3 Technology-Based Tools To Help Small Business Owners Get More Done In Less Time

For small business owners, finding enough time to get everything done can be a major challenge. A third of small business owners work over 50 hours a week, and 1 in 4 put in over 60 hours a week, a New York Enterprise Report poll found. This can be not only emotionally stressful and physically exhausting but bad for your health.

University College London research has identified a correlation between overwork and cardiovascular problems, and an Australian National University study has shown that working over 39 hours a week places health at risk, especially for women with extra-work commitments, who begin to experience health issues after 34 hours a week. Excessive work doesn’t necessarily mean extra productivity, either.

Fortunately, by leveraging today’s technology, small business owners can get more work done in less time. Here are three strategies you can apply to increase your efficiency and productivity without burning yourself out.

AI-powered Email Answering Tactics

Answering email drains more productive time than any other business task. Responding to email and using the Internet together take up 32 percent of business owners’ time, a survey by The Alternative Board found. Unscheduled communication is the biggest time-wasting frustration for small business owners, the survey revealed.

There are a number of strategies you can use to cut down the amount of time you spend answering email. One of the latest is using artificial intelligence to help answer your email for you. Cutting-edge mobile platforms such as the latest Snapdragon processors support on-device AI that can power smart email answering tools such as voice-controlled digital assistants. If you use Gmail, Google’s Inbox tool helps you answer your email by automatically separating spam from important email and generates three automated one-click replies you can select from.

Cloud-based Accounting Apps

Bookkeeping is another one of the most time-consuming parts of running a business. Accounting, tax preparation and payroll are tedious tasks that can consume enormous amounts of time. When asked to name the least favorite part of running their company, 46 percent of small business owners said bookkeeping, according to a TD Bank survey.

One strategy many businesses and accounting firms are adopting to cut down time spent on bookkeeping is using cloud-based accounting apps. Cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks Online, FreshBooks and Xero provide a single interface you can use to coordinate the flow of data between digital apps that handle different parts of your business, dramatically reducing your data entry time.

For instance, you can sync your transaction data with your accounting app so that every time you make a sale, your books get automatically updated. This eliminates both the task of manually entering data and the time that would be spent correcting manual data entry errors.

Marketing Automation Platforms

Marketing tasks such as creating content, sharing content on social media, and managing email lists can take a significant amount of time. One way to reduce the amount of time you spend on marketing is to use marketing automation software.

Leading marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot, Marketo and Adobe Campaign provide an interface you can use to manage all your marketing channels from a single location. You can update your blog content, share social media posts and send out email blasts without having to log into separate accounts. To consolidate the time you spend on marketing, you can also schedule your content campaigns in advance.

AI-powered email response tactics, cloud-based accounting apps and marketing automation platforms are three strategies you can adopt to increase your operational efficiency and productivity and save time running your business. By adopting these strategies, you can spend less time working on routine tasks, giving you more time to concentrate on growing your business.

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