Everyone knows the saying, “time is money.” When you’re a business owner, you feel this truth more keenly than most. You can’t create more hours in the day, so your only option is to make the most of the hours you have. That’s why businesses of any size can benefit from automating some kind of practice. When you automate your business operations, you can spend more time doing what matters. Here are eight set-it-and-forget-it tech tools to help you grow an extra pair of hands for your company.
A Virtual Mailbox
Subscribing to a virtual mailbox service is an excellent option if you find yourself bogged down with paper mail. These services process your mail, upload scans to a web portal for remote viewing, and forward or shred your items according to your wishes. Unlike a post office box, virtual mailboxes also have real street addresses that you can use for business purposes. Packages start around ten dollars and cover different amounts of mail depending on your needs.
Accounting tools may not be your priority right now, but you might reconsider coming tax season. Accounting is complicated and can be your downfall or drain your person-hours. Some accounting software, like FreshBooks, claims to be able to save business owners dozens of hours a year. These tools streamline your accounting efforts, and there’s enough variety in the market to find the exact tool for your needs.
If you work with contractors and consultants, you’ll want something that handles project management. If you have employees, something that will help you manage payroll will probably be a better investment. Take some time to consider your accounting needs and find the right accounting software for your fourth quarter roundup.
You may or may not be familiar with cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is an on-demand computing and storage service. That means that if you need to store large amounts of data or need a lot of computing power, you’ll be able to achieve that without paying through the nose for your own servers and IT employees. Cloud hosting is also an excellent way to ensure you have backups of all operations-critical data.
Why should you invest in communication tools? If you have teams trying to share information and work on projects, having the right tool to streamline conversation and store important information can be a game-changer. Communication tools help organize exchanges based on projects, make information searchable, etc. Many of these tools can also schedule meetings and messages, so you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to send an invite again.
Project Management Tools
If you have any project management or managerial experience, you know just how time-consuming it can be to keep track of the moving parts. Employees are constantly moving from task to task, and staying on top of deadlines can quickly become a nightmare. That’s where tools like Monday and Asana come into play.
These tools let you assign steps to individual contributors, comment on actions directly, and make one step dependent on the previous (so it isn’t available until that last step is submitted). These tools also include automation features that can drastically reduce the time commitments required for recurring tasks.
Social Media Management Tools
Social media is a hugely important part of marketing, but it can be painfully complicated. Formatting your Instagram and posting in just the correct order to keep it looking neat is only one part of the equation. Tools like Hootsuite and Tailwind help simplify and automate the process to save time and energy. Decide what platforms you need to cover and find the right social media management tool to fill your needs.
Marketing Automation Tools
Marketing manually is beyond time-consuming and can be exhausting. Software and tools like ActiveCampaign can help you transform your marketing practices while growing your business. From SMS marketing to managing your next Facebook ad campaign, marketing automation can change how you do business.
Automation Between Apps
There’s nothing quite as frustrating as the string of menial tasks that follow everything. There are transactional and transformational actions, and these are entirely transactional. A trained monkey could do them, but they’re still crucial to your business. That’s why you need a service like Zapier or IFTTT. These tools help you automate between apps and services to save you time on menial tasks.
Automation tools are covering various business needs, no matter how big or small your business is. Whether you need to automate your marketing or streamline your project management processes, you can find the right tools to change your life.