productivity tools

14 Productivity Tools To Help Small Businesses

productivity tools

Small business owners face different challenges on a daily basis, when trying to keep their business running. This can be anything from responding to customer queries via phone/email/ text, absent employees, rescheduling client’s appointments, chasing late payment and placing orders for low stocked items, to name a few! Small businesses do not have adequate resources like their larger counterparts. At times, employees may have to perform various roles. This can have an impact on productivity of the business, if the right systems are not put in place. Thankfully, there are many productivity tools that small businesses can use, to make their job easier and make inefficiency a thing of the past. Some of those productivity tools include:

1. PandaDoc

productivity tools

PandaDoc is a proposal and document management software. You can create, send and track quotes and proposals sent out to the prospective clients. The drag and drop feature of the software makes it easier to prepare a proposal. Their e-signature function makes closing the sale simpler too. When the clients receive the proposal and review it, it can then be signed off.

Your sales reps work hard to nurture leads and turn them into customers. They don’t have to spend hours creating their own quotes and proposals from scratch. They can streamline the entire process with PandaDoc.

2. LastPass

productivity tools

Take a second to think about how many passwords you have for your various accounts. The answer is probably at least half a dozen, even if you are working as a solopreneur.

If you have a few employees, then the number increases. If you or your employee has forgotten the password, you’ll have to go through the whole process of setting up a new password, which results in wasting time that could have been spent on something productive.

Good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. LastPass can take care of this problem. You can store passwords to any account on this tool, whether it is email, bank account, social media profiles or software login passwords. You can manage your passwords from a central dashboard and can also remove passwords for inactive or deleted accounts.

3. Grow in Cloud

productivity tools

If you are running a service-based business, you don’t need to be reminded that time is money! The more people you book for your services, the more revenue you will generate.

Grow in Cloud is a small business CRM software which also enables you to automate appointment bookings and invoicing. Your customers can view your team availability, schedule and reschedule appointments. You can also issue invoices to clients and take payments online to for the issued invoice. The software also sends out email and SMS reminders to client prior to the appointment. This avoids the risk of no show ups, which cost you time and money (especially if you have had to book a meeting room!) You can spend more time with clients, without having to worry about missing phone calls from clients who want to make or reschedule appointments.

You can also use its tasks management module to set tasks, task due dates and reminders for deadlines. It also allows you to assign tasks to staff members and collaborate with them.

4. Canva

productivity tools

There is no need to hire an expensive graphic designer to design images for your website or social media posts. If you have social media profiles and use it to promote your business, you need to be using eye catching images. This will help to increase your post reach and engage prospects.

You can use Canva for this. Canva is an easy to use graphics design tool, which allows you to create images and infographics. Its drag and drop feature makes it user-friendly. It can be used by a non-technical person with ease. Canva has thousands of free images, which you can download from its resource library and use for free. Plus, you will find it has a selection of premium images which can be bought for $1 each.

5. Toggl

productivity tools

Toggl is a time tracking tool. You just have to click on the start button for it to start tracking your work. There is no need to fill in time sheets and then get them double checked and signed off, before you send them out to clients for billable hours.

It also lets you make simple and powerful reports, which can be used to analyse performance and boost productivity. You can use Toggl on all your devices.

6. ezClocker

productivity tools

An alternative to Toggl is ezClocker-an easy to use time sheet and scheduling software that will save you money and time by allowing you to view your employees’ timesheets in real time.

This is ideal for employers with remote employees or if you are always on the go and need to monitor your business away from the office. Employees can use their own mobile device as a time card and it has GPS support where employee’s GPS location is captured when they clock in/out , so you can verify their location.

7. Hootsuite

productivity tools

Running multiple social media profiles can be time-consuming! It is essential to have an online presence these days. You also have to worry about making sure you post content regularly, to increase social engagement, shares and a following. Hootsuite is a social media tool that enables you to run all social media profiles from one platform.

You can monitor all your social media accounts and schedule posts in advance, which can be sent out on a set date time. You can also review all comments and respond to them, without having to leave the software.

8. Slack

productivity tools

Slack is a team collaboration and communication tool. It is great for bringing teams together. You can use the platform to create groups, share files and send/receive messages.  It can be set so that certain groups are only accessible to certain staff members.

Slack increases productivity because it reduces the number of emails that need to be sent to individuals or groups. Also, it is also a place to post announcements to staff in one go, without the need for meetings, as information can be accessed from everyone who is part of the group.

9. Evernote 

productivity tools

Evernote is an amazing app which can be used to perform different tasks and keep your notes in one place.

With this app, you can set and take notes (audio and text), take photos, clip web articles and upload files/attachments.

10. Pocket

productivity tools

Pocket is an app that enables you to save blogs and articles that you can read later.

This is useful for example, if you come across a good piece of content, whilst doing research.  However, you do not have time to read at the moment, but interested in checking it out later to help you with your research.

You can then save it in Pocket and check it later at a convenient time. For reference purposes, you can keep all useful links here, to use for the future.

11. Dropbox

productivity tools

Dropbox is a cloud storage solution which can be used to upload and store files into various folders. It can be used as a central point to store all your company files. You can send and share files with team members.

The admin controls let you check who has accessed the file and who has added something new. It simplifies team management and enables employees to access files when required, anywhere and anytime.

This helps with those that might work remotely and productivity. It saves times having to ask someone to email over a particular file, wait for them to respond then carry out task. This way anyone can access the desired file.

You can also send a unique link for each file to clients, for them to access the file also.

12. Vocus.io

productivity tools

Vocus is a chrome extension for your Gmail account. It brings tremendous productivity to your email account. You can track open/ links click rate and send out automated emails to prospects as part of your outreach campaign. The emails can be sent in form of a drip market. You can also set the data and time for these emails to be delivered.

It comes with a lot of email and poll templates which you can use to prepare emails for your campaign. It can be integrated with leading CRMs.

13. Grammarly

productivity tools

Grammarly is a free cloud English grammar app. It detects spelling mistakes, punctuation and grammar errors. This app is particularly useful, especially if English is not your first language. Grammarly is free to use and can be added as an extension to Google Chrome.

You don’t have to worry about spelling mistakes in your emails or blog posts, as it has spelling auto correction.

The time you used to spend to get your tasks proofread can be saved by installing this helpful app.

14. Expensify

productivity tools

There are many business expenses which can be off set as an expense, when filing end of year accounts. However, you must keep records in case the tax authorities ask you to provide evidence.

Most businesses struggle to keep accurate records and receipts in one place. Business expenses can be incredibly hard to track and record. When you sell goods or services, there are often costs associated with delivering the services/goods. It could be travel expense, stationery, internet or postage.

Expensify makes it easier for you and your employees to track expenses on the go, so you can pass correct expense report to your accountant. The accountant can then present correct profit/loss account.

By tracking your expenses, you will get a better picture of the outflows and can work on reducing unnecessary expenses.

Summary

There are many more tools and resources out there, that can be used to help with productivity. At the end of the day, there are only a certain number of hours in a working day and all these tools can help make life a lot easier for you as a small business owner.

Some Related Blog Posts:

Social Media Management Tools For Your Salon/Spa (And Other Small Businesses)

Invoicing And Online Appointment Booking Software For Salons And Other Small Businesses.

Why Your Business Should Use The Cloud (And Are You Ready?)

5 Benefits Of Having An Appointments Software For Accountants

 

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home-based craft business

How To Start and Develop Your Own Home-Based Craft Business

start craft business

So, you have decided to set up your own home-based craft business? That’s great! You obviously love what you do and want to turn your hobby into a business and want to share it with others.

Whether you like to knit, create woodwork, make jewellery, sew, print or paint, you can be sure that people who do not have the ability, or the time, to make such crafts will really appreciate your skills.

start craft business

                                                           

Pictures Credit:                            

Beaded Jewellery by   Perfectly Unique UK                          

Paper Flowers Decorations by Pink Hippo 

Unicorn Style Wooden Letters by  Kelz Kreationz                                                                                                                    

What To Expect

Whatever craft you decide on, you need to be aware of what to expect when operating a home-based craft business. You will have lots of fun making the products and meet plenty of exciting people, who will have similar interests or who you might collaborate with.

However, as well as offering great customer service, you also want to be prepared for the financial side of things involved in running a home-based business. This means understanding:

  • How to budget,
  • How to save on supply costs,
  • What prices strategy to use,
  • How to sell your products.

Pros and Cons of Opening a Home-Based Craft Business

The best part of opening your own home-based craft business is doing something you love and getting paid for it! However, there are a few downsides which you should consider in order to make balanced, well informed decisions regarding your craft business.

It is a good idea to devise a list of possible pros and cons of opening your own home-based craft business. If this is definitely the way you want to go, then you can try and find ways to get around the cons. Here is a list of to get you started:

Pros:

  • Can work in the comfort of your own home/studio
  • Enjoy your business and make money for it
  • You are your own boss
  • Can set your own hours based around your other commitments
  • Don’t have to worry about daily commutes to work
  • Able to spend as much or as little time on the business as you want, depending on your goals and where you are in your business

Cons:

  • Income would vary from a week to week basis, which could affect whether you can still pay the bills or not
  • Despite your income, you need to have enough funding for supplies and materials
  • Could leave you isolated compared to working in a workplace environment
  • No health insurance benefits or sick pay for days you feel unwell
  • Can be working unsociable hours if you have other commitments too

************

Your list of pros and cons may differ from someone else’s. Your personality, family support and financial situation may benefit from a home-based craft business, while others may decide that a home-based business is not for them.

It may take several months to gather enough clients to make an adequate income to pay your bills, without additional support but don’t let this discourage you. With any business, you won’t see success straight away, but with positive mental attitude, it will happen!

Where Do You Start With Your Own Home-Based Craft Business?

You are now ready to start your own craft business, so where do you start?

Choose Your Craft and Products Carefully

Determine what you do best out of your craft repertoire and focus on that at the beginning. The potential to expand and branch out is endless, so start slow with one product idea in mind.

With this, you need to take the time to think about your target market. Who will buy your crafts? Are your products or crafts going to be themed, such as those offered for seasonal holidays or festivals, or are they products that will be useful all year round, like jewellery, bath soaps, candles and home décor.

home-based craft business

Pictures Credit:

Beaded Chanel Brooch by Perfectly Unique UK

Alternative Pop Up Cards   by Pink Hippo

Decide Business Name

When it comes to naming your business, you need to avoid creating names with a special meaning that only you understand (or have to explain each time)

There is nothing wrong with having an unusual name as you want to be remembered! The gorilla on the drums for the Cadbury advert had nothing to do with chocolate but you still remember it right? (Depending on how old you are!)

However, do make sure any name you choose is a natural sounding name that is easy to remember and spell (when searching for you on Google).

Another thing to consider when thinking of a name for your craft business, think about future marketability and branding. You want to have a name which makes the name of your business easy to market, attract the customers and has the potential to fit when you eventually expand your craft business.

While you do not have to have a business name to start, once you start selling products to consumers and produce invoices and receipts, deal with any financial obligations such as business bank accounts and the IRS/HMRC, then you will need a name or at least a DBA (doing business as) for your tax returns.

Whatever you choose, the important thing to remember is to choose one that will grow with you and your craft business.

How Much To Charge

Going back to the above point about finance, think about how much your products will cost. After all, you want to make money on your craft business, not lose it.

Figure out the cost of supplies and your time to make the product when deciding how much you are going to charge for your finished product.  Look at what your competitors are charging.

Depending on the type of craft, and how many of them you want to offer, you may need to consider having access to some start-up funds. Generally, operating a craft-based business out of your home does not require a great deal of overhead. But you will still need money for supplies, replenishing items and perhaps refurbishing a room in your home or garage space to kit it out for your craft business.

Once you have built a relationship with suppliers and have a set of people you regularly go to, it is important to keep your expenses on track.

This can be done with Grow in Cloud’s Expense Management Feature. Grow in Cloud offers full suppliers and purchases suite for your business. You can save supplier contact details and record business purchases in under few clicks.

Key benefits

  • Track business expenses
  • Compliance and control over business expenses
  • Efficient and effective expense management

How To Get Paid

Your business will not get very far if you do not get paid for your crafts. Keeping track of sales and invoices may also take a chunk out of your day. You also need to determine a variety of payment methods essential for the success of your business.

Keep in mind that people typically require a variety of choices when it comes to payment options. Whenever possible, cater your payment options to meet the needs of the widest number of potential clients. The most common methods for receiving payment for your crafts will be online.

This is easy with Grow in Cloud’s online invoicing and payment feature

Online Invoicing with Grow in Cloud lets you create and send invoices from anywhere. Our easy to use online invoicing tool saves you time and enhance your client communication experience.

You can also get paid instantly with Grow in Cloud’s online payments solution. It works seamlessly with payment gateways such as PayPal and Stripe for multiple currency payments processing at low fees.

Key Benefits:

  • Get professional branded invoices
  • Create and send professional invoices from anywhere, on any device and at any time
  • Make and create multi-currency payments
  • Do border less business with our multi-currency payments solution.
  • Create automated payment follow-ups
  • Send automatic email reminders for late payments.

Things to think about to develop and grow your home-based craft business:

Branding

You may also want to consider developing a logo that can also be placed on business cards, stationery, invoices, and order forms.

Business logos and taglines when first starting out is worth considering at the beginning, before you get bogged down with orders and chasing payments!

This will help you stand out when you market your craft business on social media (detailed below)

Get your Own Website

home-based craft business

                                                                                                    Picture credit: RRATAN

You’re a professional, so it helps to look the part. Most people start with a business page on Facebook. But remember this; you’re selling online, so your online presence needs to be available and professional when people search for products, like yours, on the internet.

Above you can see how RRATTAN, a home-based craft re seller, have produced a website to showcase the products they sell.

At the very least, invest in a domain name which you can re-direct to your online store (whether it is Etsy or EBay).

You can use yourcraftbusiness.com rather than yourcraftbusiness.etsy.com or madeit.com.au/yourcraftbusiness.

A small change can make a HUGE difference to the impression people have of your business.

You should aim to have your own, stand-alone and self-hosted website as soon as you can make it happen. Then with carefully selected keywords, you can get your business name found when people search for you on Google.

About Us Page

Once you have your website set up, it is important to have a About Me/Us page, which tells your current and potential customers, who you are and why you set up your business.home-based craft business

                                                                                                         Picture Credit: RRATAN

This is also a good place to explain your mission and perhaps explain how you use ethically sourced items or recycled/biodegradable materials. This will help your customers be aware that you are concerned about our environment. This in turn will make them choose you as their preferred choice!

Have beautiful photos

Once you have your website set up, you want to be able to use it to showcase your craft. When you sell online, your photos will certainly make or break your business!

The photos (of your products) are the first thing that will capture the potential customer and usually the largest part of the decision-making process, especially for buyers out there, who buy on looks alone rather than checking the small print!

Take the time to get good quality photos.

Use:

  • Natural or filtered white light (no flash)
  • Consistent, simple, yet iconic backgrounds – nothing too ‘busy’ that might detract from your item
  • Clear, crisp shots in perfect focus
  • Interesting and intriguing angles – so long as you show the full product

Also, always remember to watermark your photos! You can try eZy Watermark, an app for users who want to capture, watermark and share their pictures and videos quickly and easily.

home-based craft business              home-based craft business

Pictures Credit:

RRATAN                                  

Perfectly Unique UK

Start a Blog

Once you are comfortable and have produced your website, it is great for you to start a blog. This helps improve your business’ visibility on search engines.

For a detailed explanation of why you should be blogging, please read Why Businesses Should Blog.

Here are some blog topics for you to start with. Note, they don’t have to be long, like this one (which is a guide). They can vary in length, depending on the topic.

Blog Post Topic Ideas:

  • Why you started this particular craft? Where did the inspiration or desire come from?
  • Explain your craft in small steps. What is involved in creating a particular item of yours? This would look great in video form too!
  • Choose someone whose work really inspires you and share why with your audience.
  • Talk about the supplies and tools needed for your craft and why you couldn’t do without them.
  • Think about a particular craft related challenge you have been facing and write about them. Sharing with others who might be able to relate or give you advice on helps.
  • Choose a craft book that you have found really helpful in your business and write a review about it.
  • Answer some frequently asked questions about your craft in one blog post.

Market Your Products Using Social Media

With the online world today, there is no way you can’t market your product without the help of social media! You maybe one on the millions of people out there that has a personal account on social media, but for business, it is best to have a separate business page/account on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter…

For craft businesses, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterest (which is really a search engine) are the best social media platforms to be on for you to showcase your home-based craft work, share information and target your audience carefully.

The great thing is, you can use tools, such as Hootsuite to schedule posts and link the accounts, so that you are not spending all your time on social media! Because you need to spend the time actually making the products to market! If you have someone to help support you in promoting your work on social media, grab them with both hands and get them involved!

Have the social media linked to your website, so when people go onto it they can find it easily to contact you or look into detail at what you do.

Check out our blog on the 3 most useful tools to help with social media management.

Things to Post on Social Media:

  • Photos of materials you will be using for your product
  • Teasers of what you might you might be making-to encourage engagement
  • Your end product (obviously!)Remember good lighting!
  • Special information about the products you use. This could be done through video and uploaded onto your YouTube channel.
  • Stories of how your product has benefited a customer or been used-tagging them in-for them to share with their friends and family.
  • Seasonal sales and promotions you have going on. Don’t offer promotions all the time, otherwise you will get customers waiting till the promotion to buy (and you have worked hard to make your craft to keep pricing it low!)
  • Events or Fairs you will be attending-to invite customers to come and visit.
  • Reviews and positive testimonials/feedback from happy customers.

          home-based craft business

Pictures Credit: Kelz Kreationz

 

home-based craft business

Picture Credit: Pink Hippo

Remember, when posting images of your products on social media, make sure they are clear and focused. Again use a clear, preferably white background as much as possible to show your products in the best possible light.

Last but not least:

Believe in yourself and what you do!

If you don’t believe in yourself or your product, your business will struggle to succeed.

It takes so much time and dedication to make your home based craft business work. If you don’t make something you absolutely love or enjoy, then you will run out of steam, get disheartened then eventually give up.

So put your heart and soul in what you make and enjoy it!

However, it is important to be open to change. If you’ve been working so hard and STILL not getting any sales/new customers, then think about what might need to change. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in day, so don’t expect your business to thrive the minute you have set up. It takes time and patience. But if you have been doing it for months and not received any sales, then have a look closely at what it could be. Perhaps, it is:

  • What you make. Is there a demand? (This should have been checked at the very beginning)
  • Is it too expensive? Can you offer deals, bundles or discounts?
  • Do your photos show your items in the best light? Do they truly reflect your products?
  • Have you utilised your social media platforms the best possible way? (Following hashtags/joining like-minded groups/collaborating with other creative owners)

Don’t be disheartened if you do need to make a change. All businesses do and should. It is part of the growing process.

Summary

Starting your own home-based craft business is exciting and offers many opportunities. It is limited only by your imagination. Bring your sense of fun and enthusiasm to your craft!

Focus your early marketing efforts on friends and family members. Ask them to help share, advertise and promote your products. They can be your best product ambassadors (especially if you can afford to give some of your products to them for free!)

Good luck with starting and growing your business. Happy Crafting!

 

Related “How To Start….” Blog Posts

How To Start A Wedding Photography Business

How To Start Out As A Virtual Assistant

How To Start Your Home Tutoring Business

How To Start Your Interior Design Business

How To Set Up Your Own Mobile Massage Therapy Business

How To Start A Photography Business

 

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social media salon

Social Media Management Tools For Your Salon/Spa

social media salon

There is no better place than social media platforms to advertise your salon and spa business. Social media for salons will help you with branding, promoting your business and most importantly, increasing your reach to buyers. It is also the most cost-effective way to promote your business and give you a greater ROI (return on investment).

Visuals and stunning images of your work, for example a finished haircut, blow-dry will get a much more positive response on social media channels. When your potential clients can see the outcome of your service, they are more likely to take interest and book with you.

Every salon or spa should aim to use all social media platforms, in order to promote their business and grow their following. This is because the reach for a wider variety of audience is greater. You will find a different demographic using Snapchat, than on LinkedIn.

You can read out our detailed blog post; The Ultimate Social Media Guide For Hair Salon. Here you can find out how you to use each platform to promote your salon business. The social media posts, that are rich in images and video content, tend to perform better than just plain texts.

Managing social media channels and regularly posting blogs, images, tweets and industry news can be very time-consuming! Thankfully, there are social media management tools, which can be used to produce great graphics for your content and make scheduling and posting your posts a breeze!

Here are three of the best tools which your salon or spa can use are:

Canva

social media salon

Canva is a graphic design tool to which can be used to create images and infographics as well as checklists and documents. It is a great and simple tool and can be used by non- technical and people with very little computer skills.

The drag and drop feature of the tool makes creating images, social media posts and infographics simple. The tool allows you to upload your own images and make changes to make it more stunning and suitable for the post.

It has thousands of images that you can use for free. It also has a collection of premium images and icons which you can buy for only $1 each. You can then download the image and use it for your posts.

Hootsuite

social media salon

Hootsuite is a social media tool that allows you to schedule your salon or spa’s social media posts in advance. You can set the date, time and day you want to publish the posts.

You can manage all your social media profiles from a single dashboard. You can publish video content for YouTube.

It also has a feature to shorten URL link which is really useful for posting on Twitter as it restricts tweets for only 280 words.

The other feature that is useful is that you can post, tweet, share and even comment without having to leaving Hootsuite.

All you need to do is spare about 20 minutes a day, either in the morning or afternoon which ever suits you best and get your posts organised for the week.

This is an easy and less time consuming way for you to manage your social media, so that you can get on with dealing with your customers.

Hootsuite offers a 30 day free trial.

Google Photos

social media salon

This is a photo sharing and storage serviced for everyone, which is offered by Google. The best thing about this is that it allows to you to store an unlimited number of photos and videos up to 16mp and 1080p HD.

Photos are key to promoting your salon and spa business. You can take photos from your smartphone and set it to automatically upload to Google Photos. The great thing here is, you won’t have to worry about running out of storage space again.

The photos will never be lost and can be accessed anytime and when required to add onto your website or social media platform.

Tailwind

social media salon

Tailwind is a tool which can schedule and automate your Pinterest and Instagram feeds. If you are not using Pinterest, it is strongly advised that you start using it.

A recent study showed 93% of pinners use Pinterest to plan a purchase. Many people, especially women use it get inspiration for hairstyles and will even post boards just for this topic (wedding hairstyles, short cuts, styles for long hair and so on)

Pinterest can bring huge traffic to your website and new customers. You can create boards and post other people’s relevant content to inform your target audience. Tailwind also enables you schedule Instagram post with the same purpose.

You don’t have to spend hours finding relevant hashtags. Tailwind recommends the best hashtags to use for each post, to get more likes, shares and engagement. It also makes managing your Instagram account fun! Again, it gives you more free time to spend with customers.

Tailwind’s analytics dashboard enables you to discover new relevant content to add to your own Pinterest accounts. It also analyses results, monitors performance and increases your reach.

You can sign up to Canva for a 14 day trial.

 

Here are some further blog posts relevant for your salon/spa business:

6 Ways To Market Your Massage Therapy Business

18 Ways To Set Up Your Mobile Massage Therapy Business

Why Salons Should Have An Online Booking System

How To Successfully Market Your Salon For Mature Clients

4 Blog Topics To Drive Traffic To Your Beauty Salon Website

7 Ways To Maximise Your Social Media Presence As A Make Up Artist

How To Manage and Grow Your Hair and Beauty Salon in 2018

 

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invoicing software

Invoicing And Online Appointment Booking Software For Salons And Other Small Businesses.

Running a small business is challenging at the best of times! With limited resources you should aim to put systems and procedures in place, to streamline work processes and increase productivity, such as an invoicing software. If you are managing a small salon or spa business, having this invoicing software in place, means you spend less time on admin work, (not worrying about invoicing) and more time on getting an appointment from customers!

You also want to make the whole process easier for your clients:

  • To find you online (through a website and social media accounts)
  • Schedule an appointment
  • To make a payment

Nearly 51% of the world population use the internet. Having a website is a necessity for any service-based business. This will increase your business brand and make it easier for prospective customers to find you online.

invoicing software

To remain competitive and increase revenue, a salon/spa business should make it easier for clients to book appointments online. Multiple sources show that 35% of clients prefer booking appointments during after office hours. Not only that, but 25% of millennials (those under 35 years old) only book appointments online.

[bctt tweet=”Multiple sources show that 35% of clients prefer booking appointments during after office hours” username=”cloud_grow”]

Grow in Cloud is a salon online appointment booking software which makes scheduling an appointment a breeze. It also helps you manage your employees and their calendars. Your customer can directly schedule an appointment with the staff member of their choice based on your real time availability which suits them.

invoicing software

 invoicing software

How does our salon appointment software help?

The online appointment booking software also helps you reduce no show ups, by sending a reminder before the appointment (both via SMS and Email). Furthermore, you have the option of charging clients a fee upfront during the time of booking an appointment. Our clients using the software have witnessed their no-show ups reduced by 70%.

Unlike other hair salon scheduling software, you can also prepare and send invoices to clients. It is a perfect, small business invoicing software! Grow in Cloud will help you streamline scheduling appointments and get paid on time.

You can produce an invoice in a minute and can make neat, eye-catching invoices from the templates available in the software.

Some of the benefits of using Grow in Cloud are:

24/7 Access-Clients have 24/7 a week access to your appointment slots using Grow in Cloud’s software.

Virtual Receptionist– An online booking system is like an additional staff member of the salon. Salon staff can carry out their tasks, while the planner fills up with appointments!

Free Client Site-Grow in Cloud’s booking panel is simple and easy to use. It allows the salon to customise it with the logo of the salon business, create a picture gallery, staff descriptions, its pricing list and customer reviews.

Immediate Access to Information– Clients can get access to various treatment duration, prices and descriptions of the service.

Reduces No Shows – Online bookings lead to lower cancellations and reduces client no shows.

Facebook – Use the Salon’s Facebook page to let followers know that online bookings are available. Your clients can book an appointment

appointment software For a detailed blog post explaining the features of our salon software, please read: Why Salons Should Have An Online Booking System

Related Blog Posts on Invoicing and Online Appointment Booking:

8 Invoicing Tips For Your Cleaning Business

Schedule Tutor Bookings Online 24-7

Free Invoice Template for Self Employed

5 Benefits Of Having An Appointments Software For Accountants

Automate Your Business With Cloud Based Appointment Scheduling

Online invoicing – Is it really a cost effective move?

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freelance jobs

15 Freelance Jobs That Can Be Done From Home

In recent years, more and more people are taking on freelance jobs and prefer to work from home. The concept of a 9-5 job is not something everyone is sees as an option for getting work.

The freelancing sector is growing at a rapid pace. A study from Upwork predicts that the majority of USA workforce will be freelance workers within the next decade.

[bctt tweet=”Freelance workers contributed £119 billion to the UK economy” username=”cloud_grow”]

Freelance work also contributes significantly to the UK economy. In 2016, freelance workers contributed £119 billion to the UK economy. The surge in freelance work can be put to various factors, such as:

  • Greater workforce talent pool
  • Option to work remotely
  • Taking work on project by project basis
  • Millennials prefer freelancing over 9-5 work
  • Parents wanting to work from home

Yes, its takes times to get sustainable freelance work on a regular basis. You need to invest in yourself, update your skills and register with freelancing websites. It’s also a good idea to start doing some outreach work and make connections with relevant people in your field. It is better to start with modest paying work, so that you can build up a portfolio and get your name out.

freelance jobs

You can start these 15 freelancing jobs from home today:

1. Tutor

freelance jobs

Online education is a growing sector and has a global reach. The demand for tutoring is growing day by day. There are some subjects such as Maths and Sciences which are in high demand and can get you a lot of work. However, you can offer tutoring in any subject, depending on your skills set. There are many benefits of online tutoring. This blog highlights some of them.

You could offer English classes to foreign students around the globe who wish to improve their English listening and speaking skills. The best thing about it, it can all be done from the comfort of your home!

You can find tutoring work by joining tutoring agencies, such as TutorChoice or by setting up your own website, listing the services you offer and become in control of your own schedule.

2. Interior Designer

freelance jobs

Interior designers play a major role in enhancing the interior of a building or space, to make it attractive and pleasing for the eye. From the paint colour to the position of the furniture, an input of interior designer is required and can give people a new perspective on things.

You can perform this work from home by having meetings with stakeholders via skype or other video conference softwares. You can also arrange appointments from home to visit clients in the local area.

This blog explains how to start an interior design business.

3. Copywriter

freelance jobs

If you enjoy writing, in general or on a particular topic, this could be one of the easiest and most enjoyable freelance jobs! More and more businesses require copywriters to write compelling text for their websites. This can help them generate leads and close sales.

You can also offer content writing services. This is an established practice in the Technology and SaaS sector, in order to drive inbound traffic. It also helps bring the prospects down the leads funnel and turn them into paying customers. You can choose a topic of your interest and offer copy writing services.

4. Transcription 

freelance jobs

If you have good listening and typing skills, you could freelance as transcriptionist.

All you need is a computer, a reliable Internet connection and the ability to transcribe audio and video in any of the languages that is required. This might be a speech, a video conference, dictation for letter from a medic, lawyer or entrepreneur.

5. Data Entry

freelance jobs

If you have good typing skills and are patient, you will not find data entry jobs difficult. This isn’t a dynamic or glamorous role but it is a great way to get some experience, before you apply for more senior admin roles.

You’ll be given information by clients who may ask you to input data into spreadsheets, word document or software of their choice.

6. Virtual Assistant

freelance jobs

Businesses, of any size, needs help on administrative tasks, whether it is with responding to emails, booking/confirming appointments, sending out invoices and/or chasing payments. However, a full-time employee, on site can become costly. For some businesses, this is not an option. Therefore, more and more businesses are beginning to appreciate the effectiveness of having a reliable virtual assistant.

If you have good organisational skills, ICT literate as well as good time management and communication skills, you could definitely get a lot of freelance virtual assistant work.

Here is a blog that explains how to become a Virtual Assistant and gives advice from two people working successfully as VAs.

7. Social Media Manager

freelance jobs

Social media platforms have become a major market place. This is especially true for branding, creating influence and gaining loyal followers and customers.

A lot of B2B and B2C business have seen 50-100% growth, year by year, by having an effective social media strategy.

A lot of small businesses simply don’t have the time to devise a social media strategy, create ads, marketing campaigns, schedule posts, reply to comments and analyse insights. This can be taken on by people who do have the time and expertise.

If you are knowledgeable and have skills in this, you could manage social media operations of a small business. You could work closely with the management team to plan and execute a social media strategy. This would be great experience for you working with a management team and using your knowhow to expand the business’ reach!

One of the best places to find people in search of social media managers is by joining Small Business Facebook groups. There are often many small business owners, asking for support.

8. Customer Service

freelance jobs

More and more companies are willing to offer flexibility of remote working for some roles. Customer service teams, for most companies, are already working from home.

You would be required to provide excellent customers service skills by being able to respond professionally to customer queries through email, phone calls, or live/online-chat support. Check out this blog on ways to improve customer service.

You may have to sit in front of laptop/computer for set hours and will need good internet access, but at least you could do this work from the luxury of your couch or designated study area.

9. Translator

freelance jobs

Ever thought of monetizing your ability to speak and understand multiple languages?

If you can speak and understand multiple languages, you can use it to your advantage! There is a demand for translators.

You may be asked by clients/businesses to translate conference meetings/discussions, articles, instructions, books, legal documents and more. You may even be involved with online meetings where your translating skills will come to use.

These translated discussions/documents may be needed to be typed up for business owners to use for their reference.

10. Photographer

freelance jobs

If photography is a hobby of yours, then this is definitely a line of work where you can get paying clients. There is a growing demand for all kinds of photographers.

For example, most wedding photographers are freelance workers. Here is a blog on how to start a wedding photography business.

You could also do wild life photography, real estate photo shoots for homes/hotels/bed and breakfast rooms (who then upload the photos on their website).  You can check our blog on where to find freelance photography work.

11. Website Designer

freelance jobs

Having a website is a necessity for almost every business these days. With technological advancements and the likes of Amazon, EBay and Uber having shifted the mind set of consumers, more and more customers want to interact and shop online.

This has created a great opportunity for creative website and graphic designer to grow their own business. Every business would like to have a logo and an attractive website that will make it stand out from its competitors.

You can start website freelancing work. Again, joining Business Facebook Groups can help find you clients, but there is heavy competition usually. So it is best to promote yourself on websites like Upwork or Fiverr to find suitable clients. Rest assured it would give you sustainable income, as there is a huge demand out there!

12. Accountant/Book-Keeping

freelance jobs

There is a saying; ‘You can’t escape two things- death and tax!’

So while you and others are still alive and well, there is and will always be a need for accounting and tax professionals. With an increasing number of people doing freelancing work, there is no better time to start doing accountancy work. You can find work from PeoplePerHour or Bark

You can offer complete virtual accountancy services or focus on a particular task, such as; book keeping, filing VAT and doing self-assessment returns.

If you do offer virtual accountancy services, this blogs explains in detail the benefits of having an appointment booking software.

13. Logo Designer

freelance jobs

Most business start-ups or those wishing to rebrand often don’t have an in-house designer. These roles are often outsourced.

Small business owners are always looking for a logo designer, to make a creative, eye catching logo for their business.

If this something you are qualified and able to do, then you can source this work also from sites like Upwork and Fiverr.

14. App Developer

freelance jobs

This is a specialised niche. If you have skills to develop mobile apps, you can be rest assured you will get ample work, which you can easily do from home. The nature of role doesn’t require working in an office setting. Often peace and quiet in a home setting is just what you need!

Here is a blog that gives some design tips for app designers.

You can have weekly or monthly Skype meeting with your clients to discuss progress made and get their feedback. You can also stay in touch with them via email or collaborative platforms like Slack.

15. Video Editor

freelance jobs

Making a video is so easy these days. They can be made from our smart phones just by pressing record. However, not everyone can cut and edit it to produce a professional looking video, to put onto websites or social media platforms.

If this something you have the skills in, or up for a challenge, there are jobs out there for you. You can look for them in LinkedIn.

Summary:

These are just a handful of jobs out there that you can do from home.

If you have the budget and savings to leave your 9-5 or want to start off with this route, then now is a good as time as any! Freelance work allows you the flexibility to work when you want and be your own boss.

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tutoring business

Automate Your Tutoring Business

September…summer is over…it’s that time of year again! Let’s get the tutoring business started up again!

Students are back into schools, both students and parents begin worrying about their children’s attainment, SATs results and league tables, as well as children placements into high school for the following year. Then there are some parents who are contemplating preparing their children for 11 plus exams, to ensure the children get into a grammar school of their choice…the pressures of making progress are endless for both students and parents nowadays and it’s up to the teachers and tutors to alleviate that pressure and ensure the young students build a strong foundation that sets them up for life.

Unlike lessons at school or college, home tutoring allows parents to enjoy the fact that there’s nobody else with their child… just the tutor. If the child doesn’t understand something or they have missed something, then they just need to ask, without the risk of embarrassing themselves in front of their peers. Setting out regular sessions between the tutor and student allows piece of mind and continuity.

There are many admin issues involved and that’s even before starting to teach a lesson! This involves:

  • Scheduling lessons,
  • emailing students with assignments,
  • tracking payment and
  • sending appointment reminders to students.

With Grow in Cloud, all these admin tasks can be done smoothly and seamlessly, leaving you to do what you love and do best!

Appointment Scheduling:

Read our blog which has a detailed guide on how to use Grow in Cloud’s Appointment Scheduling feature. When trying to get a session booked between tutors and students, there is a lot of ‘toing and froing’ with emails going back and forth, trying to find a date and time that’s suits both parties. But with online appointment scheduling, this stress is taken away as both tutors and clients can see in real time when the sessions are available and book it there and then.

tutor software Name is hidden for data protection purposes.

SMS/Email Reminders:

When lessons are booked online, tutors can be reassured that there will be no missed appointments. This is by having SMS/ Email reminders sent automatically to the students/parents about their upcoming sessions. This reminder feature allows the parents/students to confirm, cancel, or request a reschedule. Tutors have complete control of when and how their clients should be notified of their future appointments. This automated service frees up time and more importantly reduces no shows-which isn’t great when tutors have planned lessons in advance and/or turned down other students, because of the lesson.

tutor software

Name is hidden for data protection purposes.

Uploading Lesson Plans:

Having access to the internet means the world is your oyster in terms of finding lesson ideas, but as a qualified teacher it’s your job to decipher those plans and adapt and differentiate them to the needs of your students. By using Grow in Cloud you can upload the adapted and differentiated lesson plans that can then be used time and time again and be accessed anywhere.

tutors cloud software

Names/Data is hidden or blurred out for data protection purposes.

Document Sharing:

One of the bug bears that teachers and tutors have globally is the amount of paperwork that is involved-setting out work, marking the work and then giving written reports. By sharing online homework tasks or links to websites for research purposes limits the amount of paperwork flying around, especially when the child is already getting a ton load from their school!

Homework can be set online using editable pdf documents that can be shared through the website. Once the work is done it can be sent using the same format and checked there and then online. This saves a huge amount of time and paper.

tutors cloud software

Names/Data is hidden or blurred out for data protection purposes.

 

Tutor/Parent Communication:

Communication between tutors and parents is vital. They are paying you to teach their children and accountability is becoming the norm now. One way of communicating could be that lesson plans are emailed to parents so that they can see the work you are carrying out with their children using the Customer Messaging Feature.

Sometimes before the lesson takes place, the parent needs to be informed of a specific textbook required for the session so this can be done using the tool, allowing for safe and secure communication between tutor and parent, with safeguarding of children being of primary importance.

tutors cloud software

Names are hidden for data protection purposes.

 

Online Invoicing/Payment:

The Online Payment feature allows parents to pay for sessions from their home, and they can do it in whichever way is most convenient: card, PayPal, or Stripe. Additionally, the Online Invoicing Tool enables tutors to send invoices and payment reminders automatically. This prevents those awkward face to face moments when you need to ask for payment! By a click of a button your time is then used wisely to concentrate on lesson planning and teaching.

tutors cloud softwareNames are hidden for data protection purposes.

 

Mobile-Friendly:

Mobile devices are preferred by many clients now, because of the convenience it offers. Grow in Clouds’ mobile-friendly software will allow tutors and their students to work more efficiently from anywhere.

Grow in Cloud’s mobile friendly software ensures that tutors, parents and students can have unrestricted access to their information (their bills/invoices that need to be sent or lessons they have scheduled) wherever they are and whenever they want.

tutors cloud softwareName is hidden for data protection purposes.

Admin taken care of, so you can focus on teaching!

Grow in Cloud’s features truly take care of the admin side of business. Online Scheduling and Payment features will substantially reduce the amount of admin work for tutors. Our Online Services Calendar eliminates the need to answer as many customer phone calls while you are busy doing teaching. It also ensures the availability of real-time and up-to-date information for customers, reducing the risk of miscommunication.

You may need hands-on experience with a tutor management system, to know if it is the right choice for your tutor business. Grow in Cloud offers its users a free 30 day trial, with full functionality, so when you sign up, you know exactly what you’re going to get. For a free 30 day trial, sign up here.

Contact us at info@growincloud.com for a free demo of the software too. With the demo, we can guide you and answer any questions you may have.

Related Blogs on Tutoring:

6 Benefits Of Starting An Online Tutoring Business

6 Ways To Use Social Media For Your Tutoring Business

9 Tips On How To Start Your Home Tutoring Business

6 Tips To Grow Tutoring Business 

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