Editor’s note: This week we’re featuring news, stories and updates about our vibrant partner community as we host more than 700 partners for our second annual Global Partner Summit. Today’s guest blogger is Lorna Syson, founder of Lorna Syson, a British countryside-inspired home accessories company that sells directly online and in interior design shops around the world. Keep an eye on this blog and our Google+ page and visit our program site for more information on the Google Apps Reseller Program.
I have an assistant and interns who come and go, but for the most part, Lorna Syson — an award-winning purveyor of British countryside-inspired interior accessories — is a one-woman operation of five years. I wear many hats: founder, designer, salesperson, accountant, customer support specialist, IT admin and marketer.
People always ask me what my secret to success is — it’s technology. Since the beginning, I’ve used Google Apps for Business to help me accomplish all these jobs. By accessing Google Apps on my smartphone and tablet, I’m able to manage my emails, calendars, inventory, invoices, and budget, all while running back and forth between meetings. The beauty of keeping records in Google Drive is that my assistant and I are able to update them simultaneously thanks to real-time collaboration.
Recently, I added Sage One, the online invoicing and accounting from Sage to my workflow and it works perfectly with Google Apps. Anytime I spend money or send a bill to a customer, Sage One captures the record and stores it in Google Drive. This way, I know exactly how much money I’m sitting on at the end of the day, and it helps me make smarter business decisions. Previously, I spent anywhere from two days to a week going through boxes of bills and entering them into Excel, trying to figure out how much money I had in my accounts and what payables were outstanding. Now with a couple of taps, I can see which customers are overdue on payments, find them in Google Contacts, and follow up immediately to settle the account.
Because I juggle so many roles, I find myself working from the road far more than from my office. I could easily be on a train, in a park getting design inspiration, or in a coffee shop. This wouldn’t be possible without the mobile capabilities of Google Apps and Sage One. These cloud-based services allow me to stay on top of all aspects of my business from literally anywhere. That, in turn, gives me the freedom to do the stuff that has to be done in person, like meet up with customers and suppliers face to face.
Now that I’m somewhat established in the UK, my next step is to expand internationally. It’ll take a lot more marketing and face time with prospective customers, but armed with the right mobile tools, anything is possible.