Unless you live under a rock, you’re well aware of how vital using up-to-date technology is for your small or medium-sized business. From invoicing software to time management apps to installing appropriate cloud-based solutions, technology is important. It is not a fad. Some days it can feel like you are totally in the dark about the health of your business, which is where software, technology tools, and apps can clarify where your business really is at.
Divided below are several bullet points of areas within your business that you may want to integrate technology, as well as a list of software and app options that you may find useful in implementing.
The financial health of your business is integral to making sure it becomes a success, or continues to flourish and grow. Below are several financial-based software options to make sure your company’s finances are well-organized.
- DocuWare – This SaaS option is an invoice processing software that digitizes invoices so you have less physical paper trails. It helps expedite payments, which means that your business can spend less time on data entry and chasing down unpaid invoices, and more time actually receiving payments. Growing a business is only possible when you are financially secure, so this is a good option if you realize you’re spending more time on paperwork than you should be.
- Gusto. This platform helps small and medium-sized businesses with their payroll, time-tracking, and medical benefits. Gusto calculates and files the appropriate payroll taxes for your business, and getting a new employee up-and-running with Gusto is super simple. (If you used Gusto in the past, you might not know it, since in 2012 it was called ZenPayroll, and has since been rebranded.)
- Expensify. If your team members travel often for work, you can’t go without Expensify. The app scans receipts, allows next-day reimbursements, and takes out all the annoying aspects of filing an expense report. Take a picture of the receipt, and Expensify does the rest. Seriously; it’s that easy. You’ll be able to know exactly what expenses are being reported, even when an employee is still out of town, long before they would normally file their expense reports.
- Square. If you are a small business with a storefront, Square is a great payment app option. Instead of requiring an entire point of sales system, it allows you to attach a small card reader to your smartphone so that you can receive payment directly. If your business provides physical services, this can be an ideal way to make payment receiving super simple.
Do you ever wonder if your memos and emails are really being read? If you’re not sure what is actually being communicated at your workplace, it may be time to invest in software or tools that will help with your communication. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more necessary than before to overcommunicate, even when it feels like you’ve said something before. Below are three options to help with communicating with others.
- Slack. The instant messaging platform of slack took the world by storm over the last several years. This is an ideal solution for a fully-remote team, or even for team members that work in the same office but don’t want to verbally meet over every question. It integrates with multiple third-party services and has an API that allows automation of processes so that the appropriate team members and teams are notified when certain events occur.
- Pushover. Pushover is a great app to help manage, you guessed it, push notifications. It can alert you about anything you’d like to be notified of, so it can be incredibly helpful if you’re waiting for a team member to take action on a task or project. With the push notification, you can easily utilize that information. Configuring your custom notifications is relatively straightforward so that you can get up and running with the app quickly.
- MailChimp. This is all about the communication you have with your customers. Building and managing your mailing lists so that you can communicate effectively to your clientele shouldn’t have to be difficult. MailChimp simplifies that. The SaaS offers customized email templates, provides weekly detailed performance reports, audience data, and allows you to send your customers relevant emails. If your business is very small, MailChimp offers a free option. (MailChimp is not solely email oriented, either, offering landing pages, postcards, and social options.)
When it comes to time management, there is both team management and individual time management. While most of these fall under the individual role, they can be great options to recommend to your team.
Team-based time management
- Trello. This is hands-down one of the most popular project management tools, and encourages your team to schedule and reach deadlines. It also allows your team to create projects, schedules, and tasks. Trello is based on team collaboration and works best if you follow the Kanban method.
- Asana. Similar to Trello, Asana platform allows your team to work together to track and manage every aspect of a specific project which can help with reaching specific deadlines. You can also integrate a TrackingTime button that integrates with Asana to learn more about the places your team spends most of their productive time.
- Toggl. This is more of a time-tracking tool than a management tool, but it integrates with 100 different applications for better time-tracking, and shows you where you’re spending the majority of your workday.
Individual-based time management
- Omnifocus. With a 14-day free trial, there’s no reason not to try out omnifocus. If you find your employees tend to get distracted with all the ideas and tasks they are working on, omnifocus is a great recommendation since it syncs with all your devices to make sure your tasks are all in one place. You also get a heads-up whenever it is time to switch priorities so procrastination is reduced, and there is less lag time between tasks. If you are struggling with focus issues, you can also check out an earlier blog that dives into how to be productive throughout a workday.
- RescueTime. This tool tracks where you spend your time while using a computer, and allows you to rate those places as productive or less productive. It is highly detailed, provides fantastic data, and is toted as PCMag’s favorite productivity app. If you are looking to make the most of your workday, give RescueTime a try.
If you feel like you can’t ever fully get organized, it may be time to integrate some smart software or applications to help you sort through your piles of to-do lists. Below are two organizational apps that can help you with hiring and keeping your contacts organized.
Proven. This platform helps organize your hiring so that you can post your job listings to multiple job boards, sort through application responses quickly, and categorize potential candidates into different buckets to consider them. If your business ebbs and flows sporadically, or if you simply hire for seasonal times, you likely don’t need a recruiter but would benefit from an app like Proven. You can save money on hiring, cut back on any HR, and still be able to acquire knowledgeable candidates. Proven has just been acquired by Upward.net, so you will likely see some significant changes, but hopefully the meshing of the two will be a force to be reckoned with.
Addappt. Thirty years ago, every business has an address and phone book. Now, with smartphones, people are simply slotted into a new contact. However, that can become highly confusing when working with multiple people. Addappt manage contacts to keep you organized, and it also organizes contacts into groups or teams of people.
Dropbox. This isn’t new, by any means, but this cloud-based software allows your team to share files and data from any device they are on. This means that they can pick up on their work laptop right where someone else left off on their smartphone. Dropbox is the most popular platform to share files in the cloud and is a wonderful option for remote workers.
Technology is important for the health of a business. The more data and reports you have at your fingertips, from itemized expense reports to how you and your team are being most productive with time-tracking software, the better you will understand where your company is at. Integrating each of these apps all at once would not overwhelming, so take a step back and identify where you think your company needs the most help. If you constantly feel like your team under communicating, or stepping on each other’s toes, consider switching over to Slack. Not sure where all the productive time is going in a given week or month? Maybe it’s time to make the jump toe RescueTime or Asana.
Don’t bombard your employees with all of these at once, but instead implement the ones that make the most sense, and ask your employees if there are certain software options they find valuable that you could use within your company.