5 Simple Tools Small Business Owners Can Utilize to Streamline Operations

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As a business owner, every minute of every day is valuable. The more efficiently you can use your time, the better off your business will be. But rarely is there enough time in the day to get done everything on your to-do list.

The success of your business depends on your ability to manage your business operations. To keep your business running like a well-oiled machine, you’ll need to effectively manage your product, people, and profits. But doing this on your own is no easy feat.

To make it much easier to stay on top of business operations, there are many tools you can use to streamline internal processes. Keep reading to learn about 5 simple tools to improve efficiency and productivity.

1. Invoice Tool

One of the most important parts of any business is finances, most notably invoicing. Without an effective invoicing process, you’re at a higher risk of delayed payments and confused clients. However, a simple invoice maker can be quite beneficial in reducing the amount of manual work that your accountant, bookkeeper, and accounts receivable department have to complete on a daily basis.

By using an invoice maker, the invoicing process can be somewhat automated, freeing up time for your accounting professionals to tackle other pertinent tasks. This type of tool is also beneficial in that many integrate with other accounting software, which is helpful when balancing your business budget or filing taxes.

2. Project Management Tool

No matter how big or small your company is, a project management tool is a must. With this type of tool, you can keep track of projects, to include associated tasks, scheduling, assignments, notifications, and much more. A project management tool keeps you organized and ensures that all critical tasks are being addressed by your company.

This type of tool is also helpful when reviewing employee performance and workload. With a few metrics dashboards and reports, you can see which employees have worked which projects, what projects are behind, and which projects are in the pipeline.

3. Cloud Document Storage

If you’re like most businesses, you rely on paper documents when completing day-to-day operations. Paper documents may be the traditional way of getting business done, but paper is expensive. Not only does your business have to pay for the paper, but there are also equipment and maintenance costs.

The better way of storing, tracking, sharing, and managing files is to bring them into the digital world. Once files have been uploaded to a computer, they can then be stored in the cloud and accessed by employees using access control lists.

Cloud-based storage is beneficial in that it:

  • Reduces business costs
  • Improves productivity
  • Increases document availability
  • Removes the risk of lost or damaged documents

By hosting proposals, contracts, and quotes in the cloud, employees have the ability to edit, share, sign, organize, and track documents without having to print or store hard copies.

4. Open Communication Tool

Communication is the backbone of any company. A simple tool that’s definitely worth investing in is an open communication tool. A communication tool offers a quick and convenient way for your employees to chat with each other. This is an easier and less distracting way for employees to talk to each other.

Communication tools are even more important and beneficial if you have a team that operates from home or different locations. Remote teams greatly benefit from a tool that offers one-on-one and group communication. These tools also minimize confusion, misinformation, and allow employees to make informed and quick decisions.

5. Calendar Tool

We all have our own ways of managing our schedules, but more often than not, the methods we use fall very short of being effective or efficient. How many times have you written a business meeting on a sticky note, only to forget it? By investing in a calendar tool, you and your employees can keep track of upcoming meetings, phone calls, and travel.

When your schedule is jam-packed, it helps to have a tool where you can schedule appointments and meetings in just a few clicks. A calendar tool also allows you to share your schedule with others, making it easier to find a time that works for everyone who needs to be invited to a meeting.


With the ever-growing advancements in our digital world, there are more and more tools that are available to make running a business a little bit easier. While these tools won’t solve all of the bottlenecks and hiccups that all businesses face, they can ease the burden of repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks. In turn, your business can operate in a much more streamlined fashion.

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Samantha Acuna is a writer based in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been featured in The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Yahoo Small Business.