These Technology Tools Will Help You Do More with Less in Your Small Business
May 9, 2016
Every small business needs a superhero.
Whether you are a one-man-shop or a manage a small team, today’s businesses tend to favour talent that is willing to step outside of what is required of their individual roles, in order to achieve greater goals for the company.
To be fair, you can’t expect your Marketing Executive to also know the ins-and-outs of calculating payroll, and at the same time be equipped with the legal knowledge for drafting and reviewing contracts (if you know someone like that, let us know).
But here’s the good news for businesses today: If you can find someone who is technologically-savvy enough and is willing to learn, there are a lot of tools out there who can support a generalist in getting the job done, without the need for domain expertise.
Below we list some technology tools that you can use to perform the usually time-consuming yet essential tasks, so you can channel all your focus into growing your business:
Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as organic growth. You will eventually get to a point where all of your best friends and family members have purchased your product (for the tenth time) that you will realise you need to reach a larger audience and start acquiring some real customers. So you begin to put a strategy in place.
Now, who’s going to execute it?
Social media is becoming increasingly important as a channel for finding and engaging new customers. Your customers are on social 24/7 – but can you afford to be?
Thanks to social media management tool Hootsuite, you can now upkeep an active social presence without having your eyes glued to the screen all the time.
Hootsuite brings all of your social media accounts into one unified dashboard so you can schedule, post, and monitor multiple accounts at any one time. This means that you can choose to set aside one day in a month to pre-schedule posts for publishing for the entire month – now, no one will know if you spent the month working by the beach!
Post to multiple social networks, and schedule posts in advance with Hootsuite
The best part? Hootsuite is free for managing up to three social profiles, and Pro costs only US$8.99 a month!
How about offline, you ask?
Who knew you could buy traditional advertising and media space…online? Bid4Ad, who recently closed their S$1 million Angel round, has unlocked new possibilities by allowing space providers, advertisers and agencies to buy and sell print, outdoor and online media advertising spaces in real-time.
Think: No more time wasted seeking out ad agencies! Simply:
- Define your target audience
- Browse all available spaces within your budget
- Pick one that best fits your criteria
- Submit your artwork
- Pay online to complete your purchase
It’s as simple as shopping for your Christmas sweater!
In the same way, media owners can list their spaces on Bid4Ad to attract the right advertisers, effortlessly:
Having an efficient Human Resources department is one of the cornerstones of every successful business venture. For “HR Solutions that work”, business owners must prioritise optimising their HR workflow.
HReasily’s platform enables small businesses to improve productivity by streamlining HR work processes such as payroll processing, as well as leave and staff management. Features include the automatic calculation of Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions for each employee for submission to the CPF board.
HReasily’s real-time dashboard lets you stay up-to-date with employee progress
Now that there is a tool to automate these time-consuming administrative procedures, shouldn’t you think twice before bringing on board that full-time Human Resources Officer?
4) Dragon Law
Is going to a law firm too expensive? While online templates may seem like an inexpensive alternative (well, at least when nothing goes wrong), do you really want to put your business at risk?
What if I told you there is a tool out there that can help you stay compliant, without making a huge dent in the pocket?
Ask any business owner and the last thing they want is to be bogged down with a series of lawsuits. But we all know this: Not everyone can afford a lawyer.
As a result, many small businesses undertake the risk of Googling and attempting to draft their own contracts, only to incur irreparable damages in the long-term.
So, how is Dragon Law different?
Instead of hurling a 10-page document at you, Dragon Law’s technology breaks down complex legal contracts into a simple Q&A interface, so all you have to do is answer a few questions. Based on your answers, the SMART Document Builder then interprets your position in the business relationship and pulls out the right clauses for wording in a legal contract.
- Quickly create legally-binding documents, without having to have legal knowledge
- Eliminate unnecessary meetings at fancy law firms who bill you by the hour
- One-time subscription fee means you can create additional documents when your business needs evolve, at no additional cost
- Pay for a lawyer only when you really need one
- Waste no time in sourcing and evaluating law firms – we recommend you to a trusted one in our network
Yes, your office mom, too, can draft a legally-binding contract.
As a technology company, we practise what we preach. For a company who provides documents, we have no filing cabinets. Dragon Law’s Upload & Sign feature lets us share, e-sign and store all our legal documents in the cloud. Receipts? What receipts? We take a snapshot and upload them via our Receipt Bank mobile app, and they are sorted automatically into ledgers. Our employees are happy because all expenses get reimbursed in a timely manner.
Other automation tools like Zapier and IFTTT integrate multiple tools so they can work with one another. Automate as much as you can because no one wants to (nor should be) working like a bot – not even your newest intern. Interns at Dragon Law can look forward to doing the REAL stuff that puts their critical thinking skills into good use (apply).
The beauty of Software-as-a-Service
Gartner defines SaaS as “software that is owned, delivered and managed remotely by one or more providers.” Gone are the days where you pick a CD-rom from your local IT store to run a software installation…what CD-rom? Leave upgrading, downtime and security in the hands of your SaaS vendor, and enjoy the perks of working from anywhere in the cloud.
In fact, for all of the services listed above, all it takes is for you to sign up for an account, make payment online, and voila – you’re good to go!
Most SaaS providers allow for a free trial of their platform so you have some time to evaluate the its suitability prior to making a purchase decision. Don’t like it? Don’t subscribe!
Believe me, it’s really risk-free:
No commitment, no credit card required.
So, are your jobs in danger?
Consider Xero, the cloud accounting software that over 600,000 subscribers love.
Is Xero looking to replace Accountants? Not at all. In fact, Xero’s platform makes an Accountant’s job SO much easier, increasing their productivity so they can spend more time on work that is actually rewarding. Clearly, data-entry is not the best use of a CPA’s time.
Do you use any of these tools too? What other cloud tools do you use to become more productive in your small business? We’d love to learn about them – let us know in the comments below!