When it comes to being more productive, you’ve got to give a hand to technology. Just think of how much less we’d get done when it comes to business efficiency if we didn’t have the Internet and all those amazing apps we use to get work done.

Still, I’m amazed at how many people still do certain tasks the hard way, when there are easier ways to do them online. Take a leap into the 21st century by updating these business processes.

1. Scheduling Your Staff

If you run a business that operates with an ever-changing schedule, you might be manually hand-writing the weekly schedule or entering it into an unwieldy spreadsheet. There’s a better way.

Employee scheduling software takes all those moving pieces and parts — who can work when, who’s on vacation, who needs to shadow a more seasoned employee — and puts them together. You can create a repeating schedule, see vacation requests, and even email or text your staff their weekly schedule.

2. Managing Your Finances

The term “balancing your checkbook” has become obsolete for many people, but not all. If you’re still pulling out a calculator to figure out your business bank account balance, you’re wasting serious time.

Now there are accounting platforms that are dead simple to use, even for those of us who hated math in school. You can not only manage your expenses, but also send invoices to clients and even get paid online.

3. Make More Money

Speaking of getting paid online, technology has really elevated the cash-only business and helped it become more profitable. You no longer need a clunky merchant processing credit card machine to accept debit and credit cards. Now you can add a tiny card swiper to your phone or tablet and accept card payments anywhere you are. Most mobile payment platforms also allow you to accept payments online for ecommerce.

4. Hold Meetings

Sometimes it’s a challenge to gather everyone you need to meet within the meeting room. But there’s an easier way to do so, thanks to video conferencing services. You can hold one-on-one video chats or create a meeting with multiple attendees. You can even record the call, show your computer screen, or send notes while talking.

5. Pay People

Whether you need to pay your employees or pay suppliers, writing checks is part of running a business for every entrepreneur. But checks, too, have become all but obsolete, at least as we’ve known them. In the past, you had to pull out your big business checkbook and handwrite each one. Now you can use your bank’s billpay service or a payroll processing company.

If your vendors send you electronic invoices, you usually have the option to pay with a credit card online. That saves the hassle of worrying that the mail lost the check and you getting slapped with a late fee.

As you can see, technology makes a lot of what we used to do offline a lot simpler and more efficient online.

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