Productivity. It can feel like an elusive goal when you’re an entrepreneur, but getting just a little better at it day after day isn’t impossible. In fact, it’s quite doable, especially when you leverage technology.
True, technology can sometimes wind up being a distraction. Case in point: It’s easy to get overloaded when you have too many tabs open, or you’re bombarded by text notifications. Nevertheless, revitalizing your tech stack could lead to a boost in production, efficiency, and profits. The key to making tech a friend (not a foe) lies in choosing tools that streamline rather than hinder workflows.
Which types of add-on tech solutions could potentially benefit your business in 2021? Below are several considerations. Each one is aimed at helping you and your employees increase output without hurting performance quality, negatively affecting engagement levels, or messing with the customer experience.
1. Task Management Systems
Throughout the years, plenty of companies have taste-tested the top task management software choices. Each one has a different look, but all are focused on making tasks transparent, trackable, and measurable. Consequently, if you’re not using a centralized system to coordinate your team’s projects, calendars, and lists, you’re missing out.
Being able to see and assign workers’ large and small responsibilities in one location keeps everyone on the same page. (You’ll find it a lifesaver if you’re managing a group of virtual team members scattered across cities and time zones.) Task management software also somewhat “gamifies” the experience of finishing assignments by allowing employees to check off what they’ve accomplished. Missed deadlines? Forgotten tasks? They’ll be worries of the past when everyone’s coordinated on one task management system.
2. HR Self-service Platforms
Onboarding, training, and serving workers can become time-consuming for already stretched HR personnel. One way to become more efficient while providing top-notch HR is using tools that are more automated and all online. For instance, a small business 401k plan doesn’t have to be a hassle for a small HR team to set up and can have features that give employees more control over it. The portal could enable a variety of actions, including the chance to manipulate an existing portfolio. Employees could have full control over the experience without once calling someone from HR.
You don’t have to stop at only retirement or financial self-service platforms, though. Quite a few HR functions could be handed over to your people, such as the opportunity to take online certification classes or easily find personnel-related documents. That way, your HR crew can focus their attention on unique situations that require one-on-one care. And your employees can still get terrific HR care.
3. Email Marketing Software
Does your brand engage in email marketing? Are you still hand-scheduling every email or following up on a case-by-case basis? Make 2021 the year that you take off the training wheels. Adding an email marketing solution to your tech tools will allow you to automate a plethora of sales pipeline journeys. Though you can expect to take some time upfront to create marketing campaigns, you’ll be able to let them play out without intervening.
As you investigate the variety of email marketing providers at your disposal, look for ones with real-time, built-in analytics. Being able to obtain accurate data quickly will enable you to pivot faster. And if 2020 taught businesses anything, it was the need for speedy change.
4. Social Media Schedulers
At this point, you probably have at least one social media business page. Maybe you have several, including Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. Though you have to generate unique content on a regular basis, you don’t have to spend time posting your text, images, or videos by hand.
Social media scheduling software allows you to rapidly plug your upcoming social media posts into one portal. Just tell the software when you want your items to go live, and move on to something else. By systematically automating your social media material, you’ll glean two major productivity benefits. First, you’ll eliminate human error when it comes to posting, which means no more last-minute scrambling or missed opportunities. Secondly, you’ll pump out content consistently, which is good for audience engagement and conversions.
5. Online Contract Software
Many workforces are now working remotely. Even if yours is all (or mostly) in person, you may want to make sending, signing, and receiving contracts less clunky. Utilizing online contract management software featuring legally binding e-signatures removes the need for paper, faxes, PDFs, and emails.
You won’t be the only one getting value from moving all your contractual agreements to a virtual, secure system, either. Your clients and vendors will appreciate the decision, too. It’s much simpler to be able to view a contract on a variety of devices, as well as make changes in an online format. Plus, you’ll bypass having to physically mail copies of all your contracts to stakeholders since they can self-download on demand.
6. Document Collaboration Solutions
Practically everyone’s used some kind of document collaboration software these days. Maybe you’ve already worked on a Google document or Dropbox today. Collaborative software enables you to crowdsource ideas and make sure everyone has an updated version of a letter, spreadsheet, sales brochure, or other piece of vital content.
The good news is that many document collaboration service providers offer free or low-cost services. Just be sure that you pick one that can work for all your needs. You’ll get a productivity bump because you won’t have to pass PDFs or Word documents back and forth. Having too many versions going around can get messy and open the door for mistakes.
Doing more with your current team may seem like a tall order in some cases. However, getting an appealing jolt of productivity over the coming months may be more realistic than you thought. Simply explore the latest tech tools, then determine which ones can give your business the production lift you need.