Running a business entirely can be challenging without tools that make it easy to save time and money. Regardless of whether you’re an expert or a beginner in business, technological tools can help you be more effective and efficient.
We asked entrepreneurs and business owners about their favorite technology hack and here are the responses.
#1- Online calendar booking systems
I get a lot of requests from entrepreneurs wanting to discuss their digital growth plans with me and one of the most annoying things was trying to find a time where we both could meet. Often it would take many back and forth emails to find a time that worked for everyone. Now I simply send people a link to my online scheduler and they pick a time that works for them. This has saved a huge amount of time and helped grow my digital agency. Software like Meetfox and Calendly would be my recommendation for this purpose.
Thanks to David Katic, Digital Growth Genius!
#2- Time-tracking apps
I use time-tracking apps for personal and business use to monitor my own progress and productivity. This hack has made it easier for me to manage my time by identifying which strategies take up too much of my schedule and if they’re worth keeping. Being more conscious of how much time I spend on one activity has encouraged me to become faster and more productive!
Thanks to Simon Hansen, HomeBrewAdvice!
#3- The HemingWay App
When writing an article or a white paper for others to read and you don't have a proofreader on standby, you can use this technology hack. Check out the HemingWay App. You just simply paste your content into it and will give you suggestions on readability and making your sentence structure better (making it easier for others to read.) It does not replace an actual human, but can be a huge help when you need a second way to get your content evaluated.
Thanks to Scott Bates
#4-Auto Text Expander
I love Chrome's Auto Text Expander plugin, the free one, that you can set to Gmail specifically to get text blocks, phrases or any words you want fully typed out when you type only a specific abbreviation. This makes typing long phrases you use a lot much faster in Gmail.
Thanks to Stacy Caprio, Growth Marketing!
As a CEO, my days are typically extremely busy, and I often rely on cheap and efficient ways to get the right data into my hands. One of my favorite tools for doing so is Zapier. I use Zapier to automate tedious workflows, build dashboards that give me insights into my company, send myself reminders via Slack, etc. For example, one thing I use Zapier for is to extract invoice and payment data from Quickbooks into a Google Spreadsheet. From there, I have graphs that are automatically updated based on the data that Zapier extracts from Quickbooks into the Google Spreadsheet. I can play with these graphs to give myself greater insights into how my business is performing, and doing so is pivotal to the success of my company. I would highly recommend checking it out.
Thanks to Michael Frederick, Flatirons Development!
#6- Tracking habits on my phone
As a business owner, I'm constantly trying to develop better habits to be the best version of myself. The best way I've found to help with this is to track the habits on my phone, and I've found that the combination of Apple Watch + iPhone + Streaks habits app lets me do this with a minimum of effort. Certain habits can be tracked automatically, like calories eaten, activity, mindfulness and sleep, and certain ones can be manually checked off. The app also encourages you by nagging you to keep going, and avoid breaking your streak (as the name suggests). I'm using the app to manage sleep, diet, activity and mindfulness – it's get the tech all works so well together, and drives me to be better, rather than consuming time on needless distractions.
Thanks to Neil Lewin, Semantic!
#7- Awesome YouTube video player hacks
I recently discovered some extremely useful keyboard shortcuts to use while watching YouTube videos. Pressing the greater than and less than keys will increase and decrease the playback speed. While paused, pressing the period and comma keys will move the video forwards and backwards one frame at a time. The up and down arrow keys adjust the volume while the right and left arrow keys fast forward and rewind the video in five-second increments.
Thanks to Boyd Norwood, Nozzle!
When a form is filled out on our website, Lead Assign distributes the lead in “round robin” fashion amongst our salespeople. Each salesperson has 2 minutes to “accept” the lead or it goes to the next salesperson in rotation. Once a salesperson accepts the lead, they receive contact details which are also automatically pushed into our CRM database. This may sound simple but being able to quickly get leads in the hands of salespeople is unbelievably important. With this tool, when someone requests information during business hours, they are usually contacted within 5 minutes or less and there is no complex implementation – the system can be set up in ten minutes. Contacting leads faster has been shown in study after study to increase close rates – and this tool makes it simple.
Thanks to Rob Misheloff, SmarterFinance USA!
#9- Creating 90% automated sales funnels
One of my favorite technology hacks that I've not only used but helped others with as well, is creating sales funnels that are 90% automated. This is accomplished through the help of an email marketing followup series (that is automated) along with numerous amounts of landing pages. Not only does it save you a lot of time, but it also allows you to focus more on getting leads to your funnel as opposed to thinking about content for emails, writing them, and sending out your daily broadcasts.
Thanks to James Canzanella, Internet Marketing Nights!
My go-to technology hack is to gain exposure through review sites. As a small business owner, getting your name on sites like Angie’s List, Trip Advisor, Yelp, and other review sites can drive a significant amount of traffic to your business. These review sites also provide an opportunity to see what customers are saying about your business, and gives you some ideas on how you can improve. Just remember, when responding to negative reviews, be polite and respond with something helpful.
Thanks to Darryl Smith, Florida Car Accident Lawyer Team!
Myself and my team use Canva, which is a simplified version of photoshop. It comes both as a website and an app. This tool allows us to create a lot of visual content for both our online marketplace website and our social media channels. What is great about this tool is that you do not have to be a graphic designer to be able to create amazing and professionally looking visuals. We use Canva for many purposes such as creating banners for the website and social media platforms, Instagram stories, Pinterest imagery, infographics and we even edit and crop images of the products for our website via this tool. It also allows to do simple things like placing your logo on to an image and more complex things like adding moving images to your visual content.
Thanks to Partha Goswami, OOSTOR.com!
#12-Chrome extension TLDR
Over the day, I have to read a lot to stay updated on the latest trends in the industry. However, my time is often limited because I have to do a lot of things throughout the day to keep my business running. That’s why I use Chrome extension TLDR, which enables me to have a clear overview of the article I’m about to read. It also allows me to determine whether it’s worth reading it or not which saves me a lot of time.
Thanks to Luka Arezina, DataProt!
#13- Chrome extension known as Scraper
As a business owner you are always on the run to uncover your competitor's activity. As this data can give you a competitive edge. Scrapping SERP results can easily be done by dropping $300/month into a SEO suite such as Ahrefs, SEMRush and others. However this can also be achieved by making use of Python language all by yourself. But the fact is, not everyone is proficient with computer languages. Therefore you can use simple hack in form of a chrome extension known as Scraper offered by: dvhtn. After enabling the extension simply search in Google search bar, and then right-click on the results page. There you will be able to see Scrape Similar click on it and then you will have the scraper right in front. After which just paste this line of code next to xPath
//div[@class=srg]/div/div/div/div/a/@href. You may now click Scrape and you will have all the SERP results in a spreadsheet ready for you to prospect and uncover key metrics. With few more tweaks you can even pull out backlinks for each SERP result.
Thanks to Muhammad Farasat Khan, IsItWP!