5 Business Tools To Help Your Business Be More Productive

 

5 Business Tools To Help Your Business Be More Productive

Tools To Help Your Business Grow

 

There used to be a saying that those who work hard play hard reap more. But in today’s technological society this no longer applies. I’m all for hard work but not for the sake of it and whilst there’s a way to work smarter than harder I’m all for it. With so many things to do, places to be and people to meet there seems to be less hours in the day than there were previously. If this is true for you, then you are working hard but not smart. Below you’ll find an article on 5  business tools to help your business be more productive, to enable you to find more hours in the day.

E-mails: Put your hand up if you spend the best part of your day answering e-mails? Not productive at all

ehh? In-fact if you spend more time answering e-mails than carrying out your most important tasks then you’ll be wasting valuable time and when you are running your own business, time is money. Allow yourself one hour thirty minutes to answer e-mails each day, no less and no more. Thirty minutes at the beginning of the day, thirty minutes at lunchtime and thirty minutes at the end of the day. Set your automated reply to state that you are checking your e-mails throughout the day and you will endeavor to provide a reply within 2 working days. Don’t worry about missing out on sales or valuable information; this is a much more valid way to deal with e-mails and their replies. Trust me on this, you’ll gain more from looking after your e-mails in a structured way rather than letting your e-mails control you.

To–do Lists: Agghhhh, everyone has those to-do lists that turn out to be counterintuitive. We spend most

of our time writing the to-do list, thinking about the most important things that we have to do, organising them in to order of importance and finally ticking them off as we work through them. Stop! This is not a good approach; you’ll find that by doing things this way you waste much more time than is needed. Be more methodical and prioritise your needs, tasks effectively in order to be more efficient. Restrict the amount of tasks that you are able to achieve each day to a realistic number making sure that your most important tasks appear at the top of the list. Write your to-do list at the end of business each day for the next day to ensure that you waste very little time as you start your working day. If your priorities change as they normally do, then insert the changes in order of priority. Don’t let your to-do list control you, take control of your to-do list and remember to-do lists focus on one day at a time, not one week at a time or six months in advance.

Time Management: We are all guilty of wasting time and as we’ve stated above, time is money so in

essence by not working more effectively and by not managing your time you are in fact, throwing money down the toilet. I feel you scratching your head and saying, “but I’m really not sure where I waste my time, I try to run my business efficiently”. The answer to that is to keep a detailed dairy, yes a diary! Just because technology is changing it doesn’t mean that all of our so called old fashioned tasks should change too. Diaries help us to see where we waste our time. Colour code your tasks so that you can see from a distance which tasks took the most amount of time. If you can see where you are wasting time, then figure out ways not to. Ten minutes here, ten minutes there can easily add up to hours lost over the week.

Once you have identified how you are wasting time, you can decide what changes are required. If it’s more cost-efficient to outsource then outsource your tasks to a company such as Hunterhawke. By delegating more responsibility to others you could not only save yourself more time making your company more efficient but you could also save yourself money by letting people who know the task at hand inside out do the hard, time consuming work for you.

Training: If you already know your job/skill inside and out the next thing you’ll need training in is the web.

How to use it, what to use it for and how to gain maximum impact on social media, how to rank top in google and the web as a whole. There are plenty of free sites out there such as Alison.com that provide free training courses on just about anything you can think of, all you have to pay for, is the certificate at the end of the course. If you are looking for higher education to give you the edge over your competitors then the Peoples University provide courses in Business Management and Computer Science  for next to nothing.

If you have employees then make sure that you invest in training/upskilling to allow them to do their own jobs efficiently and effectively. In-house training, on-line training are cheaper than training provided by major companies which most small businesses can’t afford. Make sure that your teams’ skills are up-to-date and that they keep learning and achieving with the ever changing pace of the business world.

Investing in employees is the key to ensuring that their success and the success of your business comes first. Training programmes, mentoring opportunities and upskilling will show your team that you are committed to their success as well as the success of the business. This will in turn compel them to succeed in your/their business which will help you to gain your market share. Employees that feel ‘looked after’ work towards creating better teams, increased loyalty and become highly productive often going above and beyond their roles to achieve business and personal success.

Technology: Technology is changing on what seems to be a daily basis. Not keeping up with technology could put your business on a back foot. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either, such tools as Skype are free for the basic package and the video conferencing aspect enables meetings to take place between you and your business associates and customers on the other side of the world. This is also a free way of making free international calls helping to keep your business and personal costs down.

When talking about technology there are four main areas to consider and technology could be the difference between you gaining and keeping customers, or giving them away to your competitors. These four tools are Data Management and Analytics, Connection of Internet Devices, Hosted VoIP and Marketing Automation. John Boitnott describes these four tools in his article for INC. explaining how these overlooked tools could help put your business on the road to somewhere rather than nowhere. You can find his article at INC.

By using technology to streamline tasks such as your accounting systems and customer interface you can cut out the time consuming, mundane tasks that ever business owner hates. What once used to take days, now takes a few hours at the type of a button. In the world of ever decreasing customer satisfaction, delivering fast, communication and an informed service is the best way to ensure your customers stay with you, for you and not for your competition.

Hopefully this article written on 5 Business Tools To Help Your Business Be More Productive has gone some way to help you think about how you can become more effective in your daily business practices.

16 of the Best Online Business Tools for New and Growing Businesses

16 of the best web services for small or growing businessesStarting and running a business isn’t an easy task especially in today’s digital age. Not only do you have to compete with businesses in your own neighbourhood but now you have to compete in a global market. It’s difficult to know which tools to use and which tools are the best online business tools for your business.

Every business needs to be built on sound business foundations. The general premise of how you complete tasks such as marketing and advertising, invoicing, sales and general day-to-day business tasks of any business have not changed. However, the way they are done has changed to move in line with changing times.

Let’s look at advertising, no longer do we just rely on flyers, brochures, networking and paid advertising. I.e. local magazines, TV, radio etc. but now we have to market ourselves through the web, and this is a difficult and time consuming task especially if you are new to the game. The web is a minefield of businesses offering their services to help develop and promote your business but as a new or growing business where do you start. Obviously for many new businesses money is an issue, you need your capital for machinery, training, transport, insurance etc. and the last thing you need is to be spending huddles of amounts of money on services that are too expensive, don’t work, don’t fit your business, won’t ever work for your business or just are a plain scam.

Below I have put together a list of websites that offer good quality and mainly free or nearly free services to small companies, everyone in fact. I’ve not explained each and every one of them as I hate reading blogs that spout waffle and then offer an affiliate link at the end. This is purely a list of web links to sites that I feel will help your business and that have helped mine.

No affiliate links and no waffle guaranteed.

 

16 of the best:

http://basecamp.com/  Project Management

http://ityurl.com/copy    www.dropbox.com   Storage site for photos etc

https://www.google.com/calendar/render?pli=1 google calendar/share site

https://groupme.com/ live chat teleseminar

https://lastpass.com/  shares passwords

https://www.rhinosupport.com/ Helpdesk application

https://www.techsmith.com/snagit.html telecasts and screen shots

www.skype.com  Photo calls and texts

http://www.sweetprocess.com/ does all those boring tasks for you.

https://hubstaff.com Tracks time

http://vastaffer.com/how-to-use-activecollab-with-virtual-team/ share site for work

http://www.google.com/docs/about/ share docs

http:// www.dasheroo.com social media collect site

http://anydesk.com/remote-desktop allows remote access to users computers

https://groupme.com/  groups people for chat

https://lastpass.com/ remembers passwords

 

You can also find more useful business tools from Forbes online at: Further online business tools

Hopefully the above links will help you on your way to creating a successful online business. Good luck with your new online business and don’t give up, success is only a few steps away.

 

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