Smarter Working - Using Technology to Improve Productivity
Just wrote this quick post as an entry to a 'Small Business Showcase' competition on The Guardian website, so thought I'd share it here too:
Working on my own for a large number of clients in varying business sectors, it's vital that I am able to work efficiently and effectively to deliver my clients' projects on time.
Over the 5 years I’ve been running my business the tools and services I use to keep my business running smoothly have changed dramatically. But I’ve always kept in mind that the systems I use should provide real benefit, and not just be used because they’re available.
I now regularly use Dropbox and Google Drive to share and work on files remotely with clients. With the arrival of fibre broadband I can now deliver design work, photos and documents to clients via these services in a fraction of the time it used to take.
Likewise, I now use Skype and Google Hangouts to deliver client training and attend meetings - cutting down on travel time and expense and delivering real value to my clients.
To keep my back-office administration manageable I use Hiveage - an online service for managing invoicing and estimates, which also helps me manage my cash flow and financial forecasts. Obviously online banking has helped small businesses keep better control over their finances, with easy access to all the important information without having to visit the bank in person.
Finally, I use iCal and Reminders on my Mac to keep track of meetings, projects and my ‘to-do’ lists, ensuring I always have easy access to the information which enables me to work ‘smarter’.
As it happens, I'm writing this whilst on a train on my way to London to visit a client, so I guess I could add 'using my mobile as a wireless hotspot to ensure I can get connected and get work done wherever I am'!
What tools and techniques do you use to work 'smart' in your business?