Running a small business is no easy feat. Larger companies have it a little easier because when an issue comes up, they typically have the ability to throw resources at the problem and call it a day. Unfortunately, most small businesses don’t have that luxury. Resources are limited, so small business owners are hyper focused on efficiency and cost-effectiveness. At the end of the day, productivity is key to success. Luckily, productivity does not have to come at a high cost or inconvenience. There are a wide range of applications and solutions available to help small businesses stay competitive and productive – the challenge is often weeding through them to find what they really need.
In honor of Small Business Week, here are four productivity tools small business owners should have in their arsenal:
Square. When it comes to buying and selling, Square is a great solution for easily accepting debit and credit card payments. Square offers a variety of options for companies, from a larger iPad point-of-sale stand to a handheld magstripe reader that plugs directly into a smartphone. Most recently, Square also launched a chip and NFC reader to allow customers to pay with their digital wallets. The flexibility that Square offers to run your business from anywhere, anytime enables small businesses to be more flexible and ultimately reach more customers.
LastPass. (Yes, we realize we’re tooting our own horn here!) There are legitimate reasons to share access to online accounts in businesses. When sharing passwords in the workplace, it’s too easy to lose accountability and too difficult to make sure everyone is following good password security practices. Teams often share these passwords over email, instant message tools or other non-secure ways. Password managers, like LastPass, mitigate risks by allowing you to share access without sharing passwords. LastPass Premium lets companies sync their password manager across multiple devices, so all of your employees can safely share and access necessary company accounts. A password manager not only saves you time, it can also generate strong passwords for you, ensuring that your passwords are strong and secure.
Wunderlist. Whether you use handwritten sticky-notes or alphabetized excel spreadsheets, the “to-do list” is a universal tool for companies both big and small. When running a small business, however, there is more work to be done and fewer people to do it. With an application like Wunderlist, businesses can keep all of their projects in a centralized task manager. Tasks can be assigned to teams or individual team members, and notifications can be sent to remind task owners of upcoming deadlines. This is a great tool to help small businesses manage day-to-day activities and keep track of everything that’s going on in the company, while ensuring visibility into who is responsible for what.
join.me. join.me is an instant, simple and fun way to connect remotely. It’s freemium approach means that even small businesses with limited budgets can use a great tool to meet with customers, clients or coworkers. join.me has video and audio conferencing, great screen sharing, a whiteboarding feature to show what you are thinking, even mobile apps to connect when you’re on the go.
There are hundreds more apps available to make the life of a small business owner a little easier – and these four provide a great foundation for maximum productivity. Be sure to try them out!