Running a small business is a practice in flexibility, resourcefulness, and moxie. For a business owner, it can feel like these skills are sometimes just as important as the skills you’re marketing to your clients!
It can be so easy to fall behind on your task list or feel out of touch with your team. You’re a busy person, and there’s only so many hours in the day! However, productivity tools are there to help you run your business more smoothly and effectively, without having to dedicate more of your brain power or valuable time.
I want to share three of the “must-have” productivity tools I use with my team every single day to work smarter, not harder. Honestly, I wouldn’t be able to reach my goals if it weren’t for these tools, and the best part? They all have free versions that you can try out to see if they’re going to work for you before investing any of your valuable resources into them!
#1 – Trello
Trello is a visual planning tool that allows you to work alongside your team to lay out every task and procedure you have. I have boards set up for every website, every project, and every client we work with. Everything is super organized, which means my team can go in and find anything they need on their own, which means no more emailing back and forth!
When you set up a board, you can create lists, and each list can contain task cards that you can easily move around. For example, on my Dental Soiree “Editorial” board, I have several different ideas for blog posts in my “Brain Dump” list. When I write one of these posts, I can move the card to the “Drafted” list. Once it’s reviewed and gets images, I can move it to the “Reviewed for Publication” list and then to the “Scheduled” list once it’s been uploaded and scheduled.
Trello is one of those productivity tools that makes it so easy for everyone on the team to work together, even if they’re spread out all across the country. It helps us cut down on phone calls and emails, and frees us up to just do the work that matters!
#2 – Voxer
When you have a team of people all working together to handle the multitude of tasks that go into running a small business, communication is SO important. If you’re not updating each other on the status of projects, team goals, and new leads, you can expect that things will fall through the cracks.
However, because everyone is so busy, and not always in the same building or even the same city, it can be difficult to meet on a regular basis. If we’re being honest, meetings aren’t always the best use of everyone’s time, though there is a time and place for them, for sure! The rest of the time, you just need a quick way to connect on the go, and that’s why I love Voxer. It’s an app that you install on your smartphone that actually works just like a walkie-talkie. If I have an idea or update for one of my team members, I can just hop into Voxer, and let it fly!
Typing in’t always easy, especially when you’re walking or trying to multitask. I love sending messages, photos, and even my location using this handy free app, and I ask everyone who joins my team to download it onto their phone, too.
#3 – Hootsuite
There are so many social media management platforms out there these days, but I love Hootsuite because it handles EVERYTHING. There are great tools out there that are specific to Instagram or Facebook, but when I can find a tool that does it all, I’m all in.
Hootsuite can manage your social media profiles (the free version allows you to manage up to three different accounts) and schedule posts in advance so they can stream out automatically. They also offer analytics to see which posts were the most effective. If you have members of your team that help manage your social media, you need a tool like Hootsuite. Everyone can work collaboratively and see what’s already been posted and scheduled. It’s a must-have in my book.
When you’re busy running a business, getting even a little bit of your time back can make a huge difference. Chances are, you have a team because you know one person can’t do it all. Using productivity tools is another great (and inexpensive) way to stretch your capacities even further without having to sacrifice anything. In fact, they’ll probably uplevel your business once you and your team get over the initial learning curve.
If you need help managing your digital marketing strategy, please reach out to us. We’d love to help you create more meaningful connections with the people you genuinely want to connect with. We offer personalized packages so you can get exactly what you need, and nothing you don’t.