How often have you, as a small business owner, wished that you could afford to pay an assistant to take care of all of those tasks that take up your time without adding too much value to your company, but which are nonetheless necessary? A few, right? Well do I have sem good news for you: an expensive assistant may not be necessary. In fact, I’m sure it isn’t thanks to the vast abundance of technological solutions that can take up the slack, save you lots of time and ensure you get on with the important stuff in the life of a small busienss owner.
Sound good, check out these time-saving tech essentials that you need in your business life:
File SharingIf you’re still running your business by printing out important files and documents, photocopying them and passing them on to all the parties who need to see them, what are you thinking? You are likely wasting hundreds of hours every year for no reason at all. Solutions like DropBox and Google Drive are readily available and they will enable you to not only pass on those documents, by to edit them, make notes and store them safely, all from your computer or tablet. That’s so much simpler, right?
Social Media ManagementKnow that social media is a vital tool for marketing your busienss? Don’t have the time to spare and can’t afford to hire a social media manager? Fear not, there are numerous social media management tools Buffer and Hootsuite being two major ones, which will enable you to keep on top of your posting. How? They’ll allow you to schedule posts, compare analytics and plan your strategy on multiple platforms all from the one app. It’ll save you so much time that you won’t believe it.
Website ConstructionI think we can all agree that every modern busienss, big or small, online or offline, needs its own website to drive traffic and increase conversion rates, but building one can be pretty time consuming and web designers don’t always come cheap. So, what do you do? If you’re willing to do the work yourself, Wordpress is a pretty intuitive platform that uses themes and widgets to make the process faster and far simpler than creating a website from scratch using code.
If you want something that will take up even less time - like four hours or less- then SquareSpace is a good out-of-the-box solution that utilizes numerous time-saving tools to make short work of building a beautiful business website. Shopify is similar, but perhaps better for creating an online store quickly.
When it comes to working out your employee schedules and ensuring that you always have the right number of people working at the right times and ensuring that no one works more hours than they should, simple employee scheduling software like Sling, which enables you to quickly log on and set up schedules while also handling payroll and talking to staff, all from the same platform is the ideal solution. It will literally shave hours off your usual planning time.
Project ManagementWhen it comes to efficient project management, there are a whole host of digital tools at your disposal from time-tracking apps to digital note-taking apps like Evernote. However, for my money, the best project management app has to be Casual which allows you to plan and manage projects by creating digital flowcharts, tracking dependencies between multiple tasks, communicating with employees, sharing tasks and much more besides. If you have this tool by your side, those long days and nights spent managing your work will be significantly shorter.
Customer ServiceIn terms of customer service and cutting down on the time spent in that area, Zendesk is hard to beat. It is a simple self-service system solution that empowers the customer to do more so that you and your employees don’t have such full plates. You might not think this is an attractive option, but studies have shown that customers are as much as four times more likely to use self-service systems than they are to call an actual person manning a customer service line, which makes sense because service desks offer5 more options including email and live chat, which are far more popular right now. So, if you use such a solution, your customers will be happy and so will you.
TimesheetsTSheets is an excellent tool that uses GPS stamping, mobile apps, job coding and much more besides, to track your employees wherever they are and whatever they are doing, so that you can get an accurate picture of time spent with far less effort.
Which time-saving business tools do you recommend?