If you agree with the saying “work smarter, not harder”, you may be looking to spend less time on the mundane business tasks and more time on the creating and doing. This may involve looking at processes and changing them to become more efficient or finding tailored small business solutions to boost your productivity. But business needs to be done quickly, and if you implement the wrong changes your business could suffer. You may lose out on time and money which could be better spent elsewhere, such as on the tasks that are important to you and that you enjoy, which to be honest, sounds a lot more fun. By adopting the use of some or all of the below 8 tools, your small business can immediately become more organised, productive and effective.
1. For Task Management: Trello
Trello lets you work collaboratively with team members and is popular for both team and task management. Using boards, lists and cards, you can optimise your processes and productivity. Trello crosses over into the project management category but is much more focused on collaboration and streamlining how small teams can work together. You can also add notes, links and set due dates for tasks on cards, sending notifications to users as a reminder. Trello is great for your small business if you like to visually organise and prioritise your tasks. The platform can be used for many small business practices including content strategy, social media content, budgeting and product and service planning.
2. For Team Communication: Slack
Slack is a form of team messaging software. It’s a communication tool with the ability to send real-time messages back and forth, making up for the time lag that often comes with sending an email. Slack “channels” allow you to direct message anyone within your team and it also offers a private messaging function. Communicating on Slack will allow your small business to share information, ideas and updates about projects in an instant. This direct form of messaging allows flexibility if you are working remotely and you won’t have to worry about missing messages. Other features include file-sharing, message search and the ability to invite HeyTaco! Into your channel to send your team members a “taco” for a job well done.
3. For Customer Communication: Yell for Business app
As conversational commerce is becoming more important in customer relations, small businesses can benefit from utilising chatbots and AI. Conversational commerce is essentially any communication between a business and its customers (existing and potential) using instant messaging apps and through eCommerce. Yell’s new messaging bot, Hartley, in collaboration with the Yell for Business app, allows your customers to chat directly to you so you can respond quickly and easily to any queries. The free service enables your business to receive messages from potential customers on both Yell.com and via Apple Maps and Spotlight search on your iPhone or iPad. Hartley can answer frequently asked questions before passing on relevant customer enquiries to you so you can interact seamlessly. You can also use the app to update your business details on Yell.com, manage your account and other Yell products you have with us.
4. For Project Management: Wrike
Wrike is a project management platform, allowing users to manage tasks, monitor group activities and share files in real-time. The software allows you to work and collaborate remotely with your team and is great for small teams or those just getting started with a small business organisation. The free version supports up to five users but if you need more, or additional reports and customisations you may need to upgrade to a higher tier. Wrike helps you to set and reach small business goals through increased productivity and organisation.
5. For Video Conferencing: Zoom
You are no doubt already familiar with Zoom, due to its surge in popularity thanks to the pandemic meaning more individuals are now working remotely or from home. The video conferencing software allows you to have face to face conversations, meaning plenty of scope for remote shopping, consultations with customers and staff meetings. Zoom is available on pretty much all devices meaning you can also use it wherever and whenever you like and has useful features including screen sharing, video streaming and screen-recording. Zoom has become an extremely popular platform with small business owners and includes a fun feature of adding a bespoke background image in case you don’t want to show off your bedroom.
6. For Social Media Management: Hootsuite
Social media management is something all small businesses should incorporate into their online marketing plans. Hootsuite is software that can track, analyse and manage your social media content and upload the content for you automatically using scheduling. It’s a free and easy to use platform featuring a dashboard of your social media streams allowing you to manage multiple social media channels at once. You can use Hootsuite to keep up to date with your followers, create and send content, and keep track of all your social media interactions. It’s an effective tool for a small business to use to increase social media engagement and increase their presence online.
7. For Email Marketing: Mailchimp
Email marketing is still a very popular and effective way to engage your customers. Although you don’t get the instant feedback from your audience as you might from other tools mentioned here, it is still an important part of marketing your business and should not be ignored. Mailchimp is a service that allows you to design emails, either using their own drag and drop templates or a bespoke design you’ve created and send these emails to subscribers on your email list. Mailchimp also offers integrations for your website and social media, meaning more scope to collect subscribers details in a number of locations to grow your list and reach more customers. You can even check how many subscribers have opened their email and what type of content they’re clicking on.
8. For Design: Canva
Canva is the perfect platform for new and amateur designers. The platform allows you to create bespoke digital designs ranging from logos, posters and even the aforementioned Zoom backgrounds. Canva includes a range of templates so you can easily create your own images and download them. Other features include email templates, blog posts and a range of pre-sized social media templates so you’ll never have to resize an image again. Canva is a fantastic tool for your small business to show your creativity by making branded graphics and product mockups.Check out these 8 tools to help small businesses be more organised and productive Click To Tweet
The above tools should help you to work more efficiently and give you the ability to complete everyday tasks with ease. Not only that but they should allow you to have all the necessary information about your small business at your fingertips whenever you need it. Tools and apps can make life simpler and keep your business thriving. What are some of your favourite business tools and resources? Don’t forget to give Hartley a try using the Yell for Business app!