If you want your business to thrive, it must be efficient. Business efficiency is all about making choices and changes that help your employees be their best while cutting down on unnecessary minutia. Luckily, in this digital age, we have an almost unlimited number of apps and tools that can help your business save time and make money faster.
To get you started, we have compiled a list of helpful templates and handy tools that can help your company get to the next level of efficiency.
1. Use Pre-Made Templates
If your company sends out emails, invoices, or invites on a regular basis, and they are repetitive in nature, then you must take advantage of templates. With templates, you can get information out faster and results back sooner. If your business model includes sending emails to potential clients, then you can either create your own templates or model them off of pre-made email templates. There is a template for nearly every kind of email, from introductions and follow-ups to meeting invites, and the use of these templates can allow you to focus additional efforts elsewhere.
2. Invoicing Templates
In order for your company to make a profit, efficient invoicing is key, and streamlining the process with invoice templates will make a world of difference. There are numerous places online where you can find invoice templates perfect for your company, whether you are a small business, a large corporation, or a self-employed freelancer. Once you have your invoice templates set, you can pair them with an online accounting tool that will track your invoices, maintain your finances, and help you when tax time comes around.
- Instead of sending out invoices blindly, always review them to assure appropriateness for the audience and situation.
- Consider adding a personal touch to your templates, such as listing additional services that you think would be helpful for your client in the future.
- Provide a variety of payment options upfront, so the client has a choice, and you don’t waste time trying to find a way to get your money.
3. Consider Digital Signatures
In addition to helpful templates, there is a slew of digital tools that can help your business maintain peak efficiency, whether that is with the clients or your employees.
When it comes to signing paperwork, the old process of printing out hundreds of pages and sending the documents via mail to the recipient are long gone. Instead, digital signatures are making the process much easier.
- Just like their written counterparts, digital signatures are legally binding.
- Legal documents can be emailed and returned in a fraction of the time
- You can create digital signatures by using tools such as DocuSign and Adobe Reader.
4. Cloud Computing Can Help
While your company is becoming more efficient with paperless invoices and contracts, you can save even more time by utilizing cloud-based data storage. In essence, the cloud lets you forgo your physical hard drive and instead allows you to upload and download your electronic files from anywhere. Cloud computing saves time and resources, so you save money and keep your business moving even when you are on the road, or your client lives in another timezone.
5. Collaboration Tools
While business efficiency means offering better solutions for clients and customers, it also requires an organized team of employees who are on task without stepping on each other’s toes. Enter team collaboration apps like Slack and Trello. Said tools create a digital project board where all employees keep track of their tasks and can communicate with each other in real-time. Also consider using Google Apps, which provides the opportunity for the team to create documents, slideshows, and spreadsheets that everyone can view and use for their needs.
6. The Benefits of Video Conferencing
One of the most significant factors that stalls business efficiency is an unnecessary meeting. It used to be that you would have to make sure that everyone was in the room at the same time before you could have a meeting, and if someone wasn’t there, there would be another meeting to get them in the loop. All of that hustle can be eliminated, and more time can be saved by utilizing the benefits of video conferencing.
Video conferencing apps like Skype and Zoom allow you to add up to 50 participants in a meeting that can be joined from anywhere, so if a team member is out in the field, they can still participate. Even if someone is not able to attend, video conferences can be recorded for future viewing. Plus, having face-to-face meetings allows everyone to ask all necessary questions instead of sending an endless stream of back-to-back emails that wastes additional time.
7. Prep Your Video Conference for Maximum Efficiency
Even though video conferences can save time, preparations are still necessary to ensure that they run at peak efficiency. Before the call, send out an agenda of talking points and stick to it. Also, test the video to verify that there will not be technical issues when the meeting begins. Finally, ensure that the staff is not talking over each other by setting and enforcing speaking time frames, so everyone gets to contribute.
As they say, “time is money,” and if you are not taking full advantage of the 40 hours you have each week, then you may be risking unnecessary losses. Consider the use of templates and tools and watch your company operate at peak efficiency.