If your work week is way more than 40 hours, your smartphone is glued to your hand, and your to-do list is multiple pages of overdue tasks—you know how valuable every minute of your time is.
Americans spend an average of 7.6 hours a day working, 2.5 hours per day on household chores, and another two hours on childcare if they have kids under six years old, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics American Time Use Survey. That makes an average day filled with 12 hours of activity. If you’re a business owner with a family, those averages probably get eaten alive with urgent tasks, meetings, and follow up required to launch and grow your enterprise. That makes everything that saves you time very valuable.
Your smartphone and tablet make doing business from anywhere possible, and gadgets can make those tools even more productive. Waterproof phone cases are insurance that you don’t lose your phone when you spill something. External battery cases are additional insurance that you get more use out of your phone on the go and don’t miss important calls or data because the battery has died, and you can’t find your charger. If you spend a lot of time in the car, headsets and speakerphones make your smartphone even more useful by letting you talk hands-free during travel time.
Software for business productivity abounds and busy entrepreneurs and business owners don’t have to look very long for great programs to save them time and money. A great way to cut out a chunk of time-consuming effort is to use cloud services, instead of trying to set up and maintain your business network and infrastructure. Don’t spend your hard-earned, or borrowed, cash on servers when you can run your business from the cloud with better security and mobile access for your workforce.
In retail environments, a mobile point of sale or POS system lets your sales and customer service staff spend less time running back and forth to a cash register and more time taking care of customers. Eliminate customer frustration from waiting in lines to pay, provide a faster and friendlier checkout experience, and have real time analytics on sales.
Collaboration tools like Basecamp and Catch the Best keep business owners connected to scattered teams that have to work together on projects. Basecamp gives teams an easily accessible work environment to keep track of deadlines, share files, comment and discuss work, share ideas, and allocate work, and has a mobile app too. Catch the Best enables your team to share, rate, and track job applicants during recruiting initiatives.
Apps are quick and easy fixes for almost any problem a time-challenged business owner or entrepreneur may face. The Due app will remind you about meetings, deadlines, invoicing, and any other urgent issues you absolutely cannot forget about. Evernote helps busy people capture Web pages, images and voice notes that will be useful, but can’t be attended to at the moment. Catch lets busy business people record their thoughts on the go—don’t worry about note taking or getting back to a piece of paper. Robin is the organizer app that is the closest thing to a personal assistant in electronic format. This app finds that perfect restaurant, best gas station, or closest parking garage, sends your emails, and connects with social media networks.