate to them –  and everyone in the team is using it.)

It will allow you to join up your data in many different ways. Depending, of course, on the specific needs of your business.

And you won’t have to keep entering the same data in different places.

(How many times do you need to type in a customer’s address to keep all your current systems happy?)

But – perhaps most importantly – a well-designed, well-structured database can collate the information you need to see what’s happening in your business.

That way you know where you are, and whether you’re on target to meet your future goals.

And in these challenging times that’s an advantage you can’t afford to ignore.

 

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'Why Businesses Use Databases'

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