6 Productivity Hacks That (Actually) Work for Your Small Business


  • Author Samir Sampat
  • Published January 1, 2021
  • Word count 788

Businesses across all verticals, segments, and sizes can all agree that there are not enough working hours in the day. Shuffling between different day-to-day needs, employees, and operating tasks can stretch even the most successful business too thin.

Many small businesses, to maximize efficiency, seek productivity hacks to help them work smarter, not harder.

  1. Pomodoro Technique

This technique is a time management practice refined in the 1980s by Francesco Cirillo encouraging you to focus on tasks broken down into segments. The technique specifies that you should focus on one individual task for 25 minutes.

When 25 minutes pass, you can take a 5-minute break to restart your mind. After four “pomodoros”, or four, 25-minute focus periods, you can take a longer and much needed 15 or 20-minute break.

Cirilo believes that by dividing your time into short intermittent segments, you will be able to increase focus, and will experience less distractions. If you are interested in trying the Pomodoro Technique, you’re in luck. You can use the old-fashioned kitchen timer that it is named after, or you can consider more modern technology solutions including Pomotodo, Focus Booster, and PomoDoneApp.

  1. Collaboration Among Teams

Solutions enabling collaboration for your small business can have a tangible impact on productivity. For example, collaboration tools make communicating across teams more effective. A recent survey conducted by The Institute for Corporate Productivity (ICP) found that companies that use Slack report an average of 49% reduction in email volume resulting in a 25% drop in the meetings and a 32% increase in productivity. Similarly, productivity solutions like GSuite and Microsoft 365 for Business allow for real-time file sharing eliminating congestion in the workflow, and because it works on the cloud, users can access vital information from anywhere in the world, on any device.

  1. Virtual Receptionists

Do responsibilities like answering the phone, scheduling appointments, or filtering through spam calls interrupt your workflow? For many small businesses, hiring a receptionist to serve as a gatekeeper or a manager of administrative tasks is a dream come true. However, hiring a dedicated in-house receptionist can be costly.

Luckily, technology comes to the rescue. Outsourced virtual receptionists allow businesses to take full advantage of receptionist services on an as-needed basis. By using a virtual receptionist you can capture and qualify leads, schedule appointments with new clients, and build relationships with your existing clients enabling you to handle other responsibilities, uninterrupted.

  1. Task Management

Is accountability challenging for your organization? Running down who owns what project and the next step in the business process can be time-consuming, and impact revenue. To decrease kerfuffles, task management apps like Asana, Monday, and Toggl, can help better manage projects and work more efficiently.

Task management tools allow businesses to better monitor workflow, showing a clear path of accountability and project management. These tools also allow you to track how much time is being dedicated on each aspect of the project helping you better understand how much time is necessary to complete specific tasks, or if there is a bottleneck in the process that you need to address. By understanding your internal workflows, you can streamline processes, and find ways to reduce the time spent on each task to maximize your productivity.

  1. Automated Workflow

For small businesses with an online store, manually tracking leads, purchases and fulfillment can be a burdensome process. Luckily, technology enables you to automate these processes, which minimizes common cogs in the wheel and simultaneously increases your bandwidth.

Software like Zapier allows businesses to streamline if/then processes. For example, if a customer makes a purchase on your website, then, Zapier will automatically initiate a task for the fulfillment team, add the customer's contact information to your newsletter list, and send a purchase confirmation.

  1. Chatbots

Chatbots are great to boost conversions by using AI-powered technology that makes life easier for your clients. Chatbots integrate with your existing workflows and tools, like a CRM, to help you collect data, personalize and improve the client experience, and close deals without interference.

In addition to an improved experience for clients, chatbots also relieve a burden for your internal staff. If your team is responsible for handling chat responsibilities, you are not only losing time spent on chat. They also have the constant distraction of the chat interruption which makes productivity more challenging.

Using chatbots, your leads are qualified while your team remains focused on work and moving the business forward in other areas.

By finding techniques to organize, track, measure, and progress your work, you can get more done in a day, and free your time for more enjoyable tasks.

Small businesses should be thinking more about gaining back their time to increase growth and revenue by using these productivity hacks including delegating their frontline communications to virtual receptionists and chatbots.

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. Smith.ai’s 24/7 virtual receptionists and live chat agents capture and convert leads by phone, website chat, texts, and Facebook. You can follow Smith.ai on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Youtube.



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