Operating a business can be a rewarding experience, with ample opportunity for growth and establishing new connections. Even with a successful business, you may find that there are some loose ends that need to be addressed in order to move forward. From managing finances to automating business processes, here are seven business apps to tie up loose ends in your operations.
1. Address Unpaid Or Incomplete Invoices
When a job is completed, the expectation is that a customer will pay their invoice as soon as possible. Your task has been completed, and the agreed-upon payment is due. In a perfect world, every customer pays on time, in full. An invoice should look professional, containing your company’s logo and pertinent information to the cost of the products or services. If you don’t have the ability to create professional invoices on your own, you can try a free invoice generator.
An unpaid invoice can cause equal parts worry and frustration; the last thing a business owner needs more of. If you find that you’re having trouble getting customers to pay invoices, take a look at their payment options. Are they paying online? Does the payment service you’re using make the payment process overly complex? Are the customers unsatisfied with the product you’ve sold them?
Once you’ve identified the root cause of your unpaid invoices, you can take steps to address the issue and get those invoices closed out. Serving your customers doesn’t end when you send the invoice. Ensuring their satisfaction up to the completion of the sale is the best way to create a loyal customer base.
2. Use A Customer Satisfaction Survey To Identify Customer Service Loose Ends
Your business runs on the satisfaction of your customers. A customer base is only as loyal as the brand is to them. This means reaching out and asking for their opinion with media monitoring. They will offer on their own experiences with the brand, as well as suggestions for the future. A customer satisfaction survey can be essential to identifying key issues with a service or product. This is a loose end that should be a priority to your business. Is there a recurring issue with your product or brand? Ask the customers where you can improve.
Reaching out not only provides valuable information, but it can also make your customers feel more included and appreciated. They’ll feel they have a voice in the company, which makes the connection feel more personal than a simple sales transaction.
3. Delegate Tasks With Task Management Software
Of course, you can use task and project management software for efficient business operations. Even the best of us can get bogged down by tasks were unfamiliar with. Capable workers are often eager to take on more tasks that aren’t necessarily within their realm of expertise. Delegating tasks to the correct person or department ensures accuracy and quality, and eliminates the buildup of pending or incomplete projects. Delegation requires collaboration from the entire team. Everyone must know their area of expertise, the task they’ve been assigned, and its corresponding deadline. With a large team, this can be difficult to accomplish, but there are apps and software that make team management and synchronicity easier than ever.
Team management apps allow you to assign tasks to specific employees, set deadlines, and check on progress at any point in the process. These apps act as a central hub, eliminating the need for chain emails and lengthy phone calls. The entire team is held accountable by one easy to access app.
4. Create Lists and Reminders
A traditional ordered list is a basic solution to loose ends. You can order tasks by importance or dates, and address each issue as needed. Technology has made lists more effective than ever, with apps and software that can track deadlines and set reminders.
The best part about list creation software is that there are dozens of free options for your business. Free doesn’t necessarily mean lower quality software, either. Apps are usually free for basic users and offer customizable lists and a simple, user-friendly interface.
5. Trim Up Your Business Relationships
Business relationships can be fragile and often difficult to maintain. Their success or failure depends on so many different factors that sometimes a certain aspect can fall by the wayside. If you’ve got loose ends in your business relationships, you’ll want to evaluate those relationships, addressing any issues and trimming where necessary. Using a real estate CRM software, you can easily organize your business contacts and relationships.
Sometimes a business relationship is unsalvageable, despite your best efforts. This can become a loose end if the termination of the relationship was never clearly stated. If you find that you need to terminate a business relationship, create a professional letter or statement explaining your reasons.
Identify the issues you found in the relationship and how they affected business. Be polite, courteous, and professional in your statements. This will earn you the respect of your counterparts, despite the decision to terminate.
6. Keep Your Paperwork Organized
A lost invoice or a misplaced contract can be detrimental to your business’ reputation and cause anxiety and stress within the company. Keeping paperwork organized can be a task all its own. As paperwork begins to pile up throughout the day, having a secure storage space for it is essential.
Try going paperless, or mostly paperless if you can. Filing cabinets and other storage containers can be bulky and take up precious office space. Alternatively, you can store your documents on a cloud or an external hard drive. Let your customers know you plan to go paperless, but give the option for a hard copy of any documents you’ll generate. When your company receives hard copies, scan them immediately and save them to your cloud or hard drive.
Dropbox offers up to two gigabytes of free storage space, and Google Drive offers up to fifteen. Each service offers a premium service package as well, should your storage needs exceed space of the basic service.
7. Keep Your Appointments And Be On Time
Just as in personal relationships, keeping your word in business relationships displays integrity and honesty. These help to foster trust, which is essential to any relationship’s success. Missing or showing up late to a scheduled appointment creates tension and loose ends.
Having the right calendar can help you remember dates and times. While a traditional paper calendar is effective, once more technology has improved the traditional method. There are hundreds of time management and calendar apps that can assist you in remembering and making appointments on time.
Both Android and IOS offer several calendar options. This way, you can access a professional calendar whether you are an Apple or Android phone user. Google offers Google Calendar, which is free with a Google account. Apple has Apple Calendar, which is the same concept, but for iPhone. Your calendar app should be simple, customizable, and let you set reminders so you never miss an appointment. Always try to be early for your appointments and have all of your materials prepared beforehand.
8. Effectively Schedule Your Staff & Prepare Weekly Timesheets
Of course, you should utilize business apps to help you effectively schedule your staff and prepare weekly timesheets. These valuable tools allow you to manage employee scheduling, time tracking, and payroll. Simultaneously, many advanced tools support HR administration, talent manage, leave and break planning. Using these tools, you can enable collaborative scheduling and effectively forecast labor expenses. Of course, these solutions empower you to mitigate availability conflicts and strategically gear your scheduling. Certainly, you should use staff scheduling software to effectively schedule your staff and prepare weekly timesheets.