As a small business owner, you probably find yourself working upwards of 60 hours a week.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance (especially around the upcoming holiday period) might seem impossible. However, there are many tools to help lighten your workload and ease the stresses that come with growing a successful business.
Technology is just one of the many resources at your disposal. Given our world is becoming increasingly mobile-friendly, it is important to adapt and use it to your advantage as a small business owner. You can save time by using online tools and programs. Additionally, because your customers are online, it’s a way to tap into the conversation.
Here are three ways technology could help you better juggle your daily duties as a small business owner:
Using an online service like Microsoft Outlook or Google Calendar is a great way to use technology to your advantage. Online calendars offer alerts and reminders and allow you to schedule meetings with team members. Ultimately, this makes updating your schedule quick and easy. You can replace the neon post-its hanging off your desk, monitor and often sticking to your shoe with online post-its that you can simple delete. An added bonus is that this is also a more environmentally friendly alternative! Using spreadsheets and online folders for filing is another great time-saving technique. While keeping your original records is undoubtedly important, you can easily transfer those records to digital files. You can save and keep them forever on your desktop, hard drive or in an online storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox.
Bookkeeping, expense reporting and payroll can be kept orderly in Excel, leaving you with more time to focus on other important tasks. While Excel is great when you first start your business, as you grow and get busier, software like MYOB can help you better understand your cash flow and finances. Accounting software can help you find efficiencies based on your accounting needs. This might include staying compliant with payroll, saving time with bank reconciliations or getting paid faster with invoicing options. Having an online accounting software allows you to easily work with an accountant, or gives you the flexibility to do it yourself.
There are many online tools and programs available to make your marketing campaigns more efficient. As a small business owner, you might prepare a larger scale campaign that is set to stream on different channels. Though, it can be difficult to manage all of these campaigns at once. With online programs and applications, you no longer have to remind yourself to post content on your small business’s social media page. There are online tools that can do it for you. Content schedulers like Hootsuite allow you to schedule posts in advance. This way, you’ll have more time to work on exciting new projects or campaigns. Additionally, if you enjoy the hands-on experience of creating marketing materials like brochures, pamphlets or flyers, you can create your own graphics and interactive material in a matter of minutes using online programs like Tableau, Visme or Canva.
One of the most important reasons to get comfortable working online is because that’s where your customers are. Step one is having a social media page for your business. Step two is actively engaging with customers on that page by posting content consistently.
Replying to comments, re-tweeting posts or even ‘liking’ things shows your customers that you are available to answer their questions. Moreover, it proves that you value their opinions. In turn, this creates an important relationship between you and your customers, and builds loyalty for the future. As a small business owner, you are in a unique position because you probably already have support from your local community. Now, by also building a welcoming online community, you can continue to grow your business further.
Being a small business owner can sometimes be stressful. You should check out these online tools for yourself and see if they work for you, because something as simple as an online calendar can help you save valuable time that could be better spent focusing on other tasks, or even relaxing.