7 Online Tools for Small Business Efficiency
It’s mind-blowing to think of all the digital tools and mobile apps available to use these days that can help us run our businesses more smoothly. From programs that organize your finances to virtual personal assistants on your smartphone, here are 7 recommended apps to try out.
This simple-to-use personal finance app helps users track their expenses in great detail. The app offers a “360 view on your money… what comes in, what goes out, what you have saved, what you have budgeted,” the company says. One cool feature? You can simply take a photo of a receipt the information is automatically uploaded.
Security experts unanimously agree that we should all have different passwords for our online accounts and they should be updated frequently. But all those passwords can be difficult to manage. That’s where Last Pass comes in. It’s a tool that tracks all your site logins, helps you generate new passwords, and makes it easy for you to manage your account security. You’ll no longer need hide Post-it notes around your computer!
For the person who is frequently on the road, Tripit helps you by organizing all your travel arrangements into one place. Flight details, car reservations, confirmation numbers, and directions are arranged into a simple itinerary accessible through your smartphone. It’s free to use, although upgrading to a pro-version will unlock more useful features including real-time flight alerts, alternate flight searching, and fare refund notifications.
The process of managing invoices is a time-consuming part of business, but Harvest is an app that allows you to easily track and share invoices from any device. You can set reminders for yourself (e.g. timesheet approval), receive notifications when clients pay you, and stay in sync with your employees on real-time updated timesheets. It’s free to try, but will require a monthly subscription if you wish to use Harvest for more than one project.
Managing your various social media and social networking accounts can be a cumbersome experience, but tools like Hootsuite help you streamline your activities. You can easily search, write, and schedule social media posts across multiple channels, including Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram. While it’s free to use, many businesses have paid professional subscriptions to Hootsuite (from $9.99/month) that comes with many useful add-ons. This includes analytics reports, custom URLs, and access to Hootsuite University, an online social media academy where you can learn to take your social media marketing to new heights.
Sometimes it’s important to stock of your daily activity to see how you and your employees are using your workday. Do you suspect you’re spending too much time writing emails or taking meetings? RescueTime is a program that runs in the background and tracks your daily work activities and gives you detailed reports. You can break down exactly how much time you’re spending on certain tasks, receive productivity scores, and then use the information to set new goals.
If you need a personal assistant but it’s not in the annual budget, EasilyDo is a kind of virtual assistant that can make life easier for you. While there are no shortage of task list and smart calendar apps, EasilyDo is a particularly powerful and versatile tool. It syncs up to your email and social media accounts and will automatically pull important dates, meetings, events, and reminders (e.g. bill payments) into your calendar and send you notifications. Another advantage: you won’t have it buy it a gift on it’s birthday.
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About the Author
Lendified is Canada's premier online lender for small businesses. The company was founded by former bank executives dedicated to provide businesses with fast, easy, and affordable financing. The Lendified team regularly produces blogs and guides to help small business owners succeed.