Running a business, large or small, can be daunting. At times, it may feel like you’re constantly putting out fires. Achieving business goals without stress may seem impossible, but it is possible, with practice, to develop an orderly, productive pace to your work. Effective work practices may even contribute to the success of your business.
Examine the way you handle tasks and projects, and look for ways to be more efficient. Standardizing processes for key activities will provide structure and increase productivity. To help, look for information online related to increasing productivity, and look for resources and applications created for this purpose.
Here are some valuable tools:
This tool, developed by the internet giant, tracks traffic to your website. Google analytics provides detailed information on where visitors come from; indicates the pages reviewed and for how long, and many other interesting and helpful statistics. Use this information to inform decision making related to the website, and align it with your overall business strategy.
Never lose another file or photo! According to Dropbox, the service has more than 400 million users, and more than 1.2 billion files are saved to Dropbox every 24 hours. Dropbox allows you to save and store photos, documents, and videos. Then, using your computer, laptop, phone or tablet, it is possible to access them from wherever you are. In addition, you can share files with others. For example, want your boss to see the results of a photo shoot while she’s on vacation? Just email her the file from your Dropbox. Once she has the Dropbox app installed, she can access the contents of the file.
Do you need to create a website but don’t have the time or money to pay a professional graphic designer? Then Wix is the tool for you. This easy-to-use resource uses a drag-and-drop template to help beginners create a professional-looking website. It’s also easy to edit your page. If you decide to, say, change your company’s logo, Wix allows you to seamlessly swap in the new design.
OmniFocus provides a system to corral, and effectively organize, all the stuff that is in your head, along with new projects, messages from your boss, and the notes and “to do” lists on little pieces of paper all over your desk. Use OmniFocus to categorize all the incoming “bits” into actionable items; for delegation; and to back burner. OmniFocus is available wherever you are through your phone, tablet or computer. Best yet, OmniFocus syncs your data to its cloud server to prevent losses.
By having one central place to keep all of the things you’ve been thinking about, or have been told to do, you can stop worrying about what you’re forgetting.
Do you have clients or co-workers offsite, either in another part of the country or even the world? Slideshare, which has more than 50 million monthly users, allows you to easily share presentations with them. You can share videos, slideshows, or music files with anyone who has the service.
JIRA is a tool for planning, managing, and tracking projects. First created to help software development teams, the tool is now used by many companies to manage all types of projects. On JIRA, projects are entered with associated tasks and deadlines. Team members are assigned work, which is distributed through JIRA. JIRA is a great tool to manage projects internally, and also those that have contributors outside the company, like graphic designers, copywriters, and IT consultants.
Quora serves as a virtual polling place where you can submit questions and receive feedback from thousands of users. This is a valuable resource for young companies and those who want to get more in touch with their customers’ needs.
Inc. is both a magazine and a website that offers information to help small business owners improve their operations.
The SBA uses taxpayer dollars to provide loans to small business owners. But more than that, you can visit local SBA offices or Small Business Development Centers, or take SBA classes to learn business practices that can improve your operations.