Small business owners wear a lot of hats; even if you’re a web designer, you’re also a sales person, a writer, a bookkeeper, and a PA. We know it’s hard to stay on top of all those other jobs when you’re trying to earn a living, so this week we’re looking at ways to “automagically” save some time and hassle.
When you’re in an important meeting or in the middle of work, who is answering any important phone calls? Call answering services like Moneypenny are a great option for small businesses who might want some extra cover during a busy period or out of hours. U.S. readers can also use Google Voice, which automagically transcribes any voicemails to an email, and even lets you set up personal greetings for important callers.
Need to do some research, but don’t have the time to get it done? “Virtual Assistant” companies like Fancy Hands specialise in helping you get items off your to-do list, like “find a place in London that will print business cards today,” or “I need a nice restaurant to take a client to dinner.” Just fire an email to the service, and watch your to-do list automagically get smaller.
It’s very quick to take a picture, but usually takes a bit longer to record that phone number, or key in a business card. Services like CardMunch and Evernote make things easier by automagically recognising text in images -- CardMunch is a free app that will convert any business card into a LinkedIn contact, and note-keeping app Evernote searches within text on any images you upload, even if it’s handwriting.
Sometimes, there’s just no clever way to automate a task, and someone just has to sit down and churn through the same task over and over. But that someone doesn’t have to be you - you can outsource time-consuming, simple tasks to services like Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Use the service for things like transcribing audio, researching competitor pricing, or just everyday data entry. For more providers like Mechanical Turk, check out this great list from Quora.
What services do you use to save yourself some trouble? Hit us up in the comments or on Twitter. And have a great weekend!