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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
  • Price: Free download
  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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  • Number of pages: 2

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DAY 1: 5 apps entrepreneurs can use to boost productivity

Successful entrepreneurs are a resourceful people. They're willing to do what they need to do to figure out the winning formula and aren't stopped by brick walls or what appears to be limited solutions. Discovering ways to increase productivity and efficiency as you work through the fast-moving world of a small business owner is imperative for success. Here are five apps entrepreneurs can use to boost productivity.

TRELLO

A Trello board is a list of lists, filled with cards, used by you and your team. It's a lot more than that, though. Trello has everything you need to organize projects of any size and it works wherever you are! Pricing ranges from gratis to just over $20 per month. When you're ready to sign up, click this link to let the good people at Trello know I recommended you and they'll upgrade my account to Trello Gold for one month.

This is a popular app among entrepreneurs! Amy Hardie, founder of Freedom Mamas, loves Trello because “it's visual and it's flexible. I can plan projects or weekly schedules and move tasks around easily. I can also send tasks to other people.” Another digital entrepreneur, Brittani-Pearl MacFadden, shared with me the things she likes about it: the integration with common file storage like Dropbox and Drive, great mobile app, gorgeous interface, and… it's FREE.

EVERNOTE

Their selling point is: Discover how organized you can be. Collect what matters and find it when you need it, wherever you are. Yes -- I'll take two. When you register, install, and sign in to Evernote, you'll get Premium and I'll also earn points to use for Premium. Get there from here. You're awesome!

Mandi Buckner is the Co-owner of Chewsy Lovers, a community for couples who love to experiment in the kitchen and want to be inspired to create delicious family memories at home or on the go. She tells me this is her favorite app -- hands down. “I keep my checklists in it, my long/short lists, notes, content ideas, etc. EVERYTHING. I've been using it for years.”

GOOGLE DOCS

Google Docs is a web-based word processor that features smart editing and styling tools. You can access your documents at any time -- even edit them offline and edit with other people in the same document at the same time! Not convinced of its greatness yet? Learn more.

This was another popular app! Onyi Azih is a mom, Physician Assistant, and blogger at SincerelyOnyi.com. She says, “Google Docs and Google Sheets are my number one apps. I'm able to work on posts and projects on the go and it's easy to share or get things edited/proofread.” TaKenya Hampton is the voice of IamKenyaRae.com. She uses Google Docs in conjunction with CoSchedule and says it “helps me be able to write on the go and edit and sync to my site effortlessly.”

TODOIST

What if I could show you a super-simple way to keep your life from feeling overwhelming? Would it help you get more done and enjoy peace of mind along the way? This handy, dandy app offers plans for individuals and businesses - you're sure to find one that fits your goal. Check out the special pricing for non-profit programs and education.

Kita Bryant is a blogger, photographer, and social media marketer. She says, “It's the best app for me to write out my to-do list for the day and mark when done. I'm not a paper and pencil person so this app is my right hand.”

DUBSADO

I didn't know about this app until Dara Simons, a website designer for mompreneurs, shared it with me. Dubsado offers Lead Management/Capture, Payments, Contracts, Bookkeeping, Client/Project Management, and integrates well with your favorite business apps.

Dara says, “It's a beautiful thing! The automation features save me so much time.”

Which apps do you use to be the best at what you do? Do you use any of the apps mentioned here?

Desiree Townsend is an Executive Assistant specializing in social media and is currently accepting new clients for social media and digital support.

This post contains paid and/or affiliate links.

DAY 2: Wanna get your small business organized? Try these suggestions.

So much for the “paperless society.” The reality is, I have more paper in my life than I ever had before. Everything piles up on my desk until I have a fit about it and start purging. Wouldn't it be nice to have a system in place that would eliminate all of that fussing? Using the acronym O.R.G.A.N.I.Z.E., you can whip your small biz into shape to make more time to plan and execute activities that are income-producing!

Organize your computer. You can do this in three steps: Create, Delete, Backup. Create a system for your file folders, get rid of old files, and backup the most important files on an external drive or cloud storage. You will never have to worry about losing those important files when your computer crashes.

Reclaim your desk space. Remove everything from the surface of your desk, wipe it down, and put back the items that are required for daily use.

Gather and redistribute. Gather up everything that doesn't belong in your office space and put it in its proper place. Yes, this includes your 39 super-awesome coffee mugs.

Assign “toss” dates for your paper clutter. You don't need to hold on to everything for 7 years. Most financial and and legal paperworks should be filed away for a specific period of time. For your tax documents, the IRS recommends that we “[k]eep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later...” If it doesn't fall in line with the IRS or what's required by law, set a firm date that you will toss the paper and then follow through on that date.

Neaten your wires. One of the easiest ways to keep the wire clutter at bay is to use wireless devices (mouse, keyboard, printer). If you must keep the wires, bind them together with zip ties or velcro wraps.

Inventory. As you're tossing things that are broken, don't work, or have lost their use in another way, make a list of what you use regularly and how many you have of each item. As you start to run low on something particular, you can order it without having to count again.

Zones. Decide what will go on in each “zone” of your office. In my space, I have a table designated for crafting, a shelving unit for my supplies and printers, and my main workspace - a computer desk. Each area should be used only for that purpose.

Examine your to-do and calendar system. This is where I have the most trouble. I prefer paper over digital calendars but I don't keep up with either. What works for you?

Desiree Townsend is an Executive Assistant specializing in social media and is currently accepting new clients for social media and digital support.

DAY 3: 3 organization strategies for solo business owners

Solo business owners are some of the hardest working people, hands down. You have to stay on top of everything, including overcoming chaos that so often finds its way into your life. It's easy to melt into that chaos and hope it will go away. Keep reading to learn three strategies to keep your eyes on the prize of profitability, predictability, and peace.

Focus on what's important to you and your business. If you want to live the life you truly desire, you've got to take charge and make it happen. Think about this, first: is your goal focused on your inner needs or what someone else expects from you? It's far easier to do this when the benefit is intrinsic. Related: 19 Business Goals You Can Set This Year.

Stop procrastinating! Use the Seinfeld Strategy.

Take 5 minutes at the end of each day to write down what you got done.

Message or meet with your accountability partner or group, weekly.

Take a few hours each month to review what you've done over the past several weeks, notes from experiments you've tried, and goals for next month.

Block your schedule. Own your time, don't let it own you! Time management is something that many people (not just entrepreneurs) struggle with but as soon as you have a solid system in place there will be no room for asking yourself what you *really* did over the past six hours. Learn how to block your schedule from Amiyrah Martin, Paul Minors, and Elon Musk. Related: check out Calendly for effective scheduling solutions.

Hire a Virtual Assistant. Save yourself from doing the mundane business tasks that take you away from prospecting and closing sales! Virtual Assistants are skilled professionals who work remotely and focus on administrative tasks, similar to an Executive Assistant. If you are on the hunt for someone to alleviate the stress of working IN the weeds of the business instead of ON your business, a Virtual Assistant may be your best bet. Related: Cleanup your inbox and reading list.

What strategies are you using to keep your small business organized?

Desiree Townsend is an Executive Assistant specializing in social media and is currently accepting new clients for social media and digital support.

DAY 4: 3 reasons why it's important to keep track of your small business paperwork

Record keeping is one of the most important responsibilities as a business owner. The success of your business depends on creating and maintaining an effective record system. There are many reasons why it's important to keep track of your paperwork. Today, I'll focus on three.

It ensures you will be able to provide excellent service for your clients and vendors. If you don't know details about your customers, you may not be able to meet customer demands. For vendors, the best way to maintain a great relationship is to speak with them frequently and pay your bills on time.

It gives you the information you need to run your business. You should be monitoring the progress of your business. Records can show whether your business is improving, which items are selling, or what changes you need to make. Good records can increase the likelihood of business success.

It helps you plan for tax payments and makes life much easier for your accountant. You'll want to make sure you keep all documents that contain details of payments, receipts, credit purchases and sales, assets and liabilities. If you're not able to obtain a receipt for an expense, make a note then record the details. Intuit recommends using your tax professional or CPA throughout the year. What documents should you keep? It depends on your line of work. Here are some examples:

Business expenses

Credit card statements

Bank statements

Tax returns and filings

Inventory

Sales

Income

Gas mileage log

Invoices

Articles of incorporation

Permits / Licenses

Start your business with a simple record keeping system. As your business grows, you can expand your system to accommodate more records and increasing complexity.

Desiree Townsend is an Executive Assistant specializing in social media and is currently accepting new clients for social media and digital support.

DAY 5: 3 tips to work smarter in your direct sales business

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed with your direct sales business? Imagine a life where you stopped spinning your wheels and found focus. I can help! Here are three tips to help you work smarter in your direct sales business.

Establish and heed office hours. When you work for a boss, the hours you work are set for you. As a direct sales entrepreneur, you set your own hours! This can provide a lot of freedom! It's also much easier to find an excuse to avoid focusing on income-producing activities and, instead, work on the “fun” stuff as the mood strikes. If you are someone who needs a little extra kick, find someone you trust to hold you accountable and encourage you throughout this process.

Direct sales productivity experts swear by the Power Hour. According to Belinda Ellsworth, “A Power Hour means you only spend 15 minutes on a single task and then move on to another one. The idea is that, because you're focusing solely on that one thing, you actually accomplish more than if you attempted to spend a full hour on it while being distracted by other things.” Learn more about the Power Hour process on the Dummies website to see if it might work for you.

Communicate with your team with various forms. Ask your team members how they like to be contacted and respect that wish by communicating with them in that way. Some people prefer to get on an individual phone call or group teleconference; others like it best when their mentor offers to FaceTime or Zoom the conversation. Use text, postcards, and email to supplement your conversations.

Start sending newsletters and email marketing. In a world ruled by unpredictable algorithms, it's always a good idea to have an email list; after all, these are the people who have given you express permission to speak to them about the service or product you're offering. There is no more intimate space to connect with your customers or prospects.

Start sending marketing emails and monthly reminders to your loyal customers. Cover business opportunities and upcoming events, discounts and monthly specials, tricks and tips, product highlights, host benefits, and much more. Not sure where to start? Find your inspiration with MailChimp and MadMimi.

What are the areas of your business where you are you struggling to keep up? What questions do you have about the tips offered in this article?

Desiree Townsend is an Executive Assistant specializing in social media and is currently accepting new clients for social media and digital support.

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