Summer is quickly coming to an end as today is August 1st and just ten days from now many Affiliates, Advertisers, and Entrepreneurs will be heading to New York City to attend our Grind Session East as well as the Affiliate Summit Show at the Hilton. As I’ve stated many times over the last couple of years, this is one of my favorite shows to conduct business as I always leave with a pocket full of new connections that allow me to leverage my multiple companies for the future months. One of the biggest challenges self business owners face, especially online, is being scatter brained and not being able to accomplish tasks efficiently.
Large companies such as Apple and Google have developed tools that allow Entrepreneurs like myself stay on top of things and accomplish tasks in half the time without ever missing a beat. Given I’m a managing partner of three companies I don’t have a huge margin for error. I have to be punctual to every meeting and ensure clients are treated with priority and get my undivided attention. Here are some productivity tools I use daily, and you can to, so that you stay on top of your business and can focus on increasing your bottom line and reaching your growth goals:
iPhone 4s – Oh my gosh, I just joined the 21st century last month when I replaced my old iPhone 4 with the 4s. I’m surprised more people don’t talk about how much “Siri” can help you get things done. I love the voice control and how I’m able to have her send a simple text message for me to save my fingers from going a million clicks a minute. Using the iCloud I can easily sync my calender full of appointments, contacts, and other important business notes. I was unaware how much my iPhone allows me to do until my previous phone was stolen and I had to wait a dreaded two days to get my new one from the insurance company.
Google Docs – I’ve talked a bit about using Google docs for business and I have to reiterate how efficient this makes myself and our entire team. Being able to update documents on the fly and share them with team members are key to running profitable campaigns and stay on top of upcoming tasks. I have a Google doc for almost everything!
Google Calendar – Much the same as Google docs I can instantly send email invitations to clients for conference calls and it automatically syncs to my computer, iPhone, and iPad. I can simply add one event to my calendar and it’s added to all of my devices along with important alarm-clock reminders so I never get caught off guard and miss an important call. For my upcoming meetings in New York City, I simply send people an invite so they too can add our meeting to their calender and be prepared. I’ll never forget the AdTech show a couple of years ago when AT&T decided to stop working and I almost missed a HUGE meeting. Using the Google Calendar this won’t ever happen again!
QuickBooks Online – Obviously accounting is a VERY essential key to operating any business. With the online version I’m able to quickly collaborate with our accounting team and ensure everything from accounts receivable to accounts payable is running smoothly. Gone are the days where you need team of ten people to handle all of the accounting. Using some simple collaboration we’ve been able to greatly increase our bottom line by decreasing the number of people we hire in our accounting department and work closely with our accountants.
Old School Notepad – Ask Ruck, Bill, or Preston, when they see me in the office I have my old-school notepad on a clipboard physically making lists daily and checking items off. Sometimes there is nothing like that old fashioned pen and paper. Using this along with the aforementioned tools, I’m 100% certain everything runs efficiently.
Big Ass Whiteboard – We have dedicated one entire wall in our office to a big dry-erase whiteboard. With this, the entire team is able to see important daily tasks that need to be completed before “calling it a day.” Given the three companies we operate, I cannot tell you the number of nights we’ve worked around the clock “clearing the board.” We’ll break things up for different team members and even delegate time restraints to certain projects.
I could ramble on with a couple more tools such as Evernote, my solar powered Casio calculator, etc. but I don’t want to bore you. My point I want to get across is far to many “Internet” Entrepreneurs waste most of their day reading status updates to chatting with their peers. Social networks and chat clients CAN be used efficiently but it’s very important not to get side-tracked and ensure the things you’re talking about are going to help you get your tasks completed for the day.
Rather you’re just getting start with your online business or are a seasoned veteran there is always room for improving your efficiency. Especially with the upcoming conferences and fall of the year approaching, it’s as good thing to focus and ensure you’re not wasting any of your valuable time. Feel free to add some of your super productive tools/tips in the comments below!
Ryan Gray is the founder and CEO of NameHero, one of the fastest growing independent web hosts in the United States. Ryan has been working online since 1998 and has over two-decades experience in Internet Entrepreneurship.