For self-employed business owners, time is money. Every minute you spend on email, bookkeeping, and other administrative tasks is a minute you’re not generating cash flow.
So when you need to make more money, start with saving time. Brought to you by Canadian Technology Magazine, these are the time-saving technologies that empower small businesses to grow.
Start with the way you manage your money. Are you spending hours on manual data entry or worse, letting financial management lapse? It’s impossible to know if your small business is thriving or failing without accurate numbers, which is why financial software is the first place a small business should invest.
Accounting software is the one financial tool every company needs. Accounting software automates bookkeeping to improve speed and accuracy. The best products integrate with business apps for banking, inventory, invoicing, and payroll to compile all your financial data in one place.
Financial software for businesses needs to be both convenient and compliant. That’s especially true when it comes to payroll processing. Payroll software makes it easy to pay employees on time, every time while ensuring compliance with federal and state laws. A comprehensive payroll offering should include automatic tax payments and filing, payroll reports, and the ability to manage payroll deductions. For optimum efficiency, choose a platform with integrated time tracking.
Time tracking shows you how employees are spending their time, but it doesn’t improve efficiency on its own. If you find staff spend too much time coordinating and not enough getting things done, add project management software to your tech stack. Project management apps streamline task management, communication, and collaboration via a centralized dashboard.
Like project management tools, video conferencing apps were first popularized by telecommuters. However, virtual meeting tools come in handy for all types of teams.
Take scheduling for example: Modern companies increasingly hire employees around the country and globe. While this is great for talent acquisition, it’s tough for scheduling meetings. Scheduling tools make it easy to find a time that works for everyone. Video conferencing platforms also come with recording, live caption, and screen sharing capabilities to improve information accessibility.
These tools help companies manage teams, but what about customer-facing tech? Managing contacts, sending emails, and other lead management tasks consume a lot of a small business’s time.
Customer Relationship Management systems are the go-to solution for businesses seeking to improve lead management and grow their sales. While CRM software used to be affordable only to enterprise-level organizations, today’s software solutions include options for small business budgets.
The best small business CRM software is user-friendly and not bloated with unnecessary features. Look for software that offers workflow automation and pipeline management along with flexible reporting and marketing integrations.
You can also save time by helping customers help themselves. If your small business website is nothing but a landing page, consider how you can add function and efficiency to your website.
Online appointment booking is one popular self-service solution for small businesses. Other technologies to improve a website’s functionality include live chat and chatbots and product and demo videos. Online communities are another great way to improve your customers’ experience with your website. If you’re looking to grow yours, professional services can help you engage, convert, and monetize your digital audience through their suite of engagement and content moderation tools. Rather than thinking of your business website as merely a digital business card, ask how you can leverage web technology to work for you.
It’s common for bootstrapping business owners to do everything themselves to save money. But at some point, you need to transition from doing it all to doing more.