Every business owner wants to leverage as much efficiency as possible from a working day. But it can be tricky to reign in wasted time and keep operations as streamlined as possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of tools available today to take energy spent on thinking, planning and organizing and use it to ramp up productivity.
Here are our favourites:
A good first step to a more efficient enterprise is a task manager app – and the simpler, the better.
Wunderlist gets high marks from users precisely because it requires next to no tech knowledge. This straightforward app enables you to share lists and deadlines with easy to manage groups and the dashboard is intuitive enough to allow customized organization solutions – making it a neat tool for students and families too.
If your requirements are a little more intricate, Hitask and Basecamp are more comprehensive time management alternatives that help you assign, manage and organize tasks. With the ability to share files as well as calendars and progress reports these apps are well suited to businesses with more complex team structures.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Beyond a certain point, keeping sales, marketing, tech support and customer service perfectly synchronized can become a nightmare.
Instead of creating a sales engine that guarantees mangled customer interactions and endless back and forth between departments, use CRM software to smoothly line up every step of your sales funnel.
Zoho isn’t free, but is a great place to start to get a full overview of your sales trends and cycles.
For those that already use CRM but are looking for a little more return on investment, Colabo offers even more targeted solutions. It has made the leap from cold emails and phone calls to what it calls ‘the new world of LinkedIn Groups, Meetups and Quora’.
Intelligent File Storage
The clutter never left – modern day business has merely moved the piles of paperwork online.
Intelligent File storage can shave off those wasted hours sharing files via email or directly on a server. There are many options, but a good solution will be quick, secure and take almost no time to set up.
If you’re nervous about cloud storage, it may be a good idea to investigate insurance options, or at least reliable backup for your most sensitive data.
Password Management Tools
Remembering a string of passwords can be stressful even if you’re not trying to run a business.
A clear winner that makes sure you’re not left staring dumbfounded at an empty password field again is LastPass. The app has a free desktop option, but at a mere $12 a year for mobile and full a full feature option, it isn’t bad for improved security and some more personal memory space! The app Includes useful features like automatic password changing in suspected hackings and suggestions on creating better passwords.
Lastly and most importantly, you’ll want budgeting tools for your business that do the trick without you needing an advanced bookkeeping degree.
Epensify is a truly nifty little app that will take the pain out of managing your receipts and expense reports.
Another option is FreshBooks - it’s the perfect all-in-one accounting app for businesses with 50 employees or less and claims to save its users two days a month spent on paperwork and lengthy invoice creation. It also says that, on average, Freshbooks customers double revenue in the first 24 months of usage.
If you are looking for budgeting software products, a great business software comparison site is Capterra. It will help you fine tune a search for software that perfectly suits your company’s needs. If you’re going to splash out on more advanced software, it’ll pay to start your research here.