A big reason you decided to strike out on your own and start a small business was because you knew in your heart of hearts that you could do it better; you could affect change in the field.
Now that you own and manage an SMB, you’re realizing that the stupid and seemingly avoidable mistakes you thought your previous boss was making were made by trial and error. It wasn’t that management was stupid, it was more that they were untrained.
After having made a couple of costly mistakes yourself, you’ve learned that operating a business is more than you had originally thought. That’s okay; don’t beat yourself up over it! There’s a learning curve that comes with owning and operating an SMB, you just have to give yourself time and look for opportunities to do and be better.
Speaking of which, doing better brings us to our next point. To improve company workflow and better operating practices, check out these three apps that can help you make that happen!
Though email is a great method of communication, it only takes a few unanswered messages sitting in the inbox before you’re completely bogged down. People have become so overwhelmed by their full inboxes that some are opting not to respond! This creates a problem for you and your business.
You can avoid the email pit of despair by switching to the communication app Slack. An instant message platform, Slack gives users the ability to create and control messaging channels (they can be set to public or private viewing) that allows them to discuss business and client strategy in real-time. With added app features that allow users to drag, drop and share PDFs, word files, infographics and other media, Slack in the one-stop shop in communication tools.
Managing a team of multiple people can prove…challenging. In an effort to perform your job well, you might lose sight of your employees and managing team goals and projects. OmniFocus, a time management app, helps management and department team members keep track of projects and reports by showing everyone what is due and when. The app also reports on when projects are completed and, according to OmniFocus’s home page, “lets you see your work in a variety of ways. Each perspective is designed for something specific: planning, doing, checking on your upcoming day, and more.”
You can’t be everywhere at once. There will be times you’re out of the office to attend conventions, meet with clients and maybe even go on vacation, OmniFocus takes care of that. You can see what everyone in the office is doing from anywhere, as long as you have Wi-Fi!
As a newly founded small business, figuring out how bill clients and pay freelancers in between running the “HR department” (you are HR until you can build a team) and overseeing the staff can be tough going. Fortunately, making online payments has never been easier, thanks to Due.com. Specializing in invoicing for small businesses, Due helps small businesses pay staff and freelancers and also helps to ensure that your small business gets paid for services rendered or products provided.
Due is the premier finance app for payment and sales, it also makes your SMB’s cybersecurity a top priority: “Every transaction is encrypted and monitored for potential fraud. From next-generation technology to PCI compliance, your financial and personal data is safe.”
Cybercriminals are known to target SMB financial data first—Due will protect your data and make sure you stay in the black.
Running a small business takes time, patience, understanding, know-how and a can-do attitude. By using the apps above, you’ll be well on your way to managing a smart and successful business.
Ian Dixon is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional), founder of TheDigitalLifestyle.com tech site and producer of the weekly The Digital Lifestyle Show podcast. Ian has been writing and talking about Windows for over 10 years and has over 20 years in IT as an IT Manager. Ian has thousands of followers on Twitter and Facebook and over 4 million views on his YouTube channel.