Two Steps To Simplify And Sell More

Work should be fun and life should be simpler. In the mobile world we live in, you should be able to work from anywhere and have total flexibility in your life, freeing up your time to sell more. It’s easier than you think. Just start with these two steps.

Step 1: Free yourself from the tyranny of the desktop.

All of us have experienced it—that moment when you get home and realize the file you need to work on is on your computer at the office. Or that email you need to respond to is not accessible on your smartphone. You lug a laptop back and forth along with 10 different USBs that carry a wide variety of important files so you always have with you what you might need. Until you lose the USB.

It should be simpler. When you walk into the office in the morning, you plug a tablet into an internet-enabled docking station which is connected to dual monitors, a wireless keyboard and mouse. Load your cloud applications, Google Apps, Dropbox etc. and plug in your headset to make your calls over the internet.  Now you can work from anywhere. No hard drive to back-up, no server to reboot, no phone system to manage, no syncing required.

At the end of the day, you pick up your tablet, toss it in your bag and head home. Rinse and repeat.

Action Item: Make a list of technology that you can move to the cloud. If you’re not sure where to start, don't worry, here’s a checklist you can use:

Replace this:                                                              With this:

Communication And Scheduling Google Apps for email and calendar Microsoft Office 365
Document Storage Google Drive; Dropbox; Box
Payments Stripe; CardConnect
Accounting Xero; QuickBooks Online
Voice Calling Skype; Google Hangouts; Ring Central
Virtual Meetings Skype, Google Hangouts; GoToMeeting;; Ring Central

Step 2: Go Paperless

The business dream to go paperless has been around for many years now and is a dream that a lot of industries continue to chase. In the promotional products industry, that dream would look like this:

• Replace paper processes with digital processes through software.

• Rid every single promotional product consultant’s desk of printouts.

• Torch the manual tracking of production.

The first step on this journey to paperwork liberation is being able to access information from anywhere (see Step 1). No more lost paper files. No more orders slipping away (under a desk, maybe). No more lost scraps of knowledge.

The interesting side effect is that it opens up a new world of possibilities for office design. You can literally tear down the walls and go open-concept as you are no longer the slave to filing cabinets and messy stacking trays. Simple glass desks can replace bulky old wooden ones with tons of drawers, creating a light, airy effect. You no longer need rows of filing cabinets to store current and historical projects. No more archiving boxes of paperwork that require heavy-duty shelving in a storage room to contain them.

Turn that reclaimed space into a lounge for employees or a casual meeting space for clients.

The last bastion remains the world of accounting. Many suppliers still fax (sigh) and send bills in the mail. Ask them to email you invoices instead. Implement digital tools to email invoices to customers, encourage them to pay you digitally and pay your suppliers digitally.

Paper is no longer a requirement to run your business. You will be free to reimagine your work space. You can decide if that should be an office, a home office or the local coffee shop.

Action Item: Review your paperwork processes and make a list of what can go paperless.

Catherine Graham is the CEO and co-founder of commonsku and president of Toronto, Ontario-based distributor RIGHTSLEEVE. She can simultaneously compute complex Excel formulas in her mind and protect her goaltender from an odd-man rush.