Running a business is no easy task. You’ll often find yourself tied up with multiple things at the same time just to meet the company’s day to day demands. This is why you need all the help you can get! However, it is not always cost-efficient to hire more employees. When you’re faced with the same scenario, it can be difficult to grow your business to where you want it to be.
The good news is there are ways for you to free up time and boost your company’s productivity without breaking your budget. You can do this by securing smart service solutions that are proven to be efficient yet very affordable, even for business start-ups. Not only will these services help you save on time, but you can also save money without compromising quality.
One of the most important things that a business owner should prioritize when running a business is to always make sure that the financials are in order. If you cannot effectively track your sales and profits, you’re in trouble. But while nobody wants to be delinquent on their accounting reports, this can be a time-consuming process. Even if you have a dedicated accountant, manually tracking transactions and creating reports can drain a lot of time and energy for you and your staff.
Utilizing an accounting software can make this process much more convenient. Instead of digging back through printed invoices and receipts or sorting several spreadsheets, an accounting software can help you streamline all your financial activities, keep a record of every transaction, and also save up on accountant fees. You can also automate your invoicing, payments, and track expenses with just a few clicks.
When choosing an accounting software, select a reliable provider that comes with security and reliability safeguards. Preferably, cloud-based. You have to secure your financial information as data breach is one of the top laptop security risks faced by many businesses.
Another feature to look for in an accounting software is one that has integration features with other apps. Most times, using different platforms and software can be confusing and you even end up wasting more time switching from one program to another. If you use an accounting software which can seamlessly connect to other applications, this allows you to work more efficiently.
For example, the Freshbooks accounting software natively integrates with a lot of apps that you may already be using. If you need to integrate with more apps and/or need a 2-way sync integration, you can always use PieSync’s sync solution. This can ensure that you always have an updated and accurate contact list across all the platforms you are using and lessening the risk of human error.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
In the very early days, local shopkeepers build relationships with their customers and business partners by personally talking to them one by one when they visit their stores. They would know everything about their customers’ preferences, purchase history, and even the personal details of their lives.
Of course, during those times, customers are only limited to the specific area the store is located or the occasional tourists. However, this is now physically impossible especially if you’re running a growing online business or selling our products on Shopify that caters to a global market. While you can still attempt to manually contact and record all of your client interactions, this would require too many man-hours that your business cannot afford to lose.
Customer Relationship Management systems or CRMs were designed to fill in this gap. Its goal is to help businesses create better relationships with customers and partners. Many business owners still do not realize the usefulness of CRMs.
CRMs like Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Capsule CRM record, report, and analyze customer interactions with the company. This data can be used to better understand consumers, give them a more enhanced product experience, and be a step ahead in responding to what they want to buy at a certain period.
When your business has easy access to these types of customer data, your sales projections will be more accurate and you can better address what areas you need to improve on.
If you are not yet using email automation, you should definitely consider doing so ASAP. Gone are the days when you need to have someone write up hundreds of personalized marketing emails one by one in the hopes of getting a sales lead. By using an email automation provider, you can cut down this task to the bare minimum.
You might think that you’ll save more money by getting one of your staff manually send emails, or worse, you might even use your own time in doing this repetitive task. But if you really think about it, are you really saving money when you’re using your own valuable time which you can devote to other more important tasks?
Email automation services are surprisingly very affordable. ActiveCampaign, a premium email automation service, allows customers to sign up for as low as $9 US Dollars per month. This paid service already comes with an email marketing feature that allows you to send targeted, personalized emails using beautiful drag and drop templates. You can segment, schedule, and choose what emails to send customers based on their purchasing behavior. It is also possible to send automatic emails and follow-ups.
Aside from the time efficiency provided by an email automation service, another advantage is that most of these platforms come with an analytics feature which is not typically something available in your regular inbox. This means that you will be able to see reports on how many of your customers are engaging with your marketing emails, which ones are the most responsive, and which campaigns are the most effective. This can help you tailor more targeted email campaigns so you won’t waste your time and resources with promotions your customers are not interested in.
Working Smarter With Tech
There are many technological innovations designed to make business tasks more efficient and help people become more productive. By taking advantage of these services, you are not only helping your business grow, but you will also have more time to focus on things that really matter to you. The less time you spend on tedious tasks, the more time you have to enjoy the results of your hard work.