Running a business isn’t for the faint of heart. From accounting and taxes to recruiting and managing staff and inventory, most entrepreneurs desperately need some time-saving tools to effectively create more hours in the day.
The Fly Pages Vault team understands this need. As small business owners ourselves, we’ve discovered (and created) some online tools to help you save time and become more efficient every day.
These are a few of our favorite time-saving hacks, learned from more than 20 years in the trenches. Enjoy!
Accounting and Taxes
Managing payroll, cash flow, accounts payable and receivable, and taxes takes up a significant amount of precious time for business owners. There are so many online tools available that claim to do it all, but lack integrations with marketing platforms. We don’t like that.
Implementing a successful marketing strategy requires integrations with email platforms and website lead form plug-ins, at a minimum. Instead of spending your time downloading and managing client email lists and lead lists, what you want is an automated integration that does that work for you. Once that’s set up, it’s much easier to automate or quickly launch email nurturing campaigns and newsletters.
Here’s a great, quick read that contains links to some of our favorite online bookkeeping tools for business. As a bonus, they’re all accountant-approved. Many platforms offer scalable options for every size company, so you’ll be able to find an option that works for you.
Business Management and Human Resources
At every stage of business growth, there are chances to learn and adjust operational practices for greater efficiency and higher profits.
Set yourself and your company up for success with timely information from The Motley Fool, The Balance, and even the U.S. Small Business Administration. These sites are all about providing actionable information to help small businesses succeed.
We especially like this article from the Fool about employee recruitment ideas. We don’t know a single business that couldn’t use more help right now.
On that note, skim through this tip sheet from The Balance or check out this article from Indeed to find more recruiting and hiring resources. For timekeeping and payroll management, we use and recommend both QuickBooks Online and Harvest.
Always consult an attorney when it comes to liability or business structure questions that could have legal ramifications for your company or your family’s resources. RocketLawyer is a great site for a quick topic search when you’re on a “do I need to consult my attorney” search.
If you ask yourself that question, by the way, the answer is yes. But, RocketLawyer resources will help you confirm that.
Digital Marketing Tips
If you’re a Fly Pages Vault client, you know that our monthly subscription services include digital marketing assets and implementation tips. You may need more platform-specific information and strategy as your digital channels grow, and that’s where Fly Pages Digital Marketing can help.
The Fly Pages team monitors digital advertising and social media best practices daily. They keep up with the latest security concerns and help medium-to-large businesses monitor and track the performance of advertising and social media campaigns.
Check out the Fly Pages blog for the latest digital marketing tips and tricks the experts use.
Another great resource is the Sprout Social blog. Use this link to search for industry-specific tips. If you’re looking for the latest SEO or social media algorithm information, wherever you choose to find information, we have one caveat: watch the date of the post.
Organic search and social media algorithms (which determine who sees your ads and posts, if anyone) change frequently. Use the 30-60-90 rule if you can, and try to narrow your search to posting dates within the last 30 days. If you can’t find a good resource updated within the last month, find one within the last two months. If that doesn’t work, try looking for tips no older than three months.
If you need answers to a specific question and can’t find a credible, recent resource, reach out to Fly Pages Vault. We’ll get back to you, then do the research and blog about it! Chances are, other business owners have the same questions, and we’re here to help.
Website Management and Updating
Your website should be the hub of your sales funnel where all digital and print marketing efforts lead. There are many different ways to set that up strategically for your market, but we consistently and successfully use WordPress for all of them.
The best time-saving and money-saving hack for managing your WordPress site is to pay someone else to do it. Even then, you may sometimes need to make an edit or post an update quickly.
Learn all about how WordPress works and how to perform those updates using WP Beginner. This site is full of articles and videos that can walk you through everything you need to know to keep your WordPress site operational, secure, and updated at least weekly with new content.
If you don’t have a WordPress site, you might want to look into it. The platform has all the functionality and security you need, and it makes websites easy to build and maintain. There are lots of theme options to choose from, and they’re all customizable for your brand. You’ll be able to find a plug-in for every functionality imaginable because it’s an open-source platform, which means innovative developers all over the world are constantly creating new tools that work with just about any WordPress site.
Building a WordPress site can be easy and relatively fast for a professional website builder, but it can be a headache for a business owner who’s already stretched too thin.
Our tip: leave a new site build to the pros, and ask the developer to train you to make updates.
You can usually opt for a monthly maintenance option once the site is live, and even add monthly SEO updates to your maintenance package. It’s worth the investment to ensure a secure and functioning brand hub with the latest mobile responsiveness and lead generation updates.
We like Fly Pages Digital Marketing for all digital and website needs. They’re easy to work with and understand nuances in marketing strategy and website user experience.
Email marketing has a special place in any strategy. When it comes to platforms and their functionality, keep in mind that you get what you pay for. Sure, you can create a free account to get started and familiarize yourself with the platform. When you’re ready to implement some nurture campaigns and other automations, though, you’ll need to pay for a business account to access all the bells and whistles.
For functionality, ease of use, and valuable analytics, we like Constant Contact. We’ve worked with all the platforms out there and we understand what they can do. Constant Contact can do it all, and it integrates seamlessly with all the top accounting tools, website platforms, and even online review sites.
Take a look at these Constant Contact quick-start guides and videos when you have a chance. Seeing the platform in action can help you determine if it’s right for your business.
The easiest way to get started with any email platform is to follow these steps:
- Develop an email strategy that addresses all audiences and sales funnel touchpoints.
- Create branded templates, lists, and automations that support your strategy.
- Set up integrations for automatic list downloads and automation triggers.
- Create monthly newsletters in minutes using the monthly email templates from Fly Pages Vault.
If you’re looking at that list and thinking it doesn’t sound easy, let us know. We know people who can set it up for you, which can also save you time.
Other Time-Saving Resources
This list contains some of our favorite resources, but it’s not exhaustive of all the great tools out there that can save you time and money. Here are few other lists you might want to check out with all your spare time (/sarcasm):
The biggest time-saving resource of all is a mentor or partner who understands the challenges of running a business. Contact Fly Pages Vault anytime with questions. We’ve been there, and our focus is helping small business owners take back a few hours of every day with tools and strategies that foster growth and profit.
We’re entrepreneurs, too.