By Robert Cordray
Too much information is not a surprising thing in this age of technology. The very thing that came to rescue businesses in the name of know-how is the same that is bombarding us with a lot of data.
Information that gets geared towards an audience is useful. Small business owners grappling with this phenomena are finding comfort in tools that help them find valuable information in the existing pile and can guide them make maximum profits while easing their ways of doing business.
These tools targeting business owners for increased efficiency simplify work making it easy to extract information and produce refined data that business people can effortlessly consume.
The following nine digital tools help in improving business productivity:
According to the Business Growth Hub, email is now the official mail communication around businesses. It has almost replaced the post office. It is fast and efficient.
Mail Chimp is a tool that comes in the email which has opened tremendous opportunities in the marketing sector. A small business owner can now reach multitudes of people through email campaigns that would otherwise have been inaccessible.
It creates campaigns using the drop and drag feature, automatically sends emails to customers and integrates with superior platforms like Shopify to increase customer satisfaction and experience.
Slack is a communication solution for teams. Irrespective of location, members can meet to discuss business issues over the platform. A positive benefit of this is that it has a private channel that supports private conversations. It has universal apps and real-time time active directory and features like guest access among others. It is increasingly being used in new hire training.
Kanban allows the business owner to list all the tasks in a well-planned manner. Project management is made easy and fun by using the kanban board.
It comes with two packages which are free and premium, and comes with the advantage of file attachments, time spent report, integrates drop box, Excel export, and other functional tools that benefit the small businesses.
Progress tracking is no longer a big deal for small businesses. The team can now track their progress with this tool called Asana.
This tool is ideal for large groups. It is available for free for 15 members, and beyond that the business owner will have to pay the premium. It comes with an unlimited number of team members and guests.
It is a tool that provides solutions for small businesses that require help in swiping of credit cards for payments.
It is a great product that handles digital receipts, generates sales as well as tracking inventory.
Expense tracking for most small businesses has always been a challenge but not anymore. Expensify which comes with an OCR technology converts the details in a receipt into a code and is automatically captured by the system in use. This app also tracks business travels letting the business owner know when to clip those trips and expenses.
This fantastic tool has features such as real-time expense reports as well as advanced tax tracking and many other excellent features.
Payrolls and bookkeeping operations can now be performed quickly. It is no longer a preserve for the expensive accountants, but anyone with a little instruction can operate this tool. The small business owner will benefit from having his business well organized as well as balanced accounting. Other useful features include tracking of expenses, creating of customer invoices and estimates, and managing bills among others.
Worried about how you can track your billable hours? Time Stamp has been designed with you in mind. If your company pays per the time, then this tool brings in features that not only helps in tracks the hours but also allows for the forecasting of future projects as well as ensure project profitability and other critical tasks.
HootSuite is a social media management tool that measures your social marketing and plans for your messages. It can manage up to 100 social profiles and does analysis complete with reports for better performance. Small Biz Trends terms this as an excellent tool in moving small businesses forward. It removes inefficiencies and ensures a faster work environment.
As well as these, it is worth looking into companies like Allen Communication, a corporate training company in conjunction with other players in the market have designed tools and programs for small business owners’ to increase their productivity.
Robert Cordray is a former business consultant and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience and a wide variety of knowledge in multiple areas of the industry. Follow him at @RobertCordray.