I ask business owners we work with – what is their biggest challenge? Their unanimous answer is “I need more hours in the day”. Does this sound like you?
You are running your business every hour you are not asleep, doing all the jobs that need doing and see no end to this relentless cycle. So how and what can you change?
Our advice is – automate as much as you can. And here are 5 brilliant apps to help you achieve ‘more time’ to focus on selling, growing, making more profit, or whatever you want to focus on at this moment.
Deputy time tracking app – online, on your phone and tablet. Use Deputy instead of time sheets for yourself and your staff.
Track your own time by the minute for every task you do. It is as easy as to click a button. At the end of each week, download your spreadsheet and analyse which tasks you spend most time on. Which tasks take you away from your main focus. Once you know where your time goes delegate menial tasks which do not bring in revenue to your employees. If you’re thinking of hiring, this exercise will show you what kind of employee you need and whether this helper will be part-time or full time. Get all your staff on the time tracking apps to get the hours for payroll and ditch spreadsheets or paper sheets.
Track time per project, per customer, per employee or per department. Assign hourly rates to staff and you will see how much each tracking category is costing you.
Hootsuite social media management app – online, on your phone and tablet. Set up an account to distribute your blogs, news, videos and more across social media platforms all in one go.
Core networks supported such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+. You can schedule the posts in advance. Write your content for the month and set it up to go out as you wish. Look at insights and engagement of your activity. Now sit back and enjoy your spare time.
Xero accounting app – online, on your phone and tablet. I am sure you’ve heard of Xero. But if you haven’t, this will transform your life and how you run your accounts and, in turn, your business. We are of course biased – we love Xero!
- Invoice you customers on the go or as soon as you’ve finished the job or set up repeating invoices.
- Email supplier invoices into Xero’s files folder as soon as you get them and add receipt pictures as you leave the shop. You will save hours looking for missing paperwork.
- Link up your bank account with Xero and see your bank transactions live within it. You don’t need to go through your statement and add payments in. Bank statement lines are already in, all you need to do is match them up against invoices. Xero also imports PayPal account transactions for you, and that saves a lot of time.
- Connect add-ons to help you save even more time, such as GoCardless, Entryless, Veeqo or Shopify.
- Access reports anytime and check on your progress whenever you feel like it.
- Have as many users as you need. And if you have a question about your accounts, you and your bookkeeper can look at the same data online – no more waiting to see reports or for the next visit.
GoCardless payment collection app – online. Direct debit payments, recurring payments or online payments via Xero or Quickbooks invoice. Get paid on time and improve your cashflow. You will save time on chasing outstanding invoices. Automate your payment collection and get payments appear in your accounting app automatically. Fees are charged per payment collected, but they are reasonable. And for the time saved, it is worth it!
Mailchimp email marketing app – online, on your phone and tablet. Send emails to lots of people at the same time or need to send a regular reminder to a group of people? Set up their email addresses with MailChimp. You can import an excel list to save time. Once you have set up a template you can copy it next time. A few clicks and you’re done.
Set up of apps will require extra time you might not have right now. Spend an hour on each app to start and you will reap rewards of automation and extra time from the first week. What will you spend the time you have freed up on now?