Time management is an ongoing challenge for startups and entrepreneurs. .BIZ has identified 10 top time management tools that will cut hours off your daily operations, help you stay organized and expand your business.
A leading content management system, WordPress is used by millions of small business owners to build quick websites/webpages and schedule timely web content and blog updates. With thousands of free plug-ins available, you will save loads of time and money on web developers and add leading-edge features to your website within minutes. An open-source service, WordPress is constantly being updated with the latest and greatest resources to improve your website operations and increase customer conversion.
- Outlook Web Email **
For only $4.99, you can access your entire outlook web email and calendar from your smart phone. This app allows you to view all emails and sub-folders, forward, reply to and send emails from your Outlook account, download attachments and forward attachments. With the ability to create and accept global meetings on-the-go as well as receive automated reminders, you won’t miss another appointment!
Hootsuite is a popular social management tool that allows users to schedule publishing of messages in advance across multiple social networks. Save time logging in and updating your multiple networks each day; instead, add them to Hootsuite and publish multiple messages on each with just one click. Connect and manage your business’ Facebook, Linkedin page and groups, Twitter, Google +, Foursquare, Tumlr, Flickr, Youtube and more – all in one dashboard. This tool offers a basic free version, with upgrades available for a small fee.
Winner of TechCrunch Crunchies, Mashable Awards and the Webby’s, Evernote is a free cloud-based app that provides easy access to files across all platforms. Take voice, audio, video or text notes and access them from home, work and on-the-go. You can search by date, audio, text and even text within photos to quickly find the information you need. Additionally, quickly share your Evernote files with any coworker or client within seconds.
- Google Reader*
Keep up with the latest news and trends in your industry with Google Reader. This tool aggregates all feeds of your choice into one easy to read format. All you need to do is subscribe to your favorite sites, organize them into category folders and browse your favorite content in one place. Share feeds and folders with other Google Reader users with one URL and set alerts for the information, keywords or publications that are must-reads for your business.
Manage all your to do lists and tasks with one comprehensive app. Overflowing with productivity features, you’ll keep track of all your responsibilities wherever you are. This app will aid you in prioritizing, collaborating and sharing projects with clients and colleagues. You can also import data from calendars such as Outlook and iCal, and track progress on business goals with visual stats and graphs.
- FileApp Pro**
You no longer need a full-service computer to open, edit, save and organize files. Now you can use FileApp Pro to do all of this and more – conveniently from your mobile device. Leave your heavy laptop behind, and quickly access any file from the FileApp Pro cloud – from Word and Excel documents to pdfs, images audio and zip files. Use this tool as your portable office desktop; create folders and rename files on the fly and sync with your computer within minutes.
- Scan Bizcards**
Stop spending hours transferring contacts into your address book, snap a quick photo upon receipt with Scan Bizcards. Featuring 30 capabilities, the app has been recognized by the New York Times, ABC TV, Apple Gazette and the 2011 MOBI Awards. The newest features include the ability for users to directly export business card photos into Sales Force as well as schedule automated introduction notes for each loaded contact. Free and paid versions of Scan Bizcards are available.
- Hours Tracker**
Whether you’re tracking hours to increase productivity or billing your services to a client, Hours Tracker is a great resource to help you quickly track and review your time. Add specific jobs and corresponding rates once, and aggregate and calculate hours for each. Keep track of all your time wherever you are, and export project data into an excel sheet to email or upload to other time management programs.
BillMinder allows you to add and manage all your business’ bills in one place. You can schedule auto payments, view payment and account history, and receive timely reports and analyze spending patterns across custom categories. Stay on top of all your business’ bills with BillMinder and spend more time on ROI-generating activities!
Take advantage of these resources to streamline your business processes and grow your business revenue through your .BIZ website. For a chance to win a $25 to the app store of your choice, let us know what other strategies you are using to improve your time management for your business.
* available online and on all smart phones
** available for iPhone and iPad
Today, companies are engaging across a multitude of evolving, never-ending social mediums. But with limited time and resources, it’s important for entrepreneurs to treat social media as an enhancement to their sustainable growth strategy instead of making it “THE” strategy. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the social gadgets and gizmos available; start small and use social media to amplify your existing business plan, reach your goals and tell your story.
In a digitized world, Marshall McLuhan’s famous philosophy “the message is the medium” is no longer true. From Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter to Pinterest, Instagram and Foursquare – the success of a message is now dependent upon the quality of your content, the audience that you reach and more importantly, your call to action.
This week, .BIZ attended the Social Media Forum at the U.S. Small Business Association’s 2012 Conference. Panelist Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz and GrowSmartBusiness and former editorial director at Entrepreneur Magazine, gave simple but sound advice for choosing the appropriate social mediums: Go where your audience is. And if your audience is everywhere? Start with one or two networks where the majority of your audience is engaging. “Create personas of the audience you are engaging with on each social platform and tailor your content accordingly,” Rieva advised.
So you might be wondering: How can I make social a means to an end for my start-up? First, focus on building credibility among your target market and driving them to your website to continue through your sales funnel and convert. Remember that while social is a great tool to drive traffic to your company’s website; it should never replace your website. It’s important to note that engagement etiquette differs depending on the network. Mashable’s article “How to: Pick the right social media engagement style,” provides a few helpful and insightful tips.
After you’ve begun engaging on your social networks of choice and linking to your website, it’s time to start measuring and tweaking your messages accordingly. Hootsuite is a great FREE tool to use that will help you track how many people are clicking on your sites, and from what social media networks. You can also leverage Google Analytics to dive deeper into where visitors are landing on your site, where they are going, how long they are staying, if they are converting, the amount of $ they spending, and much more! We encourage you to experiment with your messages and be creative. Then, monitor your results, build on what’s working and kill what isn’t.
We hope this post inspires you to start maximizing your online communities as a means to an end for long-term business success. Be authentic, create relationships, build trust and use social media to encourage your target market to take the next step in the conversion process − visiting your .BIZ website!
This week’s .biz spotlight shines on www.arteworks.biz. Based in Austin, Texas, Artworks.biz is 0ne of the top 5 search engine optimization companies / SEO company. Social media optimization, search engine marketing services, video seo and video search optimization. Free SEO tools, videos, news, information.