Using Tools of the Trade: Entrepreneurs and Small Business Owners Share Their Favourite Tools to Run Their Business Effectively
For small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), future growth depends on how efficient a leader can be with their organisation’s time. Automating tasks and giving yourself the freedom to focus on projects that drive more business is the best way to revolutionise your company and your bottom line.
In the UK, there are 5.3 million micro-businesses that employ 0-9 people and account for 32% of employment in the country. With micro-businesses making up a large percentage of the workforce, it’s paramount that these businesses invest in technology to help increase their productivity and business impact.
How to Revolutionise Your Business
Investments in technologies and software is one of the best ways to allow business growth to happen. A recent report from American Express found that micro businesses were spending an average of $225,379 per year on business expenses, with technology investments being the 3rd largest expense at 19 percent.
SME leaders understand how tech investments can boost their business. James Sinclair from Trade Finance Global says, “Software as a service (SaaS) tools can help accelerate efficiency, growth and product launches within the small and medium business space.” But how do you know which tools are right for you?
Technology and software services are a booming business themselves. There is a tech product for seemingly every business need today. However, you don’t need every single product available. Leaders should take advantage of the demonstrations and free trials that tech product companies offer to test if the software will meet their needs before making an investment.
Take advantage of whatever training and customer support is offered. The software is only going to make your business more productive if you understand how to use it fully and efficiently. Also set time aside at the same time each year to review your tools. David Shaw from Business Computer Solutions states, “We review our technology stack often to ensure that we are utilising the very best tools on the market to serve our customers as well as our own systems to run the business.” An investment in a tool is a waste if it’s not leading to improvements to your bottom line.
Time Saved is Money Made
Seb Dean from Imaginaire understands the importance of automating small tasks. Seb shares, “It sounds like a minor thing, but I’ve always felt that if you can save 30 seconds on tasks that are carried out daily, you’re going to make some pretty decent gains across the organisation as a whole.” Jill Holtz from Digital4Sales agrees by saying, “time is of the essence and anything that can help save time is a good thing in my book.”
Competition for business is stiff too. “Any significant goal will require you to go out and pursue it, usually in competition with others,” says Ben Richardson from Acuity Training. Help your business stay agile and competitive by investing in tools that allow you to focus on your main offering more effectively.
Saving time and money is one of the main reasons QuickBooks came to be a business – we wanted to help SMEs by handling the heavy-lifting on their daily accounting tasks so they can focus on what matters most to their mission.
Check out our graphic below for the top tools that SMEs like you use to make their business more productive and more profitable. There are solutions for a variety of issues. Did we miss any? What tools does your SME use to run your business effectively?
Sara Colligan — Oneresource
Kat Wczesniak — XpertSM
Elisa Duriavig — VA solutions
Elaine Ross — Freedom Solutions
Jill Holtz — Digital4Sales
Alison Hadley — Alison Hadley
Angela Tempest — The Blogging Blog
Emma Jauncey — ValueAdd
Nicola Francis — Purple Square Design
Russell Davies — Lobster
Sidse Sorensen — Digital Impact
Seb Dean — Imaginaire
Ben Richardson — Acuity Training
Sophie Singer — Zelst
Hannah Urbanek — Think Productive
Rob Kendal — Created Red Media
Stephen Rademan — Life Design Group
Daljeet Singh — The London Coaching Group
Ross Barnes Moore — alldayPA
Tom Previte — Launch22
Jessie Davies — Signable
Sarah Banks — Banks’ Business Solutions
Mark Persaud — Divine Aesthetic
Rebecca Newenham — Get Ahead VA
Jason Miller — JM Graphic Design
Rachel Weinhold — GrowTraffic
Jennifer Villa — Invoq Marketing
Grace Chen — Hubble
David Shaw — Business Computer Solutions
John Rooney — Klood Digital
Nick Powell — Stronger Self
Zeina Barker — Vefficient
Garry Hunt — DIG LAB
Sadie Finch — Sadie Finch
James Sinclair — Trade Finance Global
Anna — RotaCloud
Polly Dhaliwal — Appdopt
Kayleigh Brindley — Admin Angels
Leanne Palmer — Flowbird
Bernie Mitchell — Bernie J Mitchell