Have you ever wondered why you see a certain type of important looking person carrying a clipboard around? It could be a pilot, a cleaner, a construction worker, a car mechanic or even an astronaut but they all probably have the same thing in common: a checklist. Just what is so important about a checklist? Well as a real pilot once told me, checklists like warning labels are very often written in blood.
Any process that is even slightly long or complex has a risk that something will be overlooked by human error. For pilots the concept of a pre-flight checklist goes back at least to the year 1935 when a Boeing prototype B-17 tragically crashed killing two pilots who had forgotten to adjust a setting affecting their wings before take off. Not too long after this, the B-17 had a pre-flight checklist. Today not even an experienced pilot would dream of depending on their memory alone in order to make sure that every safety precaution has been taken for takeoff, flight and landing. These checklists are built upon the knowledge learned through painful tragedies and how to avoid them in the future.
One of my favourite scenes from the movie "Apollo 13" is just before liftoff when flight control staff are calling out the status of their checks, there's something about it which is just so pleasing to me like a well oiled machine. The Apollo program in particular suffered enough tragedy and setbacks to understand the importance of triple checking everything and building in redundancy of backup systems where ever possible.
It's not just the aviation and aerospace industries either, there are many other job roles whose actions could put health and safety on the line. If a cleaner at a hospital doesn't remember to do every part of their job routine they risk exposing infections to others and if a car mechanic forgets to test the brakes of a car after a service there can obviously be terrible consequences. So if checklists are so good at preventing misfortune when safety is on the line, why wouldn't they be just as effective in other areas as well?
In fact, having correctly documented procedures and checklists for just about everything in business can be extremely important but that's a topic for another blog post.
Starting a new business is a little bit like launching a rocket. Firstly a lot of planning, design and engineering has to go in to it before anyone even considers starting to build the thing and you might need to ask someone for a lot of money. Rocket science is complicated stuff but thankfully many rockets have successfully been launched before so with a little bit of research we can mitigate most of the issues. Secondly the rocket has to be built before it can go anywhere and it's possible this part is going to require help so we might need to contract some of the initial work out to contractors who specialise in rocket parts. Finally we need to fill it up with fuel, press the big red button and with any luck the rocket will lift itself in to the air and gain enough momentum to continue to propel itself forward under it's weight. Simple. If everything before this went well then it might even reach its target.
Unfortunately there are many businesses that skip some of the important steps along the way, often unaware these pitfalls even exist. Some businesses aren't aware of where they're sending their rocket, some try to build the thing after they've launched and some aren't even aware that they need fuel. With our startup services we try to help all of our clients to the best of our ability to be aware of just what's involved in launching a new business. However, in our experience here at Hundred House Online, there's one thing in particular that we see time and time again being forgotten about and launching without any consideration towards it is a bit like trying to fit a fuel gauge into your rocket when it's already headed to space.
That one particular thing is the cost of keeping the books in good shape. The fact is that without well organised accounts and financial information at hand of performance and expenditure, a business has a much harder time of knowing where it can or should go, much like a vehicle without a working fuel gauge. To make matters worse, once a business discovers just what's required to keep things in good shape and how much it will cost it's often neglected. This sort of neglect can be the beginning of a business that isn't financially viable and the worst part is that the business might not even know - after all, their numbers aren't up to date.
This is why we're recommending that at the top of your business launch checklist is Hundred House Online, because we have our own bookkeeping solution built into all of our startup packages to make sure a situation like this simply never happens. Did you know that to hire your own bookkeeper costs on average £22,000 a year? This is a cost which can be prohibitively expensive for small or even medium sized businesses but thankfully we do things a bit differently, which we believe is a revolutionary way of providing this service to your business.
EcoOffice is our very own incredible bookkeeping service and software in the cloud. We don't charge you per hour but by how many transactions there are coming in to your business bank account. What's more, if we can automate the processing of these transactions (as we often can for our clients) then we can charge you much less to process them. This means that all you have to do is email us your invoices or scan in your paperwork and we do the everything else for you. Yes, that's right, everything else. You will always have up to date accounts at cheaper than the going rate and a predictable way of knowing how much your bookkeeping will cost too.
To find out more about our bookkeeping or startup services, why not talk to us? You can reach us by applying here and telling us about yourself.
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