Reducing the time you spend on administration can mean having more time back to focus on what’s important for you to achieve your business goals.

Here are some handy strategies, tools and software that can help you save time when running your business.

Plan ahead

Taking some small, simple changes like these up front can set you up well going forward:

    Complete your most important tasks first

    Batch similar tasks together

    Set aside some time each day to reply to emails rather than frequently checking it and responding. You can even list these hours in your email signature with a phone number to contact you for urgent requests.

Take your accounting online

If you haven’t already, consider moving your books online with accounting providers such as Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks so you can:

    Send electronic invoices from your accounting software

    Give instant access to your accountant should you need an urgent question answered

    Connect your bank account to the software and have your transactions automatically show up – no more manual reconciliation.

Create templates and manuals

Templates and process documents can help you deliver a consistent message to your customers and streamline your business’ operations. Get started with a:

    Template for commonly sent emails, invoices and letters – these will save you having to re-type the same or similar messages

    Script for answers to common phone queries

    Manual with a step-by-step guide to completing important tasks.

Use a social media management software

Software programs such as Hootsuite, Agorapulse and Buffer can save you hours checking your social media accounts. They provide a one-stop portal where you can schedule and monitor your posts across social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter in one place. You can usually sign up for a free trial of these programs to try them out.

Automate your work

Apps like these can help you quickly track expenses and invoices from your phone:

    Invoice2go – lets you customise your invoices and set up automated reminders using your phone

    Expensify – is generally suitable for larger businesses that have a lot of expenses. Scan your receipts and the app automatically adds the expenses to an electronic report.

Use free banking tools

Get the most out of your banking and sign up to our range of free tools. CommBank customers with a Business Transaction Account, for example, can:

    Set up real-time alerts to notify you when you get paid

    Access insights about your cash flow, profitability and sales with Daily IQ.

Simplify your tax reporting

Good record-keeping can save you the headache of scrounging around for documents come tax time. Start by streamlining your tax reporting

Things you should know

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. As this information has been prepared without considering your objectives, financial situation or needs, you should, before acting on this, consider the appropriateness to your circumstances.