…And Might Even Save It!
A “hack” is a term that has come to describe a way to make things easier, more efficient, and more effective. For example, a camping hack would be a tip that would make camping easier, a game hack would make winning a game easier, and a business hack makes running your business easier. Following are five business hacks that will not only make it easier to run your business, but putting them into practice will not bust your budget either. Some of these may even help you manage your budget!
There is definitely a time and a place for hiring a marketing professional to help you get the word out. However, some of the marketing platforms utilized today are easily handled, for a bit, on your own. There is a slew of information available in both print and electronic form that can help small business owners learn the ropes of internet marketing. Everything from social media marketing to the ins and outs of SEO can be done without the help of a professional with just a little self-training.
Of course, this isn’t always wise, as it can take a significant amount of time. Services such as that offered by LocalVox can be a happy medium. LocalVox publishes events, promotions, and news to online directories, social media, and your company website all with the push of a button. The cost varies, but it is definitely less than that of hiring an internet marketing professional.
Choosing to manage your finances on your own can be time consuming as well, but if you know how to do it, it can save some money and ensure you always know where your business stands financially. Whether you handle the finances on your own or hire someone to do it, sites such as Mint and PayPal can help when it comes to taking payments online and tracking finances. Each have mobile apps as well, meaning your can stay on top of things where ever you are using your mobile device.
The social couponing site Groupon has recently introduced its Groupon Works program for small businesses. It makes it easier to accept credit card payments for less, and allows businesses to do so straight from their iPad. The real hack here however, is the ability to create real time social couponing deals that are automatically sent to subscribers. For example, if a hair salon has 5 open appointments in the afternoon, a deal can be created and sent to subscribers in an effort to get those seats filled.
Project Management and File Sharing
Depending on what type of business you run, project management and file sharing could play a large role in day to day activities. Gone are the days of tediously emailing an attachment to each member of a group working on a specific project and waiting for emails back from each one. These days programs such as Dropbox, Asana, and Google Drive make the project management and team communication processes much easier. With real time sharing, editing of documents, idea sharing and messaging, these programs and others like them are budget friends as well as time saving, allowing for a major jump in not only efficiency but also effectiveness.
As a business owner, part of your job is ensuring employees are as productive as possible. The best way to do this is to make certain they are armed with the tools they need to do their job to the best of their ability. This includes providing proper training, necessary tools, necessary and appropriate flexibility to allow for a work life balance, and fair compensation. When good workers are happy with their job, they become even better workers and everyone benefits.
While these tips will not always work for every business due to the fact that all businesses and all situations are different, most business owners can definitely find benefit from at least one or two of them. Pick at least one to put into practice today and see if you don’t find things run more smoothly without breaking the bank.