Is Your SME An Efficient Machine? It Could Be With These ToolsNov 1, 2015 Blog
From the wheel to the wrangle, from to the tractor to television – technology is created to make our lives easier. So why is it that sometimes, when you’re running your own SME it just causes you headaches?
Technology can sometimes feel too complicated to grasp – you may be tempted to run back to your pen and paper. The tools created to help small businesses have developed and evolved so quickly it’s hard to keep up, however, it is definitely in your interest to try as there is a lot to be gained from immersing yourself in the digital sphere. There is a plethora of software out there that’s user friendly, inexpensive (or even free) – all of which has been designed to be ergonomic and intuitive – helping you to run your company with ease.
We’ve compiled some of our favourite ways SMEs can make technology work for them.
Bookkeeping – Wave
Whether it’s completing your business accounts or keeping track of your business expenses there is technology which can help you.
If you do your own accounting and struggle to keep track of your money month-on-month try using an application like Wave. In one easy to manage program you can keep track of invoicing, accounting, payroll and payments. This kind of software is specifically designed for SMEs which means it doesn’t over-complicate things and it’s not prohibitively expensive. Keeping track of your money in one place means there’s no more filing; lost invoices or lengthy searching for that payslip you’re sure you delivered.
If, after reviewing your finances you realize you might need more coming in to take your company in the direction you want it to go – why not check out P2P lending platforms like RainFin? You can often get a much better deal than you could with banks and secure funding quickly and easily.
Communication – Skype
Being able to write instant messages, share video calls and send documents to your colleagues regardless of where they are is of incredible value to people who work agilely with a remote team and client base. Applications like Skype generally have free and paid versions and allow you to do just that. Skype is a great example of free software that is used by SMEs, medium and large organisations alike – so you know you’ll be in good company.
Project Management – Trello
If your SME has lots of projects and clients on-the-go you’ll know how important keeping track of deliverables and deadlines is. The whiteboard in your office might be useful in keeping track of what needs doing every day – but you could save yourself some wall space and headspace by knowing that you can access the ever-evolving to do lists of you and your colleagues whenever you need to. Apps like Trello let you organize your tasks, write notes and assign them to different people organization wide.
Productivity – Punchtime
Have you ever said that a job will take five minutes and still found yourself plugging away at it hours later? You are not alone. Thankfully, there’s an app for that! Punchtime, works in coordination with Trello and is a useful tool for recording how long you spend on specific tasks. You can start, pause and stop a timer for individual tasks and Punchtime will gather all of the information together for you.
This can be really helpful to track your own times and keep track of your employee’s schedules. If one employee takes significantly longer on one task than another, it is useful to understand why that is and address the issue. Perhaps more training is needed or perhaps one employee has a more efficient approach that they can share with the team. If you’re a freelancer this tool is invaluable – make sure you’re billing for the actual hours you’re working!
Once you’ve got a good financial control of your business you’re in a great position to see areas for growth and whether you’re in a position to expand and take a loan. The RainFin Loan Calculator can help you figure out how much you could borrow per month and start growing your business!
Running your own business, whatever size, can be difficult. So why not let technology help you? You don’t need to spend a fortune to make your life easier and more efficient. Being an entrepreneur no longer means you have to do everything yourself. Now, you have digital assistance to lend a helping hand.
Thinking about building your business? See how a P2P loan could help you…