10 Top Time Management Tools for Your Business

13 Jun

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.

  1. WordPress*
    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.
  2. 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!
  3. Hootsuite*
    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.
  4. Evernote*
    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.
  5. 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.
  6. Toodledo**
    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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. BillMinder**
    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

.BIZ Site of the Week: Neighborhood Bakery, Golden Crown Panaderia

8 Jun

For more than 30 years, Golden Crown Panaderia has been the go-to bakery for bread-lovers in Albuquerque New Mexico, and recognized throughout the world. Italian owner Pratt Morales has traveled the world studying bread. Many believe that his store resembles another time and place, keeping the art of bread-making alive for future generations to enjoy.

Golden Crown Panaderia prides itself on serving fresh bread daily, made with 100% whole grain flour. Featured on popular television station Food Network, the .BIZ store is famous for their green-chile-cheese bread, biscochitos and specialty bread sculptures.

In addition to serving bread, Golden Crown Panaderia also offers customers a wide selection of Seattle’s Best custom coffee, with milk straight from local farms where cows are not exposed to pesticides, chemicals, hormones or antibiotics.

Visit http://www.goldencrown.biz to learn more about Gold Crown Panaderia and Pratt’s passion for the business of bread-making.

Increase Traffic to Your Website on a Shoe String Budget

6 Jun

In today’s economy, budget cuts are common. While most business owners understand that website traffic is a key driver for revenue, pay-per-click advertising can be an expensive investment for a company with a shoestring budget.

Email marketing offers an affordable and effective alternative to move customers to your website and maximize ROI. Instead of spending $2.00 – $10.00 per click on search ads, you can reach thousands of prospects for an average of $0.05 to $0.10 per email.

It’s easy to get started with email marketing; here are 3 things you’ll need:

  • Email list: You can compile contacts from your email opt-in forms on your website or social media outlets. If you don’t have an email form yet, Wufoo is a free tool to help you start building your list. Learn how to grow your email list with these tips from HubSpot.
  • Email service subscription: There are several email service options available, varying in price, features, reporting and customer support. Visit TopTenReviews’ email marketing service comparison to find the right solution to fit your current business needs. Most email service providers are great resources in helping your business comply with federal regulations, such as the CAN-SPAM Act.
  • Effective content and layout: Keep your subscribers engaged with quality content and an easy-to-read email design that is consistent with your website branding. Save the sales pitch; make sure the content you are sending is relevant and useful to your specific audience. This will ensure that they stay engaged, and will decrease the likelihood of unsubscribes. And finally, don’t forget to include a strong call-to-action in your email that will drive your subscribers to your website.

Remember, email marketing should be an extension of your .BIZ website – not a replacement. Use email marketing to enhance your website presence and keep your subscribers informed on new updates and product offers. Save money and optimize your results by consistently testing, measuring, and updating your messages accordingly.