Software To Make Your Business Life Easier
Running your own business, despite being incredibly rewarding, can also be tiring and time-consuming. It can be hard to take time off when you’re working hard on a business that’s all your own. You can make business life a little easier though with the right tools.
Find The Right CRM Tool
The right CRM tool can help you keep track of lots of information, from customer information to marketing plans. Invest in a MYOB EXO business CRM module. With the right one, you’ll be able to track campaign investment, safely store customer contact details, track your finances, integrate with social media and manage your calendar. Streamlining lots of tasks into one module like this sheds some of the clutter from your desktop and gives you more time to get on with actually running your business.
Running everything from one system like this reduces your workload and the risk of inconsistencies and errors between multiple systems. Choose a system that allows to you give customised access to your team, so your staff can access what they need but information they don’t need is kept secure.
The right social media can be a big help for a small business. Done well, using tools like Twitter or Facebook can be free marketing at a stage when a business needs to get the word out without much budget. When you have the budget to spare, you can invest in social media campaigns that can increase customer spend and raise brand awareness.
Whether you choose to run your social accounts yourself or bring in outside help, make sure you’re creating the right content for each platform. People use different platforms for different things. LinkedIn is a fantastic tool for networking. If you go business to business services, LinkedIn is the ideal place to advertise those services. Build connections with potential customers. Twitter is a great place to handle customer queries, whereas Facebook users are often looking for shareable content or good deals. Tailor what you post, and if you can, automate.
There are lots of tools on the market for every budget to make running social easier. Tools like Hootsuite or Tweetdeck can be used to schedule posts, track hashtags and find the right accounts to follow. Buffer can be used across all your platforms to share related content, news articles or whatever takes your interest around the internet.
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Consider A Virtual Assistant
In the early days of your business, it can feel impossible to get everything done yourself, but you may not have the budget yet to take on more, or any, staff. Rather than getting burned out trying to work all the hours in the day, why not see if a virtual assistant could help you?
A VA can provide remote support for your business. They can do anything an in-house assistant could do for you, from clerical work to helping with PR. With the digital tools available now, such as Skype and online document sharing, there’s no need to have your assistant based in the office. Many small to medium sized businesses find using virtual help is a fantastic way to free them up from many tasks at a fraction of the cost of hiring staff to work in the office. The only downside is having to fetch your own coffee.
Boost Your Productivity
There are lots of tools online to help you boost your productivity. Keep an online To Do list that you can access wherever you are with a tool like Asana or Kanban. You can use these to track projects and daily task lists. Customise the access so you can track or assign tasks to your team (or that Virtual Assistant).
Sites like Basecamp can also be used to track projects and share work around. If you’re on the go a lot, apps like Evernote can be used to save written and voice notes, so you don’t forget that great idea you had while you were in the queue for your morning coffee. You can also use it to clip and save articles to read later.
Craft ‘recipes’ with a site called If This Then That. You can set up everything from automatically switching on your phone’s WiFi when you get home, to automatically converting your Instagram pictures to post properly on Twitter.
If you find yourself struggling to focus, or struggling to take a break, you can track your time with something like Toggl. Track your time to find out where it goes, and how long you’re spending on each task. You can use this to prioritize, bill clients accurately or just push yourself to actually take a break when you see how long you’ve spent staring at your computer.
Stay In Touch
The world is well linked up these days, meaning you can work from wherever you are, and keep in touch with any staff or clients easily. Take advantage of Google Docs so you can pick up your work across different computers. Changes can be easily tracked, so multiple people can work on the same document and still know who did what. You can also easily share for others to view or edit, making Google Docs a great way to share work for client sign-off.
Slack is an instant messaging service designed for business. With the mobile app, there’s no need to be in the office to keep talking to your team. Host meetings with it, link it to your Google account to share those Docs or set up calendar reminders.
There are lots of tools online, such as Go To Meeting, that can be used to have meetings with clients wherever you are. You can share screens or presentations as you chat, and it’ll save you the time of travelling to meet in person.
Running a business doesn’t have to be so stressful, and there are many tools, digital and physical, to help you win back some time for yourself. Give yourself a break and let these tools do some of the hardwork for you.
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