5 Top Time Saving Tools
It’s a big decision, setting up your own business. You’ve taken the leap and you’re loving it! You know your trade, you know your employees, you know your customers and you know how to serve them. Everything is going swimmingly but you start to realise that what eats up your time are the small things, the day-to-day, routine admin tasks that keep you buried in quotes instead of finishing up that game of Kerplunk.
We feel your pain, that’s why we’ve created this list of our top 5 time saving tools.
Looking for a way to reach out to your customers beyond the standard phone call or email? Look no further than MailChimp. This great little program allows you to send fancy newsletters directly to your customers. You can use their templates or even tinker with the built in editor and create your own.
MailChimp is a registered bulk mailer. This means you can be sure your newsletter will get delivered to your customers and won’t end up in the spam folder. Once it’s been sent, you can use the in-built tools to see how many people have read it and how successful you’ve been. As if all of that goodness isn’t enough, did we mention their logo is a monkey wearing a hat?
This one’s a classic, “does what it says on the tin” tool. It lets you send and sign documents electronically. Whether you’re a save the trees warrior or simply want to get your contracts signed as soon as possible, Docusign will do it for you. No more printing the contract, posting/faxing to your customer, waiting for them to sign, receiving the contract back with errors on it and going through the whole process again!
With Docusign, simply upload your document, select which areas need to be signed by your customer and email the link to them. All they need to do is click the link and type their name in, job done. No more “out of the office” excuses for not signing on the dotted line.
If you want the flexibility of accepting card payments but don’t want the hassle of purchasing a card machine, Square is your answer. It’s a small… err… square that plugs straight into your iPhone, iPad or Android device and allows you to take payments on the move.
Swipe the card through the device and the app will process the payment through your phone/tablet. Best of all, it’s totally free to set-up. Simply sign up and Square will send you the device in the post. The only time you pay is when you actually take a payment through the device.
It’s tough out on the road. The phone won’t stop ringing but you’ve got a spanner in one hand and a cable cutter in the other. Not only that, but when you get 5 minutes to go through your voicemails you’ve got hundreds. Well, now you don’t have to sit there and listen to Mrs. Mills tell you about how her cat beat her at scrabble again.
PhoneTag will automatically convert all of your voicemails into text format and send them to your mobile. You can then read through and prioritise them, getting back to the people you need to, when you need to.
External Hard Drive
This is arguably the best time saving tool any business can have. Yes, you do have to invest some time to actually back-up your information, but once you get into the routine of doing this periodically it really could save you a life-time of work.
If you’ve ever had that heart-stopping moment of “that site report was definitely here last week”, then you’ll understand the benefit of having a safety net. Plus, every time you back up your data, an IT geek gets their wings.
Post by Phil Brierley