As a business owner, you want to increase productivity so you can make more money in less time. It’s easy to overlook some ideas that would save you time because you’re busy taking care of business in the first place.
Luckily, using a few tools online and putting a few simple ideas into practice can help you achieve your goal without a major investment of your time or energy. Here are five ways your business can run more efficiently:
Use Accounting Software
Are you the type who might put off your accounting tasks so you end up running around during tax season? Even if you are very thorough with documentation and annual expense reports, there is a good chance you missed a deduction because you didn’t have the time to do it right.
This is the main reason to use accounting software regularly. You will appreciate how much extra time you have at the end of the year and you’ll appreciate how organized you are throughout the year. Plus, all of your documents will be organized so you can hire a bookkeeper over the internet to handle all of the accounting work for a reasonable monthly fee.
Your business needs revenue to achieve success and keep the doors open. The faster you receive payments from client and vendor invoices, the more cash you will have to use.
That’s why it’s a great idea to have a payment process in place that eliminates the need to spend your time chasing payments. There are three options to consider to automate your payments:
If you are sending the same invoice to the same client on a routine basis, consider automating a recurring invoice using an online invoice template. After the client’s information is added, set your rate and schedule when you want to have the invoices sent. The result is you getting paid on a regular basis without spending a lot of time manually filling out invoices.
If you use Paypal to send client invoices, you can configure custom buttons for each one. When a client goes to pay you, their information is pre-populated and they can pay instantly through their PayPal balance, checking account, or credit card. The faster clients can pay you, the faster you get paid.
If you regularly work for a client, ask to be added to their payroll system as if you were an employee. All parties save time—you don’t have to send out an invoice and the client streamlines its payment process.
Work in the Cloud
Emailing updates and changes back and forth or noting comments in a Word document can be time intensive. Try a free cloud service to sync all your files automatically. Cloud solutions work regardless of the computer being used or what changes are made.
You can also use cloud services to backup your files regularly if you didn’t already purchase an external hard drive for scheduled backups. It’s essential that your documents and media don’t exist exclusively on your computer in case something happens to it.
Develop an Emergency Plan
What if your computer doesn’t work or you can’t get online for an entire day? What happens if there is a family emergency or you become ill? Chaos is all around and a small business needs emergency procedures in place to succeed.
You want to avoid the added stress of handling business tasks while you’re trying to deal with an emergency. Develop a detailed emergency plan for your team and regular clients that includes necessary contact information, procedures, and more important data. If you are suddenly pulled away from your business, the emergency plan keeps business moving without you.
Write it All Down
Even the smartest individual with an impeccable memory can struggle to remember every last detail with everything that’s going on. Develop the habit of taking good notes about everything, whether it’s about your business or personal life. Include the date and time of day because you might need it again to request a refund or refute a bill.
While your digital calendar may seem like the perfect place for note taking, it’s easy for details and deadlines to get lost in the larger calendar. Supplement your calendar appointments altogether with a free task management system. These systems can sync with any mobile device to make it easy to manage tasks while you’re busy.
Putting it All Together
Putting these tips into practice will make your business run more efficiently and become a seamless operation. The little bit of time required to prepare these systems and configure the online tools is worth it. Soon enough you’ll be saving time and money with a lot less stress.