Using Technology To Benefit Your Business

Using Technology To Benefit Your Business

***Contributing Post***

 

Running a company is starting to become more digital nowadays, so it’s only natural for many of us to be using technology throughout the business. Technology has advanced a lot, and there’s now plenty that it can do to benefit a business. Here are just a few ways it can benefit yours.

Security

With so many hackers, scammers and cyber attacks targeting small and big businesses across the globe, it’s only right that security systems are getting tougher to crack and companies are keen to get their own security in top form to avoid confidential data being leaked, especially when it includes members of the public. It’s important always to keep tabs on how the security is performing, especially as your business grows. There are also a lot of security providers out there, so do your research to get a good understanding of what your business will need specifically. 

Productivity

There’s now so much software in the technology industry, that there’s pretty much something for everything. Work productivity can often sometimes be a hit or miss for staff members, so it’s good to have a software program or two in place, that just makes everything a little easier to manage. Scientific reports and math documents are made easier with setapp.com/apps/mathkey and task managers are great for maintaining productivity and crossing off the to-do list. 

Promotion

Promoting the company is important to most businesses. Whether you’re selling a business or service, it’s useful to get the word out there, and until the internet and social media platforms came along, it was traditional print that sold everything. However, all that’s changed, and some businesses have grown just from being online. Social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram is now possibly the most effective way of selling your brand. It’s worth making a website, getting yourself a profile on as many of the platforms as possible and having a team of skilled social media kings and queens to rocket your business into the spotlight. 

Communication

With technology, communication has become a lot better. It’s no longer handwritten letters but emails that get to the recipient within seconds. There’s video calling instead of just talking on the phone, and all of this means that work can be done quicker. There are now more opportunities for customers and businesses to chat and feedback to one another without waiting in line. 

Easy communication means that there’s more flexibility in where and when you can communicate. Meetings can be held in multiple times and locations across the globe and staff can have the opportunity of flexible working. Everything is much easier than it used to be when communicating. 

It’s incredible to see how technology has transformed our lives and that we now rely on it so heavily both in our work lives and in our personal ones too. As a business, it’s important not to be afraid of technology. It’s not going anywhere and seems to be the future of how all businesses will end up eventually, so don’t let yours fall by the wayside.

 

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Tech Tools for Freelancers

Tech Tools for Freelancers

***Contributed Post***

It will come as no surprise that to make it in the freelance world, you have to rely on yourself. However, there are a few pieces of tech that can help you on your way. Running a small business isn’t an easy feat by any means. You are responsible for finding work in the early days, invoicing, taxes, websites, and many other facets of running a successful business. There is somewhere in the region of 54 million freelancers in America at any one time, in a few key areas. Writing, consulting, photography and design tend to be the top choices. 

It doesn’t matter if you are just dipping your toe into the freelance pool, or you’ve been at it for years. Here are some tech tools that will help you manage your business that much better.

Money Matters 

When it comes to managing your money, you have to be smart. Having a card swiper handy when you go to meetings, or you are wrapping things up with the client is always a good idea. Not everyone wants to pay the fees for online transfers like PayPal. There are also a couple of very popular choices if you are doing your own accounting (and you probably are for the most part). 

Wave. This is a free service that helps you generate a dashboard configured to the needs of your business. You can put in information like transactions, receipts, invoices, and other information. It will help you keep everything in order without much fuss. This is suited to smaller businesses or freelancers who aren’t planning on huge growth. 

FreshBooks. This cloud-based accounting software system is excellent for tracking things like billable hours, invoices and will even calculate taxes for you. This is a step up from Wave and is suited to businesses that make a decent turnover but need to keep track of their billable hours. This nifty kit can also work out your profit, losses, and provide you with quarterly analysis.

 

Time 

When it comes to freelancing, your time is literally money. If you start a project but waste too much time procrastinating, you are wasting perfectly good billable hours. One of the most popular ways of breaking down a working day is by using a Pomodoro, time tracker. This will improve your productivity and give you a way to track your working hours. 

Pomodoro Timer for Trello. If you like to have your projects neatly organized, they chances are you use Trello already. The Pomodoro Timer for Trello allows you to implement this productivity tool in your cards. 

Self-control. If you find yourself floating between a research website and Facebook, you can curb that nasty habit quickly with this app. You can block specific sites for set periods of time. So, if you like to work from 10-4 every day, then you can block that period of time each day. Just set the time, click start and work away. 

Getting in Order 

When it comes to making the most of your time you need to make sure that you have some organizational tech in place. These might be simple checklists, or you might like more comprehensive options. 

Wunderlist is a super simple to-do list app. You can access it on your mobile or desktop so you can work easier on the go. You can set your to-dos up by client or project and then break it down into tasks. The extra added bonus for this app is that you can add photos, files, and notes as you go. Plus, you can set yourself deadlines and reminders that will sync across all of your devices. Handy. 

Google Drive. This is used by freelancers and businesses the world over, and it’s probably not a surprise to see it made the list of tech that can make your life easier. Some people are terrible at keeping track of their files and can never produce what they are asked for on a whim. Google Drive has options like Sheets which is similar to excel, and Docs which works like any other word processor. You can share things quickly with a link, and you can protect your work with a view only option. You can export into .doc or PDF and a few other file types so you won’t run into compatibility issues. And, you’ll never lose your work as it is all stored safely in the Google Cloud. If you travel a lot, and many of us do, the Dos app is available on your phone if you should need to edit anything on the go or share the files. 

For other great gadgertry check out this post - The Essential Gadgetry That Every Business Needs.

 

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Can More Breaks Really Mean Increased Productivity?

Can More Breaks Really Mean Increased Productivity?

***Contributed Post***

Breaks are a touchy subject in the business world. Every company owner approaches this issue differently. Some are more than willing to let staff take an hour for lunch. Others are reluctant to give much longer than 15 minutes at any one time. Employees, too, have differing opinions on this. Some members of staff would much prefer to work through than lose an hour’s money each day. That’s no surprise when you consider lunch breaks could cost upwards of five hours wages each week. 

Whatever your stance on the subject, though, it’s clear to see the importance of taking a break every once in a while. If staff work without stopping, their productivity will take more of a hit than you may realize. That’s not good for your business or the staff in question. Hence why, if you haven’t done so already, you should consider incorporating a break space. This will ensure that everyone takes at least short breaks throughout the day. That, in turn, could see the quality of work soaring. If you want to take the benefits even further, consider the following ways you could make that break space productive.


Free snacks

Providing free snacks for staff could boost productivity in a few significant ways. For one, it saves them having to go off-site and thus take more time during meal breaks. Providing the right kinds of foods could also physically aid productivity. Berries, nuts, and even dark chocolate can increase brain power and reduce stress. They also provide a longer-lasting boost of energy than alternatives such as cakes.

The right smell

In most workplaces, the break room smells of the last thing which went in the microwave.  You may want to change that if you’re aiming to improve productivity here. As can be seen from articles like this one on www.aromatechsystems.com, studies have suggested that scents such as lavender prevent the deterioration of work productivity. By incorporating a scent diffuser, you could help even those staff members who pop in here for a cup of coffee. Besides which, pleasant smells are sure to make this a much nicer place to be generally.

Diverting the course of the workday

There’s also evidence to suggest that even brief diversions can improve focus for prolonged periods. Last off, then, you need to provide some form of diversion in your break room. Many employers opt to use television for this purpose, and that can work well. Equally, providing break room books like those mentioned on www.bustle.com could be the perfect thing. After just 10 or 20 minutes of using resources like these, you can bet your staff will feel refreshed and raring to go. Taking time out like this can also reduce stress, which is again fantastic for results.

 


You can bet, once you get your head around these methods, that you’ll be begging staff to take a break. Get your break room in the bag, and you’ll see increased productivity, even if your team start taking more time out.

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Common Reasons Your Business Isn’t As Productive As It Could Be

Common Reasons Your Business Isn’t As Productive As It Could Be

Any business owner will tell you that they want their business to be as productive and successful as possible. However, it’s an unfortunate fact that the majority of businesses fail these days. This can be down to a few things. One of the most common reasons businesses fail is because they just aren’t productive - and this means they aren’t moving forward and growing the way that they should be.

If you feel like this could be the reason your business is lagging, read on to find out why your business may not be as productive as it could be.

1. You Haven’t Got A Business Plan

A business plan isn’t compulsory, and there are businesses out there who have found success without one. However, it’s a rare occurrence. If you really want your business to succeed and remain productive, a business plan is vital. Creating a business plan can help you to secure funding if you need it, and it can help to keep you focused. In your plan you’ll lay out back up plans for when an approach doesn’t work, your projected profits and other numbers, and where you’d like your business to be in a few years. It’s not only beneficial if you want to get funding, but if you tend to lose sight of why you’re doing something. 

Use a template to create your business plan ASAP, and take your time! 

2. The Workplace Is Unsuitable

Working in a suitable environment is key for you and any employees you may have. It should be clean and tidy, and you should have enough space and the right equipment to get things done. Here are a few ways you can make the workplace better: 

  • Hire a cleaner
  • Let in natural light
  • Include plants
  • Make the company culture clear
  • Aim to inspire
  • Have an open door policy
  • Let employees customize their work space
  • Make sure it’s safe and free from hazards
  • Get insurance

3. You’re Not Automating Certain Tasks

Automation will save you both time and money in the long run. If there are tasks that you complete every day, chances are, they can be automated in one way or another. You can look at software, for instance, that posts to social media for you. You could even look at a place like Mills CNC that creates equipment to automate the quality control process. Your goal should be to save as much time as possible so you can use this on other things effectively. 

4. Your Staff Are Feeling Unmotivated

Good leadership is the key to motivated staff. Below are a few ways to keep your staff motivated: 

  • Work on your leadership skills, e.g. your listening and communication skills
  • Learn how to praise and recognize your staff for their hard work
  • Reward staff
  • Create a great environment and company culture
  • Don’t micromanage 

5. You Haven’t Got A Solid Marketing Plan

A solid marketing plan will help your business to gain custom and grow at a steady pace. Ideally, you won’t be doing it yourself; you’ll be allocating a portion of your budget to marketing and working with an experienced marketing team.

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How to Be More Effective and Super Boost Productivity In Your Business

How to Be More Effective and Super Boost Productivity In Your Business

There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love to plan, and those who don’t.

Which one are you??

The thing I’ve learned about people who hate to plan is that most of them don’t actually hate planning…they just never learned how to plan effectively!

Once you figure out how to plan in a way that works for you and that improves your business (and your life), it will completely change the way you run the day-to-day operations of your business.

Not only that…but it will seriously increase your productivity (and your profit!!), and you’ll be able to work LESS and get MORE done!

Isn’t that why most of us wanted to be entrepreneurs in the first place?

So, what’s the secret to effective planning in life and business?

I’m going to drop 6 of my top tips for becoming more effective below, as well as offer you a spot in my exclusive 12-Month Marketing Plan Training! If you’re serious about scaling up your business and improving both profit and productivity, this is for you.

Without further delay…6 Tips On How to be More Effective & Super-boost Your Productivity!

  1. Build effective routines to help you get working. i.e., when you wake up, exercise, and then have a filling breakfast and your favorite coffee at your desk. Take regular breaks throughout the day when focus wanes. Stay hydrated. Personally it’s easier for me to focus when I’m drinking water as opposed to any other beverage.
  2. Measure your day’s productivity by results, not time.
  3. Every night, write your to-do list for the following day. Decide ONE thing that absolutely must get done tomorrow. Then choose the next two most important things (only two!).
  4. When you start work in the morning, work on your ONE important task without distraction until completion. Then work on your next two tasks. If you still have time to keep going down your list, great! If not, you got the most important things done for the day and can rest easy.
  5. Identify time-suckers. i.e. scrolling social media, watching YouTube, binge-watching Netflix. Set boundaries around your time-suckers. Deprivation is not necessary but set up good rules for yourself so they don’t waste your time. For example, delete social apps off your phone and only view them on desktop and try to watch Netflix on the weekends only etc.
  6. Schedule a stop-time for each day. If you want to only work four days a week, great! Block off your schedule Friday-Sunday and be firm about saying no to commitments and project deadlines. If you don’t want to work past 3pm, make that your habitual stop time.

These six tips have really improved my business, and also left me more free time to spend with my family and doing things I love.

Do you keep making plans for your business that crash and burn? Do you keep trying new strategies and methods only to end up overwhelmed and underachieved? I hear you! I’ve created a 12 Month Marketing Plan to help you build a profitable business while not getting overwhelmed by the details!

This affordable course includes 4 straight-forward modules to help you:

  • Work smarter, not harder
  • Plan effective, profitable programs
  • Create successful promotions on social media and other platforms
  • Plan early in order to maximize earnings
  • Fix any leaks in your current marketing strategy
  • Free up your time by increasing efficiency
  • Decrease stress and overwhelm
  • Increase empowerment
  • …and more!

YES! I Want To Optimize My Business With A 12 Month Marketing Strategy!

Have a great week!

Robyn Bennett

 

PS: If you’re ready to grow your business to the next level, then you need a workable plan. This course includes every step you need to take to make this year your best business year. Click here to enroll now

 

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