In the small business world, we have to make the most of all of our resources, human, financial and otherwise. There’s no question that time is money, and for this reason alone, it’s pertinent to understand how you can automate tasks and use technology to provide some assistance.
I continually look at ways myself and my team can optimize our productivity and I’ve put together a list of tricks and tools we use to ensure that we are making the most of our time. Some tools are strictly marketing tools and some tools make regular office tasks simpler and less time-consuming. Here’s a sampling of productivity tools for small business that we use–it is by no means complete.
1. Dropbox. This is now one of my favorite tools as it makes transferring large files between team members much simpler. We frequently have video files, images and even e-books for both us and our clients that require editing. We use Dropbox to easily access these files and ensure that there’s a back-up copy available for any team member should someone be out of the office.
2. Universal Business Listing. This is an online business directory that I suggest all everyone open an account and register their business. Being found online is incredibly important and this is a great way to help your business get found faster. They have a few options to choose from but I would suggest that the first and second option will suffice for most businesses. Their services start at $75 a year and the next offering is about $129 but for that you get your business listed in about 150 different business directories and it’s even claimed or verified in the search engine directories like Google Places and Yahoo local. And it would take anyone several hours to create an account on all of these directories and that’s just a good use of time if you can have it done and verified for $129. And this also allows for a simple login to one directory should you need to make updates or changes to the listing.
3. Email Marketing Services (EMS). Email marketing is a marketing tactic that just about every business should be using. It’s a great tool to help you stay top of mind with your existing and past client base. The key is to making your client base continue to think of you and for you continue to show how you value your client base. A statistic that is often quoted out there in the marketing world is that about 60% of those clients that leave their supplier leave because of indifference–they think you just don’t care. If done right, email marketing can be used to show how much you care. Some great EMS options include the following: Constant Contact, AWeber, Mailchimp, and Infusionsoft.
4. Spring Metrics. This is a great website analytics tool that allows you to trace the steps of every website visitor. While you can do this in Google Analytics, it takes some time to pull the details together. Spring Metrics does cost about $50 a month, however, as a productivity tool, this is a time-saver.
There are a number of other productivity tools out there. You can access an excellent e-book detailing 7 other incredibly valuable productivity tools. You can download your copy of the [download id=”11″].