Be It Resolved: Find time in 2017

January 24, 2017

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans have five hours of leisure time each day. Yet, many small business owners would say that they have far less than that, spending most—if not all—of their waking hours focused on work. After all, being an entrepreneur requires you to wear countless hats. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

For small business owners, 2017 is the year of reclaiming valuable time. Clover and its app market streamlines time-consuming tasks, freeing up minutes (or even hours) of your day to focus on the more creative aspects of growth or other things you want to do.

Here are 8 apps that maximize your working hours, giving you new found time to do with as you please.

Employee management

  • You can’t live without your employees. But managerial duties can consume large portions of your days. Sister apps Time Clock and Schedule take the load off your shoulders, automating various tasks like schedule distribution (via email and text message), time-off requests, and timesheets. These tools also handle tricky monetary tasks such as declaring cash tips, integrating credit card tips and labor cost reporting.
  •  If you’re the owner of a salon or other business where customers make appointments (like a tutoring business or a personal shopping service), you know how important it is to maintain a perfect calendar. Instead of taking on the extremely time-consuming task of building an online calendar, Salon Scheduler does the work for you. View appointments for all your employees, create predetermined time frames for each service, and set worker commissions all in one spot. It’s customer-friendly as well, sending automatic text reminders in advance of appointments.
  • Small businesses don’t have separate human resources departments like large corporations do. Rather, it’s likely the owner or a senior member of the management team that handles important, yet seemingly never-ending tasks related to onboarding employees and benefits. Gusto Payroll Integration automatically collects forms like I-9s and W-4s, creates an employee directory, tracks vacation time and integrates it with your payroll system, and automates local, state, and federal tax payments.

Inventory management

  • The typical grocery store is stocked with an average of 39,500 products. Your business might stock significantly fewer items than that, but staying on top of inventory can still be overwhelming. Shopventory eases this task, tracking SKUs and providing reports of sales complete with trend analysis. Upgraded versions monitor stock at multiple locations and handle purchase orders—keeping you in the know about your growing business without devoting all your time monitoring its goods.
  • In the ever-changing retail and restaurant climates, nimble small businesses are able to adapt, maximizing profit in the process. To do this, owners and managers must be able to monitoring sales in real time, which can be tricky unless they have the proper data analytics. Using easy-to-comprehend charts and bar graphs, Dashboard provides metrics such as orders per hour, sales per customer, category of sales, and more. No longer do you have to wonder where your sales stand after a few hours or 10 days into the month; this app provides that detail of information at your fingers (whether you’re using a smartphone, tablet, or computer).

Financial management

  • Offering a daily special can be a great way to attract new customers and develop loyalty with existing ones. The downside? Changing the price on an item every day can be extremely time consuming. Price Changer automates the process, increasing or decreasing an item’s cost on command. Its level of customization is extremely high—giving business owners the ability to schedule different prices for specific time periods in the same day. The app keeps it simple: changing the price instead of calculating a discount, which could be confusing for a customer or store employee.
  • Cash can be complicated. A customer can pay and an error is made when making change; a manager can forget to note that they removed greenbacks from an overflowing drawer. The app Cash Log neatly tracks all these transactions in an easy-to-read table, noting which employee made the transaction and when and the reason why.
[image: Time by Jean-Pierre Bovin on flickr]

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