Being a small business owner is a little bit like juggling, you have to keep all of the balls in the air. The trick is when your business grows and you are expected to catch more and more balls until finally… some of them are dropped. There are a ton of online tools out there that can help you better manage your business and relieve some of that stress. By unloading much of your workload, you might even be able to double your income! Here are some incredibly useful online tools that I recommend you check out to help keep you sane when things start to get crazy!
#1: TeamWork for Project Management
Project management is one of the biggest headaches for many small business owners. It can be difficult to keep everything straight, inform people when tasks are completed, move people to different tasks, and maintain a level of organization necessary to get anything done. I believe that setting up a great project management tool, such as TeamWork, can be a fantastic way to help keep all the gears at your business moving smoothly. It can be a bit time-consuming to set up but, once everything it inputted, it makes the process of getting work done and keeping everything on-track much, much easier. And if you have a team, TeamWork is a must! You can assign tasks with time limits, track project milestones, and share important documents and links.
#2: Harvest for Time Tracking and Invoicing
Keeping an accurate track of the time put into tasks can be an essential part of any small business. A time tracker greatly simplifies the process of billing, as you will have a list of every single task completed by each employee and how long it took for each one. I recommend using Harvest to track everything from the amount of time your team works to your client invoices and retainers. Harvest can be accessed from anywhere online and has an intuitive mobile app, so you can keep track of every minute on your phone. If you need an easy-to-use cloud-based time tracking and invoicing system, you can’t go wrong with Harvest.
#3: Google Drive for File Storage
Odds are that you know about Google Drive, as it is one of the most popular and effective online file storage systems. What you might not know is how useful Google Drive can be for sharing files and documents between you and your clients. If you have any information or documents that you need to share with a client, all you needs to do is put it in a shared Google Drive folder. Your client will get an alert that it is available. Likewise, they can put documents into that same shared folder for you to get access. Google Drive gives an incredibly generous 15GB of space for their free service. Alternately, you can subscribe on a monthly basis to get 1TB of cloud-based storage. I highly recommend it.
#4: Hootsuite for Social Media Management
Managing your social media can feel like a full-time job. If your digital presence is spread out across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, and your website, you will have to do a lot of daily updating. One of the best ways to simplify social media is to use a social media management system such as Hootsuite. Although you will still have to invest the time and energy to write your social media posts, Hootsuite will make it much easier to post them. You, or a Virtual Assistant, can compose a month’s worth of social media and be sure that those posts will go out at the times you choose. When I do this for my clients, I make sure those posts are scheduled to go out at peak engagement times to maximize the eyes that will see them. I also do all of my social media management and engagement within Hootsuite. It’s a time saver!
#5: LastPass for Password Management
If you hire a Virtual Assistant to help manage your online resources, they might need your passwords in order to access these services. An example would be if you hired a Virtual Assistant to do your email marketing, as they would need full access to your email address to send them. There are tons of different password managers online, but I believe the best is LastPass. LastPass allows you to share access to your websites, without revealing the passwords to anyone. It remains completely hidden, safe and secure, within LastPass. Not only that, LastPass can also help you create unique, difficult to hack passwords to ensure that your business’ digital assets will be under the strongest digital lock and key possible. I recommend that you give it a try too.
These are just a few of the multiple resources I recommend to businesses to guarantee you the best service possible. When I started using these online tools in my business, I was able to double my income the following year! Although many of these services have relatively steep learning curves, the results can be worth it. The problem is that most small business owners don’t have enough time to invest in learning the ins and outs of these resources. That’s why you want to hire a Virtual Assistant, like me! I know these online tools like the back of my hand and can put them to work for your business. Contact me today and we can talk about your company’s needs and how I can help you reach your business goals.