Many small business owners struggle with time management. There are just so many things to do every day! But packing your schedule with business-related tasks leaves little to no room for free time. Finding time for hobbies, self-care, and socialization is essential for achieving a good work-life balance—and avoiding the damaging mental and physical effects of burnout.
Technology can help you make the most of your work hours so that you can work more efficiently and carve out more time for yourself. From optimizing inventory tracking to automating customer relationship management, there are many ways to leverage apps to boost your productivity. Hooed.com invites you to read on to find out more!
Inventory Management Automation
Manual inventory tracking is incredibly time-consuming. As your business grows, it will only become more challenging to manage your inventory using clipboards, calculators, and spreadsheets. Do yourself a favor and invest in reliable inventory management software. An effective software solution will boost efficiency, reduce errors, and help you optimize product pricing for greater profitability. If you sell products online, look for an ERP solution for wholesale distribution that integrates customer orders across different sales platforms like Amazon and Shopify.
It’s no surprise that business owners spend a lot of time on accounting. After all, regular and consistent bookkeeping is essential to the long-term success of any business. But you don’t have to spend hours every day on financial data entry. Look for an accounting app equipped with all the features you need to automate expense tracking, invoices, ongoing bills, employee payroll, taxes, and more. Beyond saving time, automating these accounting tasks will eliminate the risk of human error and ensure your business remains compliant with state and federal tax regulations.
Online Scheduling Software
Scheduling is another area where you can make time-saving upgrades. With old phone-based booking systems, you need someone around to manage calls and arrange bookings manually. And unless you dedicate time to daily appointment reminder calls, you risk high rates of costly no-shows.
Investing in online scheduling software will make it much easier to schedule appointments, manage meetings, or book consultation calls. Carson eCommerce suggests looking for an online booking system that includes automatic rebooking reminders, a configurable calendar with real-time availability, and round-the-clock booking capabilities that work on any device. To save even more time, find a booking system that allows customers to pay for their appointments in advance!
Project Management Apps
Business owners spend a lot of their time coordinating projects and communicating with team members. This is where project management apps come in! Whether you manage an in-house team, remote team, or a mixture of the two, a reliable project management app will help you delegate work, assign projects, and monitor progress from anywhere. Apps like these can reduce time spent in meetings with your team and avoid costly consequences of miscommunication. Some great project management tools to try include Asana, Trello, and Basecamp. Some project management tools may be better suited to your business than others, so try a few until you find one that works best for your team!
Cloud-Based File Storage and Sharing
Pairing your project management apps with file-sharing tools like Google Drive and Dropbox will make it even easier to collaborate with team members without sending countless emails back and forth. Besides enabling effortless collaboration, cloud storage is secure, affordable, and accessible from anywhere in the world. This means that you can access, review, and edit business documents on the go! Plus, you get complete control over who has to access each file, so you can easily delegate work without sharing passwords or sending secure documents over email.
Contract Management Software
Service-based businesses, like web development or consulting, require a lot of time spent on contract management. After all, maintaining good contract management practices can protect your business in the event of a legal dispute with a client. Sending, updating, and organizing client contracts isn’t easy. Things get even more complicated when you onboard other freelancers! A disorganized contract process can lead to issues with missed deadlines, scope creep, and an increased risk of liabilities.
A contract management app will provide a centralized hub where you can organize and manage all of your past, present, and upcoming contracts. Storing all of your contracts in one place will make it much easier to keep your clients and contractors happy!
Social Media Automation
When it comes to marketing your business, social media automation apps are some of the best tools for the job. Social media automation tools will streamline your social media strategy so you can spend less time posting and responding to comments and more time creating valuable content for your social feeds. For example, Canva is great for designing social media content and scheduling posts in advance. Hootsuite is a helpful tool for monitoring your social accounts so you can respond to comments and questions more efficiently. Apps like these will help you maximize the benefits of content marketing without spending all of your time on social media.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management (CRM) is another one of those time-consuming business tasks that can be easily automated. Besides saving time, customer relationship management tools will also help you build stronger connections with your followers and encourage repeat business. As GreenGeeks explains, CRM apps like HubSpot and Salesflare can help you organize and track customer interactions from a single dashboard, so you can resolve customer inquiries quickly and move on with your day. The best CRM tools include mobile app versions so you can monitor customer interactions and engage with your customers on the go!
Today’s small business owners have access to countless apps and online tools that offer invaluable savings in terms of time and money. Incorporating technology into your small business is always a good investment. If you’re looking for ways to work faster and enjoy more free time, apps are your answer!