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Tools for improving business operations

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When running a small business, your focus tends to be on the front end: Marketing, advertising, and doing everything you can to achieve sales. But once you've made those sales, you need to make sure that the operations of your business run smoothly, or you won't be able to hang onto your customers for very long.
Of course, you don't want to spend too much on business operations, because your budget is limited!
That's why we've put together this list of brilliant, affordable tools for business operations. They don't cost an arm and a leg, and many of them offer free trials and discounts, so you can try them out before you take the plunge.

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Tools for improving business operations

  1. 1. The best affordable tools for improving business operations
  2. 2. There are problems that can slow down your business operations, When you’re running a business...
  3. 3. There are problems that can slow down your business operations, lowering your overall productivity… When you’re running a business...
  4. 4. There are problems that can slow down your business operations, lowering your overall productivity… and your monthly turnover. When you’re running a business...
  5. 5. When you’re running a business... Problems like…
  6. 6. ● Things getting forgotten… When you’re running a business... Problems like…
  7. 7. ● Things getting forgotten… ● lost in your inbox… When you’re running a business... Problems like…
  8. 8. ● Things getting forgotten… ● lost in your inbox… ● and eventually done late and out of order. When you’re running a business... Problems like…
  9. 9. You have tried… ● working longer hours in order to get things done in an orderly fashion… ● taking lots of notes as you progress through the work day…
  10. 10. But how do you increase productivity? Using online tools for business operations The better way:
  11. 11. Using online tools for business operations (software and apps that manage the operations of your business, streamlining processes and freeing up time) The better way: But how do you increase productivity?
  12. 12. That's where these tools come in. Take a look at our list of life-saving business operations tools, and choose one (or many!) that will work for you.
  13. 13. We've divided this list up into six different categories: Tools for processing orders ● processing orders ● internal operations ● communication Tools for: ● customer relations ● registrations and sign-ups ● finances These are links!
  14. 14. 1/3 Tools for processing orders The 'Manufacturing process' taskflow manages the tasks from: a client placing an order online, through manufacturing, up to receipt of final payment and delivery/collection.
  15. 15. Tools for processing orders Your customers are shopping online, in person, on mobile devices and with social media. Shopify is everything you need to sell anywhere. Reach them all with one platform. 2/3
  16. 16. Tools for processing orders from receiving repair orders… to accessing and ordering parts needed… Tools for internal operations The 'Bike repairs' taskflow helps to manage a repair workshop: and finally billing the customer when the repair has been completed. 3/3
  17. 17. Tools for internal operations The 'Procurement' taskflow manages the internal flow of tasks of a basic procurement process. This covers placing a request, authorizing the order, placing it with the supplier, and following up on the status of the order. 1/6
  18. 18. Tools for internal operations The 'Extended procurement' taskflow assists with the process in a busier company. This is useful when requests need to be reviewed by managers, or when multiple quotes are needed before ordering. 2/6
  19. 19. Tools for internal operations Harvest is a time-tracking tool that allows you to monitor yourself and your business ops, helping you to pinpoint where you need to improve in order to speed things up, freeing up time to focus on new customers. 3/6
  20. 20. Tools for internal operations ● approve or deny leave requests ● keep an eye on when employees' will return to work ● cancel the leave if necessary. 4/6 The 'Request for leave' taskflow helps you to keep track of your employees' leave applications:
  21. 21. Tools for internal operations Grasshopper is a phone system that allows you to run your business from your mobile phone… Instead of from a landline. This is very useful for people whose business operations take them away from the office fairly often. 5/6
  22. 22. Tools for internal operations The 'IT support' taskflow manages the process of: ● making a request for support ● assigning an IT technician to resolve the issue ● tracking the progress ● and closing the issue. 6/6 Tools for communication
  23. 23. With SparkPost you can use a single platform to send both your bulk and transactional email messages. 1/6 Transactional email services send one email to one recipient, usually triggered by the recipient's action or inaction. Tools for communication
  24. 24. Use Mandrill to send personalized, one-to-one e-commerce emails, and automated transactional emails. Tools for communication 2/6 Mandrill is simple, powerful transactional emailing from the same people that brought you Mailchimp.
  25. 25. Tools for communication Slack is a brilliant messaging tool for internal communication which makes working lives simpler, more pleasant, and more productive. 3/6 When integrated with Kotive, it’s another alternative to transactional emailing.
  26. 26. Tools for communication Clickatell makes it easy for you to connect, interact and transact with your customers on their mobile phones, no matter where they're located. Integrating with Kotive turns their SMS services into transactional notifications. 4/6
  27. 27. Tools for communication Twilio enables web developers to integrate phone calls, text messages and IP voice communications into their web, mobile and traditional phone applications. Integrating with Kotive turns their SMS services into transactional notifications. 5/6
  28. 28. Tools for communication Tools for customer relations GoToMeeting allows staff to gather online for meetings, instead of in person, saving travel time and expenses.6/6 These online meetings aren’t restricted to staff alone - you can use GoToMeeting with your customers, too.
  29. 29. Tools for customer relations The 'Customer satisfaction evaluation' taskflow helps you to: 1/3 Solicit clients' feedback on your products and services, then review the feedback and escalate issues that need urgent attention.
  30. 30. Tools for customer relations Keep all of your contacts in the same place, from customers to leads and vendors, and manage your CRM tasks with a calendar and full history of your customers, using Capsule.2/3
  31. 31. Tools for customer relations Close.io is a CRM that automatically logs your calls as you make them and your emails as you send them. 3/3 Tools for registrations and sign-ups
  32. 32. Tools for registrations and sign-ups The 'Workshop registration' taskflow assists in: ● receiving and confirming new registrations ● making sure that all payments are received 1/5
  33. 33. Tools for registrations and sign-ups ‘Volunteer management’ is a tool for NPOs and other companies who use volunteers. ● Receive new volunteer applications ● approve or deny them ● assign them to team-leaders 2/5
  34. 34. Tools for registrations and sign-ups The 'Crowdsourcing translation' taskflow assists you with managing volunteer translators: ● providing them with online training3/5 ● testing their skills in translation ● evaluating whether or not their skills are up to scratch
  35. 35. Tools for registrations and sign-ups Mailchimp helps marketers to send bulk emails to customers. It manages subscriber lists, builds email campaigns and generates campaign reports. 4/5
  36. 36. Tools for registrations and sign-ups Tools for finances The 'New membership' taskflow is designed to: assist you with approving or denying new members to join your club, and adding the approved members to your mailing list. 5/5
  37. 37. The 'Billing for gardening service' taskflow ● generates and sends bills as soon as a job has been completed ● managers can track payments easily ● a payment reminder is sent to the client if necessary 1/6 Tools for finances
  38. 38. DocRaptor allows .pdf and .xlsx files to be generated from html templates. By using DocRaptor within a business operations taskflow in Kotive, you can automatically create quotes and invoices from templates. Tools for finances 2/6
  39. 39. Freshbooks has everything you might need to make your business’s accounting easy. ● Create invoices and capture expenses, ● Time-track your billable hours ● Collect payments online Tools for finances 3/6
  40. 40. Use shoeboxed to turn receipts into data. Tools for finances 4/6 Create expense reports Track mileage Scan & organize receipts and business cards
  41. 41. Tools for finances The 'Claim expenses' taskflow: ● manages all employees' submissions ● reviews expense claims as they're incurred ● avoids a month-end rush 5/6
  42. 42. Tools for finances Freeagent is accounting software for freelancers and small businesses. They do the heavy lifting, you do the fun stuff!6/6 What have we missed?
  43. 43. We looked at six kinds of tools: ● processing orders ● internal operations ● communication Tools for: ● customer relations ● registrations and sign-ups ● finances Did we miss any of your favorite tools? Let us know by commenting on our blog!

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