4 Productivity hacks: clever business tools to save you time

Tilly Michell
5 minutes
Business tips
4 Productivity hacks: clever business tools to save you time
In this article
  • The importance of productivity for SMEs
  • 4 Ways to increase productivity in a business
  • Start increasing productivity today

Looking for ways to increase productivity for your team, but don’t know where to start? Don’t waste time on changes that won’t pay off — we have productivity hacks and business tools that can start saving you time as soon as today.

The importance of productivity for SMEs

Everyone — from individuals to businesses of all sizes — strives for productivity, and for obvious reasons. We all want to get more done more efficiently to better use our time and resources.

However, productivity plays an especially essential role for small to medium enterprises (SMEs), which are generally more resource-strapped than larger businesses. 

While the benefits of greater productivity are numerous, they tend to fall into three main categories. Increasing productivity in turn improves an SME’s:

  • Profitability: Optimising resources means that your business can maintain the same output with a lower investment of time and money. This both reduces costs and increases profit.

  • Employee satisfaction: Being overloaded leads to employee burnout. Working efficiently, on the other hand, enables employees to stay on top of their responsibilities and manage their workloads well. This in turn improves employee well-being, morale, and engagement.

  • Customer service: Customers don’t like having to wait for the products and services they’ve purchased or the answers and information they’ve requested. However, being able to give them the time and attention they deserve makes for better customer service and greater customer loyalty.

4 Ways to increase productivity in a business

Businesses tend to think big when it comes to saving time. the bigger the change the more time saved, right?

Not necessarily. When it comes to increasing productivity, sometimes the smallest improvements bring the most significant results.

We recommend looking at these four key areas to find quick wins that will maximise your productivity.

Storage setup

There’s nothing more frustrating than when you’re on a roll and the need to search for a file or document brings your progress to a halt. 

And this problem is more than an occasional roadblock.

In a 2021 survey of US office professionals by Wakefield Research and Elastic, 54% of respondents said wasting time searching for necessary documents and files was a problem.

A cloud storage service such as Google Drive or Dropbox can eliminate these issues, enabling you to organise documents in easily accessible files:

  • Never waste time searching by keyword again. Easily access the documents you’re looking for by opening the appropriate client or project file.

  • Enable file sharing. Share files and folders with coworkers and clients in seconds.

  • Access documents on the go. Carrying a jump drive, logging in to a content management system (CMS), and even connecting to WiFi are no longer requirements for accessing documents.

  • Say goodbye to versioning headaches. No need to worry if you’re working with the most recent version, or upload new versions to a CMS.

Expense management

Manually submitting and approving receipts isn’t only incredibly mundane, it’s also inefficient and error-prone.

Luckily, the proper tool can save you the time (and energy) of expense management while also eliminating the risk of human error.

For instance, Airwallex makes things easier from the beginning by allowing you to create individual Employee Debit Cards for  your team in a click.  Use our Expenses feature to submit, review and approve expenses in moments , and efficiently log and categorise transactions so that mystery purchases are a thing of the past.

Additional features that can help save time include real-time notifications of card transactions and changes to your account balances via SMS, email, or Slack, as well as card spending limits for specific use cases.

Essentially, you no longer have to worry about  chasing down receipts or manually  processing  each expense — we’ll do the hard work for you.

Client onboarding 

Signing a new client is great news — until you have to do all of the monotonous tasks associated with client onboarding.

First, we recommend developing and using questionnaires and intake forms to get the information you need while minimising the back and forth. There’s no need for email chains when a single document will get the job done.

While that alone will save you a good deal of time, there’s even more you can do. 

For example, online automation tool Zapier enables you to automatically save the results from your client onboarding forms to the appropriate folder in your cloud storage. Then use Zapier to auto-generate a contact and payment link for your new client, so that you have everything you need when it comes time to contact or charge them.

Inventory management

Proper inventory management is crucial. 

Too little stock on hand can  mean you’re unable to meet customer demand and fulfil purchases. Too much can waste space in your warehouse and result in dead stock that you can’t sell.

But knowing how much inventory you have at any given moment is easier said than done. Tracking with pen and paper or even with spreadsheets gets complicated and confusing fast. It’s not the most accurate, and it’s certainly not efficient.

That’s why tools like NetSuite Inventory Management are so effective. Get a real-time view of all of your inventory, across all of your sales channels and locations, with a single dashboard. NetSuite even provides tools to help you optimise your inventory levels, ensuring you can meet customer expectations while also minimising inventory costs.

Start increasing productivity today

Ready to start working smarter and more efficiently? Airwallex is here to help.

As well as  our Global Business Accounts and cost-effective international money transfers, we also offer a full suite of finance and productivity tools to save your business time and stress. 

Airwallex Expenses facilitates end-to-end expense management for your business. And now, we also integrate with Zapier to automate tasks such as creating employee cards for new hires, sending notifications of changes to your account balance, creating new transfer contacts, and more.

Sign up with us today to facilitate your business’ international growth — and save time while doing so.

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Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

Tilly manages the content strategy for Airwallex UK. She specialises in content that supports businesses in their growth trajectory.

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