Promoting Small Business Productivity
Achieve Small Business Efficiency Through Tech in 2017
As a small business owner or manager, you’re pulled in a million directions at one time. So how can anything really get done if your focus is constantly being torn away from the task at hand?
What you need is more time, and the best way to do this without dipping into your personal time is by making work hours more efficient. How does that sound?
If you said, “great,” then continue reading for tips and tools to increase efficiency and productivity at your small business.
Scheduling and Task Management
Many task management systems and processes take time and training to use, and sometimes contractors aren’t around long enough to fully adopt the tech. Not to mention, contractor buy-in for these systems can be difficult. That’s why scheduling software just for contractors exists.
With a handful of management software options suited specifically for contract and construction work, it’s important to compare the attributes of each system to find one that fulfills your requirements and will work best for your team of contractors.
Here’s a full list of top contractor management software products from Capterra.
Customer Relationship Management
As a small business owner or manager, retaining customers and growing your customer base are your top priorities. Just one customer could mean sink or swim for your business. But sometimes, the day-to-day ups and downs at a small business don’t allow enough time to grow these relationships. That’s when utilizing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool is crucial.
A CRM allows you to document interactions and deals between you and your customers or prospects efficiently and effectively, all in one place.
Looking for a CRM to fit your needs and your budget? Here are Business News Daily’s best CRM software picks for 2017, categorized by company size and budget.
File Sharing from Anywhere
You’re already swamped for time at a small business, so managing on-site resources is probably one of the last things on your to-do list. Well, there’s no need for it to be so complicated with a cloud storage service.
Cloud storage can help you and your employees access and share documents with ease. There’s no need to access a server or send documents through email with cloud storage. Cloud storage can also improve version control, as everything is stored safely in one place.
Many cloud storage services offer free accounts with limited features, which may be a good start for a small business. Some limits may include the allotted amount of storage or the file size of an upload.
However, testing a service that offers a free package, even if you will need a paid version in the long-term, will allow you to test the service before committing to a pricier option. Take a look at PC Magazine’s top cloud storage service picks here.
Training and Development
Training and development can take up a large chunk of time for new employees. Adding to that, if you’re frequently working with contractors, the last thing you want to do is spend as many hours training each individual as they will take on the job.
Automating this process with a training platform equipped to onboard your employees and track their progress can free up an immense amount of time for you or your dedicated employee trainers.
Some training platforms are ideally suited for larger companies, so if you’re shopping around, be aware that some solutions may be too robust for your small business needs. Here’s a roundup of training software options suitable for small business.
Email creates an unstructured approach to work communications, interrupting deep work and focus for one-off tasks. Our tip: cut out email for internal communications.
Instead, allow employees to post office hours, or stretches of time when they will be available for a phone call or in-person conversation. Replacing email with a structured workflow can allow for employees to focus on the task at hand.
For a more fast-paced work environment, it may be worth looking into a communication platform like Slack or Azendoo, which allow for real-time communication and organized messaging by project, team or topic.
Related Read: A Modest Proposal: Eliminate Email
From time tracking, to payroll to vendor payments, managing your finances is complicated.
For a small business, one of the key components that can make or break productivity is how financial items are handled. While these activities need to be handled carefully and cautiously, it sometimes feels like there are not enough hours in the day to be as vigilant as you’d like.
Small business accounting software is your solution. Ideally, this is not a product to skimp on, so it’s crucial to find a product that covers all of the necessary bases. Take a look at this comparison chart of PC Magazine’s best small business accounting software to find an option that meets all of your needs.
Want more small business insights? We have plenty of tips for you to explore!
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