It’s safe to say that owning a small business is, in fact, a big responsibility. More often than not, small business owners are the sole driving force behind their operations’ day to day running. Or – if they’re lucky – they’re leading a small and dedicated team. This means time is precious – there are long days and longer nights, pouring everything and anything into the business. So any opportunity to increase productivity is welcomed with open arms.
Enter technology, where the shortcut to boosting your company’s’ output could be hidden right in your pocket! Smart phone apps designed to streamline, delegate, organise and save time are increasingly popular with small business owners.
Read on for the top five apps that will change your small business in a big way – appy’ reading!
If your business sends you on the road more often than not, then Tripit is just the ticket to help you save time! Travelling can be quite tricky, even for the most organised small business owner. In between keeping track of flight numbers, booking car hire and checking in to hotels, your itinerary can quickly become overwhelming. Tripit acts like an easily accessible travel agent. It files booking numbers, reminds you how long your layover is and assembles all necessary info in the one spot. This is particularly handy if you’re travelling every week. Who needs a personal assistant when you have Tripit?
Crunching numbers and filing expenses is a mundane and time-consuming task that can easily distract you (and your employees) from daily to-do lists and more important priorities. This is why your new favourite application is called Expensify. The app does everything you need to stay on top of your numbers game. Basically it captures receipts, tracks time sheets and travel documents. It then puts the information together to create an expense report. It can even be linked to your account in order to deposit the funds right back to your bank. Now that’s expenses made easy! If you have a small team of salespeople and business travellers, this is a must-download.
A big part of running a small business is staying relevant in your industry. It’s crucial that you’re across the latest trends, developments and ideas. Which sometimes means reading a lot of information all of the time. But that much reading isn’t exactly realistic. Enter Short – an app that scans the best short articles from across your apps – like Pocket, Readability, ReadingPack – then filters them into bite sized portions (5 or 10 minutes). This way you can ensure you’re keeping up with your favourite reads, without losing hours looking at long articles. There’s even a reading progress bar at the stop so you always have the time in sight. Read what matters, and do it quick!
Sometimes the key to getting more done, is to free up more time. Look to online marketplaces and apps like Airtasker to outsource household chores, business admin or any odd, menial task you don’t have the time (and energy) for. Simply post a task, name your price and wait for a willing member in the community to offer a helping hand. Smart delegation is key to productivity and crucial for time-poor small business owners or entrepreneurs. Use the freed up time to invest back into your business or to enjoy quality down time. Maintaining a balance in both will be healthy for your wellbeing and sanity.
The ability to instantly communicate with your team is integral in the daily operation of a small business. Rather than relying on endless email chains, why not use a specially designed platform that will help streamline your communications? Slack allows users to have both public and private streams of conversation, in a collaborative online environment. It’s also built to integrate with other apps – Twitter, Dropbox, Google Drive – for seamless access. The goal is to make working and collaborations simple, more pleasant and more productive. Basically it would be slack not to get your team across this tech wonder.