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The concise guide to increasing productivity

September 25, 2018

How often do you look up at the end of the day and wonder where time went? For small business owners, the day can disappear without ever reaching the end of your to-do list. Achieving peak productivity can feel like trying to scale a never-ending mountain of tasks.

Being “busy” is a trap that many merchants fall into without realizing it. Many business owners spend their time in the trenches of running a business: managing employees, ordering inventory, keeping up with accounting, or simply trying to get a handle on marketing. Busy-ness does not equal productivity, however. The majority of small business owners report wishing they could spend more time on big picture work. Instead of working harder, the secret is learning how to work smarter—and more efficiently.

Productivity apps and productivity software are just two pieces of the great puzzle on how to squeeze more out of your workday. Read on for our productivity tips for small business owners.

Time Management

Time is of the essence. Take back your time by understanding where you might be losing minutes (or hours) to repetitive tasks or other time thieves (think: payroll, restocking inventory, employee scheduling). Nearly 70% of small business owners would like to spend more time working on the higher-level priorities, rather than getting in the weeds of their operation. If this sounds like you, check out some of these resources for better time management.

Personal Productivity Tips

A small business owner’s work is never done—or at least, that’s what it can feel like when you see your to-do list growing by the minute. Small changes in your personal productivity can lead to big success for your business. Check out some of these resources for changing the way you approach your own time management.

Employee Productivity 101

Small business owners report scheduling and payroll as among two of the biggest time sucks in their day-to-day productivity. Employees can also suffer from their own time management mistakes, which is why gamification is a particularly good motivating tool. Watch out for burnout; de-motivation or low morale can certainly lead to a loss in employee productivity. Read more from these articles on the Clover blog.

Apps and Tools to Increase Productivity

Save time and effort with tools that can automate some of your most tedious to-dos, curated for you by the Clover App Market. Here are some of our favorites.

  • 1-Click Website by Pointy: this app uses manufacturer barcodes to automatically create an online page of listing your store’s products.
  • Bundle Discounts: automatically bundle products—socks and shoes, or peanut butter and jelly, for example—to increase sales with this app.
  • Drop Ship: take payment now and ship products later or from a remote location with this tool that speeds up your shipping logistics.
  • SimpliSerialize: this app makes it easy to create and track serial numbers during checkout for more efficient inventory management.
  • Returns: easily return an item back to inventory after a customer has asked for a refund or exchange, instead of letting products pile up behind the register.
  • Time Clock and Schedule: these apps work in tandem to automate scheduling tasks like distribution, time-off requests, and timesheet creation.
  • Gusto Payroll Integration: this powerful tool can automatically collect I-9 and W-4 forms, create an employee directory, track vacation time synced with your payroll, and automate tax payments (state, local, AND federal).
  • Dashboard: know exactly where your sales stand with bar charts and graphs displaying key performance metrics on-demand.
  • Price Changer: automatically changes the price of an item based on demand, even giving you a way to schedule different prices at different time periods throughout the day.

Despite the headlines predicting robot takeovers, not every task can be automated. Check out these resources for more on how to (selectively) deploy time management apps.

Run a Tight Ship: Efficient Business Management

Some parts of your business operation may be dragging down your productivity without you realizing it. Streamline your operations to make things run smoothly without your interference, and get back to doing what you do best (growing your business).

How have you improved your business’s productivity? Tell us on Facebook and Twitter, and keep your productivity tools up-to-date with the Clover App Market.


Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.