Productivity. It’s a buzzword for every entrepreneur as we continually strive to find tools and tricks to help us get more done in the time we have to work on our businesses. I don’t know what business owners did 20 years ago to be more productive, because they didn’t have nearly the apps and software that we have today. Here are a few tools that will complement any small business owner’s arsenal.
1. Google Calendar
I have a friend who managed to triple book herself one weekend. She was a fan of the paper agenda, but that situation made her immediately start using Google Calendar. When you’ve got too many meetings, deadlines, and phone calls to keep up with, a paper calendar (that won’t ding when you need to be somewhere) just doesn’t cut it.
Google Calendar syncs across all computers, tablets, and mobile phones, so you always have your most recent appointments and you’ll never miss anything.
2. CorpNet’s B.I.Z.
If you’ve incorporated your business, you still have important paperwork to file each year. That’s where the Business Information Zone is great: it automatically reminds you of any paperwork that needs filing or updating. No need to remember, and you’ll never get hit with a late penalty fee.
3. Insightly CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) has evolved in the past few years. Now you can use it for more than just recording contact information; with Insightly, you can even follow your contacts on social media or scan business cards right into your CRM. It’s clearly not your brother’s CRM.
You can also use CRM to make smart decisions about marketing. By looking at your customer contact details, you can better understand who they are and what they like. Then you can use that to market to your target audience.
4. Scroll Box
If you gather email addresses through your website, you can do better than the standard email signup box on your sidebar. These days, there are some nifty tools like Scroll Box that scroll up at a predetermined time (maybe 10 seconds after a visitor lands on your site) to make an irresistible offer to visitors. Use it to invite users to sign up, for example, in exchange for a free ebook or a coupon. Scroll Box integrates with a lot of email marketing platforms, so you can set it up to automatically input your new contacts to your mailing list, where they’ll start getting your emails instantly.
There are many project management platforms out there that offer similar functionality. I like Basecamp because it’s easy to create different calendars for different projects, as well as store files, assign tasks to your team members, and keep track of conversations on a given project.
More than just a social media dashboard, SproutSocial offers in-depth analytics on how you’re doing on your social media channels. You can schedule posts in advance so you spend less time doing so, and you can view analytics for the content you’ve published through social media.
There are dozens more tools that help you be more productive. What are some of the tools you like to use?
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications on the web. Megan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.