Without a doubt, there’s a lot of jobs for business owners to keep on top of, regardless of the type of business you have. However, using the right business management tools can simplify tasks no end.
This concept is generally easily understood for physical things, such as a tradie having the correct building tools or a baker having the best baking tools. But there’s many other tools that are often overlooked, that can help simplify your business management no end.
Just a little time spent sourcing and setting up the right business management tools will usually save you much more time in the long run. Plus, you’ll often appear (rightly so!) more professional and may improve the service you’re giving to your customers.
There’s a huge range of software, too and apps to help improve your business’ – and personal – productivity. The best one(s) for you will depend on the type of business you run but also on your own personal preferences. There’s some programs that some of my friends and colleagues rave about that just confuse and bore me. I find trying to use them takes up more time than managing the tasks manually.
So based on my personal experiences, what I suggest is that you look for tools that others are recommending and give them a try, but don’t waste hours trying to figure it out. Either find someone who loves that tool and is using it successfully and ask them to show you the basics, or see if the product’s support team have some tutorials that can help you.
If you find it’s not simplifying things for you or making your business more efficient, it may not be the right tool for you.
This 9 Vital Productivity Tools article on Inc.com gives a good overview of some good productivity apps to look at.
Additionally, have a look at the following sites:
Do your customers need to make appointments with you or your business? Do you have regular appointments with others, be that clients, team members or colleagues?
If so, you may find an online appointment booking program or app helpful. This is a particularly helpful way of avoiding back and forth to figure out what times suit you best. You can simply send relevant people a link to your booking calendar and they can see your available times then book themselves in.
There’s various ways you can add to the automation process of this task, adding the bookings to your calendar and following up with emails and or SMS messages.
You may be pleasantly surprised how much time an appointment booking program saves you!
I previously wrote more about this topic and some of the top appointment setting services (click here for more on this).
Bookkeeping and records management can be a pain for many business owners, but an absolute necessity too. Even if you outsource this – which I strongly suggest you do – there’s still things you and other business team members will need to do. For example, making sure that appropriate receipts are received and stored as required and in making sure your bookkeeper and/or accountant have all the necessary information.
This is much easier than ever to manage now however. Xero bookkeeping software in particular has a lot of apps and tools that can be used to help simplify your account management. So make sure you discuss this with your bookkeeper and accountant to see what tools might be available for your business, appropriate to whatever bookkeeping, invoicing or account management software you use.
There’s numerous tools that can make it easier for you to manage your content marketing too, from coming up with ideas for new content to actually creating it.
For more details on the tools I use and recommend, make sure you download my Top 11 Tools For Content Marketers report at the end of this article.
Without a doubt, technology can be used in many ways to simplify our business management, so please be sure to spend just a little time in trying some of the many available tools to find what works for you. Better yet, outsource this task! Many VAs (Virtual Assistants) will be familiar with a lot of these tools and will be able to offer their recommendations.
Donna-Marie is an award-winning Entrepreneur, Author and Content Marketing Specialist. Through her business, Jacaranda Business Support Services, she has been helping other small businesses to grow since 1998, with a knack for teaching systems that allow business owners to increase profits while working less.