Running a small business is anything but a small effort. It takes lots of hard work and dedication, and when you have limited resources and staff, you’re often pulled in several directions at once just to close a deal. Instead of spreading yourself too thin, set yourself – and your business – up for success in 2017 with tools that increase productivity and improve efficiency without breaking the bank.
Keep track of everything customer-related
Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool helps streamline your business and improve the customer’s experience with your company – ultimately leading to more revenue and growth. From initial lead management and customer communication to invoicing and customer payment, a CRM keeps track of where your customers are in the sales and marketing funnel, and helps you stay on top of sales processes at every step.
Stay on top of your numbers
You know it’s essential to keep track of your numbers, especially during tax season. QuickBooks Online manages your accounting needs without the hassle of software licensing on your desktop. One of the best features: you can access your files from anywhere there’s an internet connection, so you never need to worry about forgetting to reconcile your receipts again. It can also integrate with CRM systems, allowing you to view customers’ payment status and history within the tool.
Xero, another online accounting software, is designed specifically for small businesses. With the solution, your bank statements are automatically imported and categorized, letting you see cash flow in real time.
Stay on the same page with day-to-day takes
Project management apps that streamline workflow and centralize communication can give your team the chance to focus on your goals, rather than spending time figuring out what everyone needs to do. Trello is a project management tool that allows you to create boards, lists, and cards for any workflow setup. Create boards, share boards with various staff members, and collaborate using cards on the boards.
In today’s digital age, it’s important for businesses to have file sharing and file backup protection. Dropbox offers affordable plans, you can choose the storage space that best fits your needs and upgrades are available at any time. With free automation tools like IFTTT and Zapier, you can even set email attachments to save to Dropbox, saving time and protecting your files.
PandaDoc can also help with managing and creating files while closing deals faster. With this tool, you can create templates, plug in client-specific information and digitally deliver proposals. Additionally, with PandaDoc’s e-signature functionality, document analytics and in-line comments, prospects can request specific changes to the proposal and execute the contract from their desktop computers or mobile devices.
Email your customers seamlessly
Everyone needs to unplug occasionally, but let’s say you have an email that absolutely needs to go out while you’re on the move. The Boomerang extension for Gmail allows you to schedule emails. You can also set reminders for yourself to follow up on important emails, and keep a cleaner inbox.
When it comes to connecting with customers on a personal level, email is a critical tool for organizations of every size. This is where MailChimp – a free email marketing platform – comes in. Create and manage one or more email marketing lists, keep track of who’s opened your emails, etc. Emails can be personalized and automated, and sent at any time. By integrating MailChimp with your CRM, you can also share contacts and cut repetition while analyzing data to constantly improve your campaigns.
Want more tips for success in 2017? Join our Twitter chat at @InsightlyApp on January 18 at 11:00 a.m. PT.