Stop burning the midnight oil and save significant time with these innovative tools that will transform how you manage your small business.
Do you feel like there are not enough hours in the day? It’s a common sentiment among small business owners, and there’s little wonder why. From marketing and sales to human resources and accounting, entrepreneurs have to wear quite a few hats.
The good news? There’s a range of innovative software tools and apps designed to significantly reduce business admin and increase your productivity, giving you more time to focus on what you do best. Here are the top eight.
1. Moz for easy website SEO
Good SEO is important for your small business website, but identifying the keywords that will get you the most traction and building them into your web content can be time-consuming. Moz can help. It’s an all-in-one SEO tracking and research tool set that monitors weekly search engine keyword rankings for your site and your competitors, prioritises the best keywords to target, and identifies any SEO errors that may be holding your website back.
2. Trello for efficient project management
Say goodbye to trawling through long email chains for information. Track the progress of each project at a glance with Trello, a user-friendly project management platform. Just create a board for each project and add your team members. Then they will be able to post comments in the discussion and share attachments all via one central dashboard.
3. QuickBooks Online for stress-free tax and accounting
See how your business is performing at a glance, get paid twice as fast, track expenses, customise invoices, and run financial reports all from one place. QuickBooks Online is an online accounting software platform that does all that and more. You can even automatically import transactions from your bank account, putting an end to the time-drain of sales and expenses data entry. And if you’re a sole trader, QuickBooks Self-Employed offers a simplified version of the software in a handy mobile application.
4. Shoeboxed for fast receipt management
When you’re running a busy small business, it’s easy to overlook common tax deductions that could save you a chunky return come tax time. Shoeboxed for iOS and Android lets you quickly scan and organise business receipts, create expense reports, and track your business-related car mileage. The ‘classic’ and ‘business’ plans integrate with QuickBooks Online to make managing your accounts even more efficient.
5. Discover.ly for better social networking
Stop wasting time searching for leads through your existing network and automate the process with Discover.ly. The Chrome plug-in automatically displays your email recipients’ social media accounts in a helpful sidebar, so when you send or receive an email, you’ll also see any mutual Facebook friends, shared colleagues on LinkedIn, or joint Twitter contacts. It’s great for identifying shared social networks and breaking the ice with new leads.
6. Charlie HR for no-sweat human resources
Small businesses often don’t have the budget to employ an in-house human resources team, but without one, the business owner is often left to do the lion’s share of HR admin. Charlie HR helps small business owners automate employee onboarding, manage annual leave requests and sick days, and send notifications of important dates, like employee birthdays and anniversaries.
7. Doodle for easy meeting scheduling
How much time do you waste trying to schedule meeting times that work for everyone who needs to attend? With Doodle, simply enter a meeting title and location, select a range of date and time options, then email the Doodle link to your attendees. Everyone can then vote on a time that suits them best. No more wading through ‘reply-all’ emails with people arguing about when and where to meet.
8. MultCloud for simple cloud sharing
File-sharing tools, like Dropbox, OneDrive, Box, and Google Drive, are excellent for transferring files, but when your clients each favour a different file-sharing provider, your logins can quickly become unmanageable. MultCloud is a cloud file manager that brings all your cloud drive accounts into a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
In an era of rapid digitisation and cloud computing, a few well-considered tools can completely transform your small business’s operations. And while some can take a little getting used to, the return of investing in the right piece of software for your small business will far outweigh the cost of time spent trying to do it yourself.
To learn more about how to run your small business efficiently, check out these resources.