The more you can achieve in a day, the more you can add to your bottom line, which every business owner is more than happy to do. Countless articles have been written about boosting productivity in one’s business, which makes where to start a more pertinent question than how to go about doing it.
Working out precisely what your business needs will help you to wade through the overwhelming number of productivity tools out there to identify which ones will work for you.
We’ve identified three areas of activity in a business that has the potential to be more productive, particularly with the use of web-based tools. These tools often focus on automating repetitive processes, freeing up time for high-level thinking that needs a human rather than a machine.
Marketing and Communications
It all begins with internal communication. If you and your staff are not communicating effectively within your business, it’s unlikely that your external communication will be as effective as it could be. When you have staff working in multiple locations, it becomes even more important to use a communication tool that keeps each person informed and connected to the team. A tool such as Slack brings all your communication together. It’s a single place for messaging, tools and files – helping everyone to save time and to work together, albeit virtually.
An intranet is another useful tool for sharing information, services and files within a business. It is a private network which is only accessible to your staff, and because it looks and works just like a public website, it won’t be difficult for people to learn how to use it.
When communicating with your clients and other stakeholders, consistent messaging and branding is extremely important. Something as simple as ensuring that all your staff are using the same design for their email signature and the same font when composing email messages presents a professional image to your clients. When sending out marketing emails, using software such as MailChimp allows you to design templates and to personalise emails, e.g. addressing recipients by name. Using templates reduces the time needed to set up an email before sending, as well as ensuring that your branding is consistent.
Sales and Customer Management
It’s all about your leads. The better you manage them, the better your chances of closing deals. Customer relationship management (CRM) software such as Zoho is designed to help you manage your clients for the entire customer lifecycle.
How many times has a service provider contact you, asking for the same information you provided several times before? A CRM system will help you to capture all your client information in one place and to record every interaction with that client. This means that any staff member that logs into the system will be able to pick up where the last person finished off, creating a seamless experience for your clients. When a staff member leaves, it also makes handover much easier, assuming the system is being used correctly and continuously.
Where client communication is generic, e.g. each person gets the same welcome letter when becoming a client, the process of sending the communication can be automated. Although it takes significant thought, planning and set up initially, it will streamline all your client communications and give your sales team more time for meeting with clients rather than spending it on sending emails.
Accounting and Finance
When it comes to managing your sales team’s expenses, using online reporting software will streamline the process and help to identify opportunities for cost-saving. Zoho also has software to automate expense report creation, streamline approvals and make swift reimbursements. It will centralise and digitise all expenses, enabling better management and control.
At the end of the day, you are in business to make money. The easier it is to bring it in, the happier you (and your accountant) will be.
In a business where payments are made in monthly instalments, having a system that manages and automates direct debits will make your life a breeze.
FlexiFund It is a fund collection software that provides your customers with flexible payment options while securing the full payment for your services.
The software automates your entire funding and payment process, allowing you to control more transactions in less time and with less effort.
Your margins will be positively impacted as you maximise both time and money. Not only do you make your own business operations more productive, but you also help your clients improve their productivity, as they don’t have to remember to manually load payments.
Get in touch to find out more about FlexiFund It Insurance Premium Funding Software. A cloud-based, easy-to-use solution developed to serve the insurance industry.