Productivity Tools for Small Businesses
Do you want to be more productive? First, let's consider how you and your staff are spending time. As your company grows, it becomes increasingly important to keep on top of who is spending how much time doing what. Time management tools can help. Being on top of accountability and process improvement will help you enhance productivity measures.
You may want to track the time spent on various projects to ensure you are billing your clients accurately. Many time-tracking vendors are moving their products to the cloud, offering online subscription-based services ranging from basic to advanced in features and price, so your service can grow with your company.
The most sophisticated programs track employees and include interfaces for time clocks and even biometric readers. Apps for mobile devices allow an employee to clock in via text message or phone call. The fanciest of the available software products include GPS features to track and record locations of employees with mobile devices — these are handy for contractors who work on remote sites. They integrate directly into your accounting software to synchronize payroll and accounting information, saving you and your staff hours of clerical tasks.
Next, with project and task management solutions, project estimates become more accurate, helping you boost your own productivity. Since the growth of a small business depends in large part on efficiency, it's important to find project/task management software to help you maximize output while keeping your team's workload balanced.
Every team is different in terms of workflows, resources and workday demands. Here are some basic criteria to apply when deciding on the program to implement. The program ideally should have the following:
- Free version that allows you to thoroughly test the software over several weeks before committing.
- Task management feature that acknowledges dates so you can add deadlines.
- Collaboration for teams and/or clients, perhaps with some level of in-app collaboration.
- Integration possibilities, so that all your apps integrate with other apps (after all, your project management workflows are at the heart of your company).
- Intuitive interface, so you don't have to spend a significant amount of time reading tutorials to simply use basic features.
- Flexibility, so you can create your own project management methodology.
The best methodology is one that gives you the structure and mental support you need to get your projects out the door efficiently and with quality output.
Finally, you may want to investigate digital enterprise management tools that let you purchase your domain and set up a customized email client, as well as manage and collaborate on internal documents all in one place, with the ability to share calendars, track analytics for your website and launch ad campaigns easily on any of your digital devices. Such overall products offer a unified platform to streamline all back-office processes with built-in business intelligence, reporting and real-time visibility across your organization.
Think about your business's priorities and any concerns you might have about how your business is run. Ask your employees what would help them do their jobs better. This insight will help you create a more efficient and happier workplace.