Lost productivity due to administrative tasks costs the U.S. economy $2.87 trillion every year. If you think this affects only giant companies, think again. Small businesses also lose up to 240 days a year because of these repetitive tasks. So, all that DIY accounting you’re doing? It’s costing your business! Not only through lost productivity, but also through potential entry errors. This is why it’s time you start using invoice processing software. Such a program can automate almost anything related to invoicing work. From bookkeeping to creating invoices – the list of what it can do is quite the long one. So, imagine how much time you can save if you were to stop doing all those admin tasks. Better yet, imagine what you can do with all that freed up time! If you’re having a hard time picturing this, we’ll help you out. We’ve rounded up 10 of the best things you can do with your time!
1. Concentrate on Doing What You Do Best
Now that you’ve got so much free time, you can use much of it to do what you do best! This depends from person to person, but it all boils down to doing actual work and not admin tasks. In other words, do what you initially intended to do with your business. This will take you back to your brand’s mission and vision that launched your business in the first place. Maybe your business’ mission was to design and manufacture affordable yet ergonomic furniture. If so, then use the free time you now have to start doing exactly that. The same holds true if your startup focuses on making your own video games. You can now go back to coding and developing that awesome game! If you wanted to become a restaurateur, now is the best time to do some kitchen experiments! Whatever it is you specialize in, you can now devote more time to it since you have less administrative work to do.
2. Build Up the Buzz Around Your Amazing New Products or Services
Let’s say you’ve got your brand name and logo all done and prettied up. You’ve also finalized your first line of products and services. Since you now have a lot more time on your hands, you can use it to build up the buzz on your new offers! Start by making a list of competitions for your customers in which your offers will be the rewards. You should also consider giving away promotional items and discount coupons. All these campaigns can help create thrill and excitement around your brand. Don’t worry if you’re not tech-savvy since there are programs designed to create such campaigns too! Online platforms like Gleam make it a cinch even for beginners to run superb campaigns. It boasts a wide array of eye-catching templates and interesting pop-up designs. You can even have the platform choose the winners for you at random!
3. Get to Know Your Potential Customers
How well do you know your potential customers? If you’re not 100% sure, then it’s time to get to know your target market! No matter how amazing your products or services are, they won’t do you any good if consumers don’t need it. It won’t matter if you don’t know what your customers want. Unless you have a clear understanding of this, you can’t persuade them to do business with you. There are three critical things you need to know about your audience. First, find out who exactly they are (their age, their priorities in life, etc.). Then, determine what they often spend money on. From there, figure out what exactly compels them to spend money on these things in the first place. All this research will no doubt take time and effort. But hey, you’ve got the time now, thanks to your choice to automate your invoicing tasks.
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4. Get to Know Thy Enemy Even Better
Speaking of getting to know each other, you’d want to make sure “other” includes the competition. Just so you know, your competition may likely be monitoring you at the moment! That’s because 77% of businesses agree competitive intelligence is crucial for success. In fact, as many as 9 in 10 large organizations have a dedicated team for market intelligence. Now, this doesn’t mean you need to hire your own team of “spies”. Thanks to the time you’ve saved by automating your accounting tasks, you can do the monitoring on your own! Some of the key points to “spy” on are how they engage their customers and market their offers. Look at their websites and see if you can get any insight into how they do things. What about their social media assets and following? Knowing how your competitors work is key to gaining an advantage over them. So, use the time you’ve saved with your automatic bill processing software to reach this goal.
5. Make Sure Your Website Meets Page Loading Standards
Website visitors don’t like slow-loading web pages. They hate it so much that pages taking more than three seconds to load have a 53% chance of abandonment. As a startup trying to make a name for yourself, that’s one big problem you want to avoid at all costs. Use some of that time your accounting software has freed up for you to run some website maintenance. That way, you can raise your chances of getting more traffic to your site and having visitors stay on it longer.
6. Start a Blog for Your Business
Having a blog for your startup is an effective way to tap into the massive community of web readers. How big, you ask? Well, it’s a crowd consisting of a whopping 409 million people. These individuals consume content off 237 million web pages. This should tell you how great an opportunity blog writing is for brand exposure. Especially for startups, which can benefit from as much exposure as possible. Plus, useful, credible, and insightful blogs can make your brand more credible. Consider the fact that more than 60% of people who read a blog purchased a product. Use this to your advantage to jumpstart your brand’s sales. Spend a couple of hours a day getting content into digital format. You can afford to since you’ve got more time on your hands.
7. Talk to a Dev Team Member about Having Your Website Go Mobile
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly yet, know you may be missing out on 52% of mobile Internet users. That’s right. Mobile traffic now drives more than half of all web traffic. That should be enough to make you consider going mobile, too. If you’re still unsure if it’s a good idea, you should set up an appointment with a reputable mobile developer. Get on it ASAP, as the longer you delay, the more site visitors you may be losing.
8. Begin (and Maintain) Your SEO Campaign
If you’ve been putting off starting an SEO campaign, now’s the time to begin. Search engine optimization allows you to put your online assets on the map. Both on a literal and figurative sense. For starters, you need SEO to show up on search engine results in the first place. Without it, you may not see your business make it to the first page of search results. This means the 75% of people who don’t go past the first page won’t ever get to see and know your brand. Don’t worry if you don’t have SEO knowledge. Many businesses now offer such services, so you may want to connect with them.
9. Go on Social Media to Jumpstart Your Following
Take advantage of Facebook’s 2.23 billion monthly users to promote your startup. If you haven’t created a Facebook business page yet, now’s the time to get all creative and set one up. While you’re at it, go on Instagram too, so you can tap into its community of 500+ million active daily users. Don’t forget Twitter, which also has 68 million monthly active users in the U.S. alone. There are plenty of other social media platforms you should check out. In the meantime, these three are the best to build your startup’s following.
10. Get Your Life Back
Surprised you, didn’t it? You may have even shaken your head in disagreement, saying this isn’t part of “developing” a startup. But know that science says vacations are good for productivity. Apart from helping you relax, vacations can also boost productivity. It can refresh both your mind and body, which also helps draw your creativity out. Also, we can all agree even quick breaks can bring down stress levels, which as a startup, you no doubt feel the pressure.
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Time management for entrepreneurs can be pretty difficult, especially for startups. After all, they do most of the work themselves. They dedicate most of their time towards building their brand. But because a lot of this “time” goes into non-productive administrative tasks, it makes sense to cut back on that part. That’s exactly what an invoice processing software can do for you. In fact, this program will free so much time you can do even more than the 10 things we’ve listed above. Looking for more productivity tips for startups? We got your back! Check out our blog for more productivity-boosting strategies!