5 Business Tools To Win Back Your Workweek

5 Business Tools To Win Back Your Workweek
October 06 07:36 2015 Print This Article

What if you could give yourself an extra 5, 10, or 20 hours per week, all for about $11 a month?

Managing a small business is incredibly time consuming, anyone would agree. Thankfully, technology has a way of making many business operations, like Marketing, Sales, and Accounting, more streamlined, more efficient, and more effective – that is, if you know what tools are best suited for your business.

We’ve created a list of five leading tools to help you win back hours in your workday, from Marketing, to Sales, Accounting, and more. These tools let you get back to what you love: passionately growing your business. Disclaimer: we don’t have any affiliation with these companies; we just love how simple and affordable they are, and how they’ve helped our clients build their businesses over the years.

ACCOUNTING: FRESHBOOKS

Managing the books can be time consuming, not to mention quite a headache. If you’re using clunky, outdated software, or more risky, spreadsheets and notepads, then jump to the present with Freshbooks cloud accounting.

Freshbooks prides themselves on being the fastest, the easiest, and the most user-friendly, all of which are designed to save you time and energy. You can schedule repeat invoicing, send invoices in one click, and get automated invoice tracking.

Not only is more of the process automated, but even more importantly, you get paid faster. Check out Freshbooks with a free trial, then it’s only $10/month from there.

MARKETING: MAILCHIMP

One of the most important things you should know about each of your customers (and potential customers) is their email address. Why? Because it allows you to build a relationship with them slowly over time, through the most intimate of mediums – the inbox and their smartphone.

MailChimp is a dead simple email marketing platform that’s used by more than 8 million people around the world. Once you’ve built up a list of customer email addresses, use MailChimp to design and send newsletters, alerting your customers of promotions, company news, and more.

Best part? It’s totally free if you have fewer than 2,000 email addresses. Check out MailChimp.

CUSTOMER SERVICE: ZENDESK

Is your business mostly online? Then your potential customers probably have dealbreaker questions that your website may not answer. Zendesk helps you ‘Wow’ website visitors with a great customer service experience.

From live chat features to ticket management to frequently-asked-questions to phone support, Zendesk automates everything to make sure your customers know you care about them without adding hours to your day.

Check out Zendesk with a completely free trial, and if your customers like it, sign up for only $1/month.

SALES: INSIGHTLY

Does your business have a longer sales cycle? If your customers are contract-based, like graphic designers, accountants, or home repair contractors, for example, then it might take a series of calls and meetings to get a new customer.

You might also want to follow up with existing customers at just the right time, like before tax season, 6 months after a repair, or on their birthday, just to check in and see if they need additional services from you.

If you have a lot of customers or just a few salespeople, then that process can be almost impossible. That’s where a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool like Insightly comes to the rescue. Insightly stores all of your customer records and records all of your touchpoints with them. Talking to John Jones at ACME next week? Insightly reminds you what you talked about on your last call.

You can even plug Insightly into MailChimp to automate the whole process and save even more time. Check out Insightly, which is totally free for your business for up to 2 people.

COLLABORATING: GOOGLE DOCS 

Working on a project with others in your company? Want to get feedback from your partners on some new marketing materials? Have some new financial projections that you want to share with your team?

If you’re collaborating with your team over phone calls, paper, and email, then you’re probably creating more work hours through back-and-forth conversations, email threads, and document management – not to mention more than a little frustration for you and your team.

And that’s where Google Docs can help your team same some time and headache. Set up a Google account (or just sign in with Gmail, if you have an @gmail address), then create a document and invite your team members. You’ll get to collaborate in real-time, have access to your docs even while you’re offline, and one version is automatically managed and saved. Google Docs is even compatible with Microsoft Office, and, yes, it’s totally free.

Have any other tools that your business uses to save time and win back hours in the week?

Do you have questions about small business funding? Get in touch with a Funding Navigator at Market Street Funders today for a free consultation.

written by Tommy Abel, Founder & Ceo of Market Street Lenders

written by
Tommy Abel, Founder & Ceo of Market Street Funders