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5 Small Business Efficiency tips

There’s a lot of doing things all by yourself when you’re starting a business or running a small one. As a small business owner/starter (as defined by Jason Fried) you have to wear multiple hats.

Image courtesy http://bit.ly/gpIlPa

So the key is to find tools that help you along as you become a better marketer, lawyer, graphic designer e.t.c. until you can’t wear all those hats yourself (hopefully because your business has grown and you need to hire to maintain the great service/product you provide). I list four websites that help with efficiency below. The last tip is less about a tool and more about a way of thinking that makes the startup/small business journey bearable

  1. Blogging/Writing: Want to write riche and more search relevant blog posts/articles? Download the free content enrichment tool from www.Zemanta.com: it enables you use the right keywords, provides links to relevant content for you to add to your blog/article and generally makes your posts more awesome.
  2. Customization: Spending hours customizing your WordPress theme will not bring you customers. Neither will creating a fancy background for your Twitter page. But they do add something to how people see your business. Head over to www.Fiverr.com to find someone who’ll do it for $5. Yes. $5. What’s the most you can lose if it’s not done well? $5. A lot less than it would have cost spending your own time.
  3. Legal: Legal fees are no joke. Our single biggest expense at Power2switch is legal. It’s been the case from day one. A resource I wish we’d had is the legal forms templates you get from www.lawdepot.com. It’s a good resource that provides your business a base level to work from until you eventually bring in professional legal counsel.
  4. Billing/Invoicing: Have you ever been on a customer site and wondered how you could send them an invoice on the spot? www.Billonsite.com might be the solution for this. We don’t use this at Power2Switch (our invoicing needs do not fall under this) but I hear the tool, which is now free, is quite nifty
  5. Read Linchpin and Rework: I once sat through a talk by Jason Fried of 37Signals while I was at Booth. I got the impression that he was sitting there talking to a roomful of b-school students thinking ‘they have no clue’. I didn’t like him for seeing through me and my desire to start a business. Now I’ve been working on Power2Switch for close to 2 years, growing the business and we’re making our mistakes. Reading ‘Rework’ and Seth Godin’s ‘Linchpin’ have reminded me of the inevitability of these mistakes but, more importantly, to see them as learning experiences. It helps to keep a learning mindset..

Any ideas? Tips? Tools?

And yes, the list based title is our attempt at improving SEO (we’re told it’s good practice).

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  1. From my own experience with running a small business, I can only say that while this list may help when starting, it will definitely not sustain any growth what-so-ever as customers today are very demanding and will require you to put effort in all that you do.

    1. power2switch says:

      Thanks for the comment Ron. The idea is that the time you free up, by using some of these tools helps, gets plowed back into making sure your service/product is the best it can be for your customers. And only by providing the best service/product can you grow and sustain growth. Would you say that’s a good way to look at it?