by Tina Martin
The right tech tools can help small business owners make the most of their time. Whether you’re looking for ways to streamline employee payroll or automate your digital marketing strategies, apps are your answer! Don’t waste your valuable time tending to mundane tasks that could be done by an app. In this article, we’ll help you build an arsenal of productivity apps to free up your time for big-picture projects.
You don’t need to be tech-savvy to use these intuitive tools. However, if you’re completely new to online apps, you may want to work with a professional who can get you on the right track. For example, a web design and digital marketing agency like WebStores Ltd. can help you leverage marketing apps and CRM solutions to increase your brand visibility online, so reach out to schedule a consultation.
Now let’s dive into some essential productivity apps that can optimize your small business.
Payroll Processing Services
Manual payroll processing is very time-consuming. Not only that, but it leaves you vulnerable to costly human errors. Making errors in your payroll calculations can hurt your relationship with your employees and even result in legal trouble, so consider using an automated system to avoid these issues.
The best online payroll programs include time tracking, shift scheduling, and mobile app integration to enable employees to log their hours on the go. A time card app is a great tool for teams that work in different locations, like construction businesses and salespeople. These apps also make it easy for managers to notify employees about schedule changes in real-time.
Project Management Tools
Keeping your team on the same page is essential for productivity. Miscommunication issues can easily derail an important project, leaving your clients unhappy and your team members frustrated. This is a common problem for in-house teams but can be especially challenging for remote businesses.
This is where project management tools can offer a lot of value. Document sharing apps like Google Drive and Dropbox make it easy to collaborate with team members without the frustration of back-and-forth emailing. Team chat apps like Slack and Microsoft Teams allow for efficient communication among groups working on collaborative projects. Project management apps that integrate with these tools are great for scheduling tasks, assigning projects, delegating work, and tracking progress.
Social Media Automation
Social media plays an integral role in the success of any digital marketing plan. But managing your social media channels all day can be a major time sink. Instead of interrupting your work to post photos or brainstorm copy, take advantage of social media automation that allows you to create and schedule posts in advance.
Social media management apps also make it easy to hand off content creation to other team members. Content creation apps enable team members to collaborate on posts for any number of social media channels. Tools like Canva even include graphics, photos, and videos that you can use in your posts. These online tools make social media management nearly effortless for small business owners, so make sure they’re in your arsenal.
Apps for Focused Work
When you run a business, it seems like everyone needs your attention all the time. It can be really hard to get down to work and focus on a project when you have incoming calls, emails, and other notifications nagging at your attention. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help you overcome these distractions. Time trackers like Rescue Time enable you to block distracting websites during your focused work blocks so you can avoid the temptation to check your email when you’re in the middle of a project.
Your phone can become a huge distraction during focused work. Many smartphones feature productivity settings that allow you to silence calls and notifications while you’re focusing. If these settings don’t meet your needs, look for mobile apps that can help you out. For example, Forest is a cute mobile app and Google Chrome plugin that encourages you to stay on task during dedicated work time. Experiment with different tools and find what works for you!
Apps That Improve Your Writing
Small business owners do a lot of writing every day. From emailing employees to pitching services to clients, all this writing can take a lot of your mental energy. Look for writing tools that can help you write more efficiently and effectively. For example, Grammarly is a fantastic proofreading tool that offers real-time spelling and grammar suggestions on any device. It can also check the tone of your writing and make text predictions to help you write those emails a little faster.
There never seems to be enough time in the day. It doesn’t matter how well you schedule your work or how carefully you plan out your week. As a small business owner, finding the time to get everything done is a constant challenge. Don’t try to do it all yourself! Take advantage of time-saving technology to free up some bandwidth and give yourself more space to work on the projects that matter most to you.
Tina Martin stays busy as a life coach and works hard to help herself and her clients achieve a healthy work-life balance. She is also working on her first book, Ideaspired: Put Your Ideas, Your Inspiration, and Yourself First to Make Your Dreams Come True. She also started ideaspired.com as a side project to reach as many people as possible, and encourage them to put their dreams first.