Updated: Nov 27, 2019
It’s easy to get caught up in the day to day of running our business and keep struggling with the status quo. But, did you know there are so many easy wins with technology? I’m going to show you how it can improve your business’s productivity with a few little tweaks to your processes.
Don’t be afraid to invest in the right technology for your business, it will make all the difference in the long run. But if you’re not ready to invest yet, here are five simple ways that some basic tech can improve your day to day productivity.
1.Get your customer relationship management (CRM) online
Imagine, a platform that allows you to track your entire customer journey! No more spreadsheets, or hunting through emails and folders looking for a critical piece of information! Every touch point you have with a client is centrally recorded and available to you and your team anytime! This allows you to be more efficient and helps you focus on delivering great service.
There are plenty of online CRM platforms out there. I use Hubspot (www.hubspot.com) which is free, and it’s perfect for my basic needs. It integrates with Gmail and logs every email to and from my clients. I can schedule meetings, log telephone calls, attach documents, make notes and even add tasks to the client record.
2.Do your bookkeeping online
An online accounting package may seem like an extravagance when you first start out. It can be tempting to use spreadsheets rather than pay for something like Xero or Quickbooks. Depending on your business needs, and level of reporting required, you could start out with a free package like Wave Apps (www.waveapps.com).
Accounting packages integrate with your bank account and pull your transactions into the software automatically; they also allow you to upload receipts to the software using an app on your phone. They are a huge productivity enabler for you and your business and it’s definitely worth taking the time to set one up.
3.Keep on top of your tasks and projects
Many of us have to juggle projects involving multiple stakeholders - even if it’s just you and your VA.
Project management software is invaluable to keep track of your own actions and projects as well as those you’ve assigned to others.
These types of platforms allow you to plan, track, organise and review with the goal of improving productivity. They allow you to:
· Manage tasks and priorities and track your team’s work
· Communicate centrally
· Collaborate effectively
· Share and store files relevant to the project
· Manage your time more effectively
Popular project management platforms include Asana, Trello and BaseCamp. I use Asana (www.asana.com); but that’s my personal preference as they are all quite similar.
4.Store documents in the cloud
Storing documents in the cloud is a must! You can work on documents at the same time as others, you’ll never use an out of date document again, and better yet, you’ll never lose a document if your hardware dies!
Also, with file sizes getting bigger it’s becoming more and more difficult to email documents, photos and videos.
You can assign access at a file or folder level so it’s easy to ensure that people only have access to the documents you want them to.
Whether you decide to use Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox or something else, make sure that you set up a folder structure that makes sense to you and your business. I have a basic folder structure that I use for my clients – feel free to get in touch if you’d like a copy as a starting point.
5.Get your programs talking to each other
The more programs you can integrate, the better it is for you and your time!
Get add-ons for your email account – for example, did you know you can create an Asana or Trello task directly from an email in GMail?
If you want to go one step further, you could consider using a program like Zapier (www.zapier.com) to move data from one program to another. Think about things like client onboarding where you need to set them up in your accounting software, DMS and project management software. Tools like Zapier can do this for you automatically. The free version allows five integrations (or zaps as they like to call them!)
Taking some time out to research and implement some of these time saving platforms is going to be well worth it in the long run!
Blog Author Bio
Head Empress – Empress of Order
Marie Robertson-King is the Head Empress of organisation and systems at Empress of Order. After spending decades in the corporate world, she is now bringing her wealth of experience in administration, reporting, communications and procedures to the small business community!
Marie has worked across multiple industries in her career - construction, mining, aviation and finally oil and gas. She’s obsessed with detail, loves organisation, order and making life easier for her clients. She gets a kick out of a well-executed spreadsheet or a beautiful presentation, and she’s well known for producing work to a high standard, even under pressure.
Marie lives in the beautiful Perth Hills with her husband and two fur babies, Jasper and Willow. She loves coffee in the morning and champagne in the evening! Her favourite travel destinations are Paris and Reim in France – can you guess why?
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