All too often, as a small business owner, you are also the accountant, marketer, mail clerk, and so on. You can add juggler to the list of jobs as you try balance all your tasks while attempting to maintain your sanity and life outside of work (if you're lucky)!
Fortunately, for today's business owner, technology has advanced and provided avenues to ease the burden. With the advent of social media and cloud based software, there are opportunities for easily accessing networking tools, social-media marketing, syncing accounting platforms, and automating time-consuming tasks.
Marketing and Analytics
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn reach wide audiences, but very different users. Business owners need to first ask themselves who their target audience is before launching a social media campaign. Often, a too broad approach will diminish your message and have little to no effect. Decide who you want to reach and focus on brand recognition and a clear, consistent message to pull interest to your site.
For the savvy business-owner, you will want to track how effective your campaign is and make sure you are reaching your target audience. Google Analytics offers free use of their services for up to 10 million hits per month (as of this publication), which is perfect for smaller businesses.
Accounting and Back-office tasks
The world of bookkeeping and accounting can be daunting for anyone looking to manage their own business. Luckily, software and systems like QuickBooks, Xero, and FreshBooks make the process easy and so much less intimidating. Each of these platforms offer online, cloud based options along with unique benefits, so it's important that a comparison is made to find the best fit for the type of needs that your business may have.
One often forgotten, but very important task that comes with accounting is the back-office work of printing and sending checks. Most vendors still require paper checks for their bookkeeping systems, and while checks can be printed at home or in the office, special, pricy, magnetic toner is needed to print checks that banks will accept. Between the headache of lining up templates, printing, and reprinting, envelope stuffing, and the trip to the post office, the business owner will need to decide how to best use their time and money. Companies like Checkeeper simplify the process by offering two options for your business. Their site can be used to write and print checks at your home-office or business, or, even easier, they offer fulfillment services where you can either simply type in your information, or seamlessly sync your QuickBooks, Xero, or FreshBooks information at the click of a mouse to have them printed and mailed for you. The site keeps a secure registry of all your checks, as well, acting as a cloud-based ledger for your records.
If the small business owner takes advantage of these simple, easy to use cloud based business tools, they have the opportunity to increase not only efficiency, but their bottom line. More time and profit means a happy business, which means a happy business-owner, and that's what it's really all about!