Managing your own business is one of the most rewarding, and yet, the most stressful and time-consuming jobs you could ever do. Time is never enough for a business owner to get everything done, especially as a startup, and this can stop your plans to increase productivity.
To make sure you stay organised and maximise your time, you just need some handy tools that will make your business run more efficiently without having to spend much or waste days and weeks on lengthy implementation processes.
Also, being able to precisely track the time spent on various projects lets you bill your clients accurately and manage your time more efficiently.
With that in mind, we’ve researched some of the most cost-effective tools that are available to help you increase productivity. However, the one thing they all have in common is- they are designed to help you run your business more productively and save you considerable amounts of time.
1. Communication and Collaboration:
From speaking with clients to emails, chasing down team members, and monitoring availability of team members, no matter what kind of business you run, you’re going to need to communicate with people pretty much all the time. Face to face meetings often involve time-wasting and the cost of travelling. Considering that, we’ve selected a few of the best communication tools to help you increase productivity and communicate more efficiently.
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom has become one of the most used video conferencing platforms for organisations to host meetings, Webinars, conferences, training, and online classes.
Although there are many video chat apps like the old favourite, Skype, but Zoom we recommend Zoom for a number of reasons. Zoom makes it easy for you to invite multiple attendees to your meeting and you can have up to 100, even in the free plan. You can easily record sessions, host your own conference calls, and a whole host of other amazing features.
Slack is another communication tool that allows Live chat and collaboration for teams. Not only can you create your own Slack workspace for your company and take advantage of all the usual collaboration features, but you can also use it to connect with other communities and entrepreneurs around the globe. You can also learn, network, and develop you and your team while using it.
With Google docs, you can create, write, access, edit, and collaborate wherever you go with your entire team and clients – from your phone, tablet, or computer – even when there’s no connection. It is a widely used document storage and works management software that allows individuals to collaborate. The cool thing about this is that it allows for smart editing and styling tools.
2. Project Management Tools
The use of project management tools can really help in your quest to increase productivity. While it would be nice to have a few project managers at your beck and call, the truth is that it would cost more. But thanks to digital technology and innovation, you don’t need hundreds of project managers to stay productive.
As a matter of fact, all you really need is a mobile or web device armed with the right productivity apps to keep for proper planning and project management. The following tools will help you successfully plan, measure, and deliver effectively on your business project both your desktop and mobile, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.
With project management tools like Wrike, you, your team and your clients can stay connected with each other no matter where you are. It offers a roadmap for maintaining operations during times of change. It allows you to see at-risk projects, helps you track employee availability, and makes communication simple. This app lets you create projects, monitor the progress, and time the process of production when completed.
Another sure tool for project management is Asana which allows you to move work from start to finish with tasks, projects, conversations and dashboards. The cool thing about this one is that you can see the progress of any project at a glance, without scheduling a status meeting or sending an email. You can turn conversations into actionable tasks so that you can take the next step.
Trello is an amazing free to use project management and collaboration tool that uses cards to organize your ideas. It breaks your project process into stages: doing, not done, and done- so you can easily know the stage at which your task is at.
3. Time-Tracking Tools
Time is money. Time tracking tools help you track how efficient one in within a given time period. This will help you in your strategy to increase productivity. One outstanding reason to track your time as a business owner is to ascertain the accurate amount of time spent on a particular project in order to bill clients properly, or pay your employees correctly.
Toggl is a simple time tracker tool that helps you get things done. It’s a super simple, super-easy way to track the time it takes to complete various tasks. Toggl also lets you look at reports and see how much time you spent on different projects throughout the week. It helps you know how much your time is worth by breaking down your hours by projects, clients and tasks to see what’s making you money, and what’s holding you back. With Toggl, you ditch projects that consume your time without making money for you.
Hubstaff is another time-tracking and monitoring software trusted by a large number of remote teams. With Hubstaff, you can monitor what your employees are working on. You can even go as far as monitoring employee internet use. This will help you see what websites they’re visiting, and even track which apps employees use the most.
For instance, if you are a business owner who is into logistics and the likes, you can use Hubstaff mobile app that uses GPS to track employees’ time and location on the road; employees can also track time on their mobile devices. This is a good solution if you want to monitor employees, remote or otherwise, closely and keep tabs on productivity.
4. Social Media
Creating and publishing content can be pretty overwhelming coupled with other jobs social media marketers have to complete every day. Sometimes, social media can be a huge time-suck, if you’re not careful. These tools will help you benefit from social media without feeling like you’re a full-time “influencer”. Check them out below;
HootSuite has been around for a while and it’s tremendously helpful when managing various social media accounts. If you have a company social profile, most times, manually keeping up with your posts may not be sustainable. HootSuite helps to monitor all your social activity across networks in one easy-to-use dashboard. It lets you schedule posts, curate online content, analyse results and metrics from your posts. It can even monitor conversations online. This will help you quickly find and jump into customer discussions or complaints. The timely response will wow your audience.
Buffer makes it extremely easy to share web articles via social media without any hassle.
With this tool, you can easily post or share on all your social networks. Buffer helps you to schedule this content in advance across all your social media channels from one single platform. You don’t need to post to social media platforms individually. Just set it all up once in Buffer and schedule it.
That concludes our list of top business productivity tools! May they lead your business to a speedier, more efficient and productive one! Should you require customised productivity tools for your business, don’t hesitate to reach out.