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Tech tools that don’t kill time: 7 Productivity tools for small business owners

Oct 12, 2019, 9:26 am

Time is money. The more time you spend doing menial tasks, the less time you’re out creating customers.

You can’t do everything yourself, and it doesn’t make sense to try. The more work you take on, the less productive you are.

There is a simple way around this dilemma, though. You can use a number of different productivity tools to do things faster. That means you spend way less time on small tasks, so you can focus on the ones that add the most value to your bottom line.

Do you want to know the top tools you need to have, to get more done in less time? Keep reading to find out what they are.

1. CRM

Your customers are at the heart of your business. They expect to have the highest level of service and they’re not going to wait for it.

A customer relationship management tool keeps customer information in one place for all departments to see.

For example, a prospect has a call with a sales rep. The sales rep enters detailed notes into the CRM. The prospect then calls back and speaks with a customer service rep. That rep can verify the information the salesperson left and answer the prospect’s questions on the spot.

That prevents the prospect from having to explain everything over and hoping that that gets through.

A CRM tool keeps everyone on the same page, gives customers excellent service, and keeps you and your team from scrambling to find call notes.

2. Email automation

How often do you communicate with your email list? It may be when you get the chance, which means hardly ever.

There are email marketing solutions that automate the process for you. It takes time to set these up, but when you do, then you can let the program roll on its own.

Someone can signup for your newsletter and you can send out automated messages over the period of a week to introduce people to your company and offer products or services.

Another advantage here is reporting. You can see how people are opening and engaging with your emails.

3. Time tracking and payroll

A lot of business owners do payroll themselves. This can mean hours each week figuring out how many hours everyone worked and how much they should get paid.

You can cut down on that time by using an employee time clock. That ensures that your employees are in fact working and you know exactly how much to pay them. Find out more about this type of tool.

4. Communication tools

Do you have a team of workers to manage? If they all work remotely, you need a way to communicate with them efficiently.

Gone are the days of stopping by someone’s cubicle for a quick question. You know that could turn into a 20-minute conversation about nothing.

Instead, communications tools like Slack can get those questions answered fast. It can also help your team feel a little more connected, even when they’re all over the world.

5. Scheduling tools

How much time do you spend going back and forth with people to schedule an appointment? It’s a pain because you can tentatively schedule an appointment with someone and hold that spot for them for days, only to find that doesn’t work for them.

In the meantime, you lost that slot for good because you can’t fill it up with another appointment.

The best way to avoid that scenario is to use a scheduling tool. You send the link to the person to book a time with you, and that’s it.

The program will email or text reminders to them to make sure that they show up for the appointment or reschedule.

6. Tools to help you focus

The more focused you are on your work, the more productive you are. These productivity tools will help you with a wide array of tasks and speed up the amount of time it takes to do them.

However, if you are easily distracted by the latest news or social media, you’re still not going to get much done.

It’s hard to stay sharp during the course of an 8 hour day. There are some productivity tools that will help you stay focused while you’re working.

One is called Focus At Will. It’s a music streaming service that uses neuroscience to develop different types of music that improve your level of focus for a longer period of time.

This is great while you’re trying to write blog posts, emails, or other individual tasks.

Another focus tool is a Pomodoro timer. This is based on the theory developed by Francesco Cirillo that says you’re more productive when you work for 20 minutes and take a 5-minute break.

You can try out these different tools and see which ones give you that added boost of productivity.

7. Password tools

One of the biggest reasons why accounts are breached is because people still use horrible passwords like ‘password123.’

It’s hard to memorize strong passwords, but you have to have them for security purposes. There are programs like LastPass that acts as a vault for your passwords.

It also saves time from having to find the different passwords you have.

Top productivity tools for a better business

There are only a few hours a day to get everything done. You don’t want to work 24 hours a day, which will only lead to burnout.

What you can do is invest a small amount of money in productivity tools. There are tools that will fill just about any need, from customer service, sales, marketing, and help you stay focused.

You may want to experiment with these tools to see which ones help you spend less time on your business so you can focus your efforts on growing your business.

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