What tools can I use to save time in my business?

Running your own business takes time and, for many small and medium-sized businesses, time can often seem in short supply. Thankfully, there are a range of apps available for free or at little cost that can help you and your employees save time, allowing you to focus on what's important: growing your business.

Collaboration tools

Collaboration tools can help you understand who is working on what by creating virtual project boards and to do lists.

Your options here include Trello and Asana, both of which are highly rated by business owners. They allow you to assign tasks, create lists, start discussions, share documents and monitor progress.

Both work across multiple platforms and offer visual snapshots of your projects that even the first-time user will find easy to understand. Trello allows you to easily search and share information and prompts you when deadlines are due. Asana does the same, notifying staff when work is assigned.

Time management tools

Nowhere is the saying time is money truer than for small and medium-sized businesses. The more you can track the time you and your team spend on projects, the more informed your decision making will be and the more productive you become.

The Harvest app can help with this. It works across multiple platforms, is easy to operate and offers a range of tools including real-time reports on time spent and progress made. Harvest also has the added benefit of being able to produce invoices which can then be sent directly to your customers.

Communication tools

If you have employees, who work remotely or across multiple sites, communicating with them can sometimes be an issue, even with emails, texts, and mobile phones.

These technologies are primarily designed for one-to-one conversations. There are several potential communication tools out there for you to choose from, but Slack is amongst the most popular.

Slack works across multiple platforms, integrating with systems such as Trello and social media including Twitter. It lets you communicate with your team and your team communicate with each other.

This enables you to see what is happening in your business, ask questions, identify issues and solve problems more efficiently. You do this through 'channels', where you set topics and assign users. Users can search channels and topics to find the content they are looking for.

IT security tools

In this technological age, almost everything we do requires a password. Where this gets complicated and time-consuming is that every site and system wants you to create this password differently.

Some require a minimum number of characters, some want you to use special characters, and others want you to update your password every few months. It's probably not surprising, then, that people write them down, which could be a security threat to your business.

1 Password solves this problem by securely storing all your passwords in one place, meaning you only have to remember one, the password to their system.

Available free to individuals, there is a monthly fee for businesses. However, there are the added benefits that come with it, including the ability to delegate authority levels and get real-time reports on what sites and systems your staff are accessing.

Financial management

In many companies, employers ask employees to pay for company spending with their own money and reimburse this at a later date. This can be difficult for staff on lower incomes, leading to low morale and financial hardship.

Others use business credit cards, though often only for senior staff. These aren't always an option for smaller companies and many businesses are cautious about how many credit cards they issue due to the risk of fraud and the time it takes to manage the expenses process.

Another option is petty cash. This can be hard to track, however, relying on individual staff members to monitor spending.

Soldo offers an alternative by giving employees a prepaid business card, removing the need for staff to pay for items out of their own pocket or petty cash, and acting as a replacement for credit cards.

Prepaid cards reduce paperwork as staff can instantly upload receipts using the mobile app. Costs are also reduced as there are no transfer fees, unlike credit cards.

When using Soldo, you assign cards and set limits on what can be spent. Then, through Soldo's easy to use dashboard, you can monitor your company's spending and employee expenses using real-time reports that let you analyse spending to identify trends and potential cost savings.

If you would like to find out more about how you can use Soldo's tools to save time and money, please visit Soldo here or contact us for further information and advice.

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