According to a survey of 1,200 people by Office Time, the number one time waste for entrepreneurs, business owners, freelancers and professionals is email, with meetings being a close second. You may not be able to completely eliminate tedious duties in your day-to-day work, but there are online resources to help expedite some of your most time-consuming business tasks. From project management to accounting, these online services have your business covered.
Quickly take care of your business quotes, invoices and expenses with a free accounting software like Sage One. You don't need an accounting degree to figure out how to compile all the financial data you need. Sage One simplifies the process so you're not stuck figuring out next steps and how your numbers add up. You can also integrate with your bank and send reports to your CPA to review a crisp, clean cash flow statement you barely had to work on.
Skip the expense and hassle of hiring someone part-time to deal with random tasks, such as researching, purchasing the right office supplies and managing your appointments and calendar. With Fancy Hands, you can sign up for as few as five task requests a month and go all the way up to an unlimited plan. And Fancy Hands isn't just for business. If your cable bill suddenly went up, you can submit a request to have an assistant call and resolve it for you.
Ditch the traditional to-do lists you never look at again, and manage your projects with Trello. Assign tasks a virtual card that you can quickly drag and drop to different columns to keep track of what's going on and what you need to do next. Plan your next big product launch or put together a board for your next business trip. Trello also lets you add team members to your board. They can add cards, make suggestions and check-off completed tasks.
Use a social media scheduling site like Edgar to see sobering statistics of how little your social media reach really is. For example, the half-life for a Tweet is 24 minutes and 90 minutes for a Facebook post. That means very few people ever see your social media updates announcing your big business news or services. Like Hootsuite and other social media schedulers, Edgar has an option to schedule out your posts when you want your audience to see it. But unlike other services, Edgar lets you stock up to 5,000 posts in an online library into different category buckets. The system automatically stocks up its queue with updates from your library, and when you run out, it uses older ones so you never miss out on branding your business.
Bidsketch empowers you to create better business proposals in at least half the time. Build the confidence to pitch bigger and more lucrative clients with a polished presentation. You can mix and match your content, fees and designs to pull together a professional-looking proposal. Capture your client signatures online when they approve your proposal and impress them with a customized client landing page.
You probably can't completely eliminate business meetings from your weekly schedule, but you can simplify the process with GoToMeeting. Connect with anyone from whatever device you're using, whether a tablet, smartphone or laptop, for an HD video chat and shared screen. The best part is GoToMeeting automatically records your meeting for a more thorough review later.
These are just six of the many online resources available to help increase productivity.