In any small business, we as business owners have to get our hands dirty if and when needed. Furthermore, we are required to put on multiple hats and chances are we forgot to send that very important email or raise a client invoice. OR missed an appointment completely. Have you thought of how can you be saving time using technology?
There are 2 kinds of people; one who absolutely love using technology for any simple reason & the second kind who fear using technology and will only do so for the heck of getting things done.
However we can add by saying that technology doesn’t have to be daunting, you have to make it work for you. Anyone can be saving time using technology as long as you are open to learning and adapting to new tools, softwares, accessories. Remember the key terms are ‘Saving Time Technology’!
Here are some of our tips on saving time using technology along with some free tools to help you kick start:
CRM – Customer Relationship Management Software
Starting small doesn’t mean you have to keep you client records in a spreadsheet or hold on to their business cards forever. Having your client records in a CRM means you can get rid of all that clutter in your office and have all your contact electronically available for when you need it.
- Keep track of your leads and contacts
- Track all interactions and liaisons
- Rest assured having your most important asset safe – data
- Stay on top of you business with reporting
In addition, as business using a a CRM means your team is saving time by keeping on top of all your client relationships.
Some free CRM tools to help kick start!
Project Management Software
Organisation is the key to success. Although a lot of people claim to be good at multi-tasking let’s face it, we have too many things to juggle with, and it’s not easy to keep everything at your fingertips. Using a project management tool will help you get all your thoughts, ideas, tasks and communication out of your head and into something more functional.
A project management tool will help you:
- Collaborate as a team on projects
- Delegate tasks to individuals and keep accountability
- Stay on schedule and deliver projects on time
- Track project progress
- Provide a snapshot to your new joiners
- Communicate with clients and vendors
- Saving time by communicating via the tool rather than on emails
Some free PM tools to help kick start!
Doing research and keeping the information you need is no longer a paper clipping. With so much information online, most of us have the habit of reading online blogs, articles, news, PR’s etc. and want to keep this information somewhere safe for when we need it again.
Work with a tool that is easy to use and allows you to file information just as you would if you had a physical filing cabinet. This will help saving time and effort by keeping all your notes at your fingertips.
Some free Note Taking tools to help kick start!
Mostly everyone uses smartphones these days and with Siri or Google at your service, you don’t even need to type your appointments in.
Being on the move often means that you have just come across an important task and you need to add it to your diary straight away, just speak to your phone and ask to be reminded.
Eg. Siri – Can you please remind me at 08:00 am Thursday morning to Call GP and book a routine appointment.
Voila – Siri will add that appointment in your diary for you in less than 10 seconds, saving you time and using it where its most needed.
Excel for repetitive work
Excel is one of the best softwares that has ever been made. Hand’s down!
From daily simple calculations, data visualisation to client reporting dashboards it can all be created in Excel. If you know there is a particular task that you do repeatedly then why not create it once in Excel, and save it for future use. Saving time and energy!
There are loads of free templates you can download from MS Office website that can give you a head start, if not just start with one question ‘What’s the end goal of this sheet?’ and work your way backwards.
Remember colours and beautification for later, first start with the basics.
Finally there are so many software’s for conference calling these days so why not use it to it’s best.
Conference calling is not just for client communication or internal communication; use it for group training or learning purposes too. In addition to the general use of conferencing you could also record your conference sessions (of course with the consent of your users) for future use. These recorded sessions could be used for either sharing with clients or within your internal team, saving you time and effort in having to repeat everything all over again.
Some free Conference Calling tools to help kick start!
We hope you have all found these tips interesting and useful. We would love to hear from you if you have any favourite tools that help you save time.
Good Luck and Have fun!