Do you need more time and money to run your business? A productivity boost can help!
What business couldn’t do with a bit of extra time – or an additional zero in their bank account balance? Almost universally, small businesses need time and money. How we manage our time directly affects how much money we bring in.
Fortunately, though, technology can be on our side here. Or, conversely, it can work against us. Case in point: the Internet. Using the Internet to contact vendors and clients? Good move, and usually considerably faster than the phone calls and snail mails of yesteryear. Using the Internet to binge-watch epic YouTube fails? Not so much.
Making Technology Your Productivity Booster
Let’s have a quick look at three types of technology that your business can use to better manage its time, starting with on-the-fly apps.
Mobile Apps. From note-taking apps to cloud-based document storage, mobile apps are a great way to stay connected when you can’t be connected to your laptop or desktop. Popular business-related apps include Dropbox and Evernote, which allow you to swap and store information. Google’s Calendar app doesn’t just sync up with your personal account; you can also use it as a team-scheduling app. Like other components of the Google Apps ecosystem, any changes are automatically stored online. (At least, they are if you set the app to sync with your other devices. Turn this feature off and you’re on your own, quite literally.)
CRM Software. Think of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software as your sales and support brain. Not only does this help you keep track of leads and monitor all customer interactions – complaints, questions, and other service-related issues – it also helps you stay on top of your social media presence. Oh, it also does your help desk… and sometimes your finances… and HR. In other words, you need CRM, and it can be quite affordable – like free, in some cases.
Time-Management Software. Finally, let’s talk about the simplest tool of the bunch. By an odd coincidence, it’s one we all should use, especially those of us who are easily distracted. Call it a tracker, a timer, or what you will. Basically, it’s a gadget that monitors how much work you actually do when you ‘work’ on your computer. When used in conjunction with time blocking – taking, say, 20 minutes to answer emails before embarking on a big project – this humble and simple device can show you some hard truths about your work style. And if you’re not willing to install one on your PC, a basic kitchen timer (mine is shaped like an egg) will help you stay on track.
So go ahead – spend 15 minutes with your business social media account. When your timer goes off, get back to your CRM software and start working more productively. And keep up with TechSperts Services’ blog, TechSperts Talks, for more news and tips every week.