Shiny object syndrome. If you’ve been a business owner for any span of time, you know it’s a THING.
One minute you’re doing a little research for your next course and the next thing you know, you’re perusing a shiny new software that promises to be the be-all, end-all business productivity tool.
While there might not be one “magic bullet” software that’s going to suddenly make your life more streamlined and your business more successful, there are a few essential tools that you should have in your toolbox.
You will be well on your way to mastering your business productivity by implementing the five most important productivity tools for small business:
Do you have to pluck through random post-it notes to get to your keyboard some days? Is your brain a storm of to-do lists and worries about dropped balls?
I’ve said it before but it bears repeating: You NEED a project management tool in your biz.
A great PM tool allows you to organize your random ideas, recurring and project-based tasks, and vital business information into a central location.
Even better–get those tasks out of your brain and (more importantly) OFF your plate by assigning due dates, adding links/files, and assign those bad boys off to your team!
My PM tool of choice is Clickup. Oh Clickup. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
Tip: I use Clickup to manage not only all of my business related tasks but also my personal day-to-day tasks and reminders like meal planning, Amazon subscription double-checks, and travel details.
If you’re anything like, ohhh, every business owner on planet earth, one of the biggest time wasters you deal with each day is your inbox!
That goal you have each day of inbox zero gets more and more elusive as the back-and-forth emails from your team pile up. Project details have to get hashed out and questions need to be answered but communicating with your team via email can get crazy real quick.
One of the easiest ways to create more productivity (and make that inbox zero goal achievable!) is to set up an internal communication system.
I have yet to find an internal communication tool I like better than Slack. It allows your team to communicate effectively, share + store files, and track progress on tasks + projects.
Slack also has amazing keyboard shortcuts that cut down your time spent communicating with your team even more.
One of my favorite features of Slack is Slackbot. This little chatbot can be used to remind you to send an email, make a phone call, or remember to close your computer for the day at 5:00 pm!
Tip: After you’ve routed all internal communications through Slack, set up a time at the beginning and end of each workday to do a quick email check, rather than taking up valuable time to check throughout the day. #inboxzero
Are you using multiple tools for invoicing, collecting prospect info, and sending proposals + contracts? Trying to piece all of the components together can get complicated and overwhelming at best.
Having a centralized hub for all of these vital pieces is critical to creating efficiency in your client management workflows.
My go-to CRM is Dubsado–I love it something fierce! It’s one of the very first tools I implemented in my business and I’ve never looked back.
Not only does it allow you to create branded forms (think: client questionnaires, proposals, contracts, and invoices) but the signature capability also does away with the need for Docusign, etc.
So what’s the clincher when it comes to Dubsado? The ability to set up automated workflows for each stage of your client lifecycle is GOLD.
Tip: Responding to new lead inquiries quickly is SO important. If you don’t have the time to sit by your phone awaiting a new inquiry (she said sarcastically), you can set up an automated response directly from your lead capture form so you’ll never have to worry about leaving your prospects hanging again!
Interested in trying Dubsado on for size? Click here to get 20% off your first month or year. Be sure to use the code THM when you sign up
Ever gone back and forth with a client trying to schedule a meeting that will fit into both of your busy schedules?
Yeah, talk about a time-waster. Skip the back-and-forth by setting up an appointment scheduling tool so that you can send a calendar link to your client, who can then view your schedule at a glance and pick the best appointment time for them.
I use the Dubsado scheduler, as it integrates natively within my automated Dubsado workflows but I also recommend Acuity as another great option.
You can customize your account to include different appointment types and your online scheduling system will automatically send meeting reminders to your clients.
Tip: Feel overwhelmed by back-to-back meetings? Schedule a 10 or 15 minute buffer between appointments to ensure that you have to time breath before hopping on the next call.
GSuite. You know it. You (most likely) love it. If you haven’t taken the leap to GSuite for document/spreadsheet creation and storage, you’re missing out.
Create documents and spreadsheets and easily share and collaborate with your team or with folks in other organizations.
Tip: Have you ever received a document that is Word format but don’t have MS Word? Simply download the file and drag it into the appropriate folder within your GSuite. You may then right-click, hit Open with > Google Docs and you’re IN!
There you have it! My top five must-have business productivity tools!
I would love to know which business app is your favorite and why?
*Some of the above links are affiliate links, for which I will receive a small commission if you sign up through my link. I only recommend products that I use in my own business and LOVE.