Every business owner wants their organization to run efficiently and to be productive. Productivity is generally increased when you reduce the costs of things like time, labour, and materials. Whether you work for yourself or have a large team of people, there are software tools that can help you manage tasks and team workflows. Many of these tools are free or cost very little to use. You may choose to explore:
- Cloud-based, open source options, compatible with common office software products, so you can import/export with ease
- Task management systems (you can assign, prioritize, and track tasks)
- File sharing (reduces email & storage, and helps with versioning control)
- Social media scheduling and keyword planners
Before running out to buy software, however, it's a good idea to look at the issue(s) the software is trying to solve, such as saving time, eliminating redundancy or streamlining tasks. How are things being managed now? Will a tool improve the situation or will it simply add another layer of complexity?
Make sure you have a strategy in place
Tools are great, but you need to have a plan in place to use them consistently. Effectively managing the change will help you overcome some of the challenges that may arise as you incorporate these tools into your business. You want to make sure your employees are on board, and well trained, so they understand not only how to use the tools, but also why they're using them.
Advantages of using workflow tools
- Business automation (e.g. forms)
- Centralization, versioning control (shared databases)
- Track outcomes (engagement, campaign success)
- Streamline admiistrative (HR) or financial (Accounting) tasks by saving time and focusing on what's important
- Great for keeping things moving when someone is away
In addition to these technical resources, there are a variety of government financing programs that can help improve the productivity of your business and allow you to work ore efficiently. Benchmarking tools allow you to compare yourself to other businesses in your industry, and see how you stack up.
If you can help your employees become better at performing their day-to-day tasks, and streamline their activities, you will save time and money for your business.