Time Tracking Software: Help Employees Feel Like Freelancers

We live in a world in which the makeup of an organization has changed. Many organizations have fewer full-time employees and instead rely on a series of part-time and freelance workers to implement critical business activities. If you have a diverse business model, you want the benefits of time tracking software. It can benefit both traditional employees and part-time and contracted workers.

Help Employees Feel Like Freelancers

The dream for many people is owning their own business or at least finding a job that gives them the flexibility to work from anywhere. It’s possible to restructure your business so that internal employees and external contractors choose from a dashboard the tasks they will work on each day. They can track their productivity and self-determine how much they will earn. This is easy with time tracking software. Using a work-task tracking software helps employees feel like freelancers. They get to decide what they spend their time on and earn more if they put forth more effort.

Use Task Codes to Restructure Your Business Activities

In some businesses, not just those following a process management model, it’s feasible to restructure all business activities to fit into a set of task codes. This is a way of thinking similar to what code will be assigned to a medical service in a doctor’s office. In many organizations, a physician will not perform a service if it is not billable under current federal Medicare and Medicaid rules. Your organization can create a set of task codes, one for each business task. This could look like a hierarchy of codes, one belonging to each department or team. Or, you can use universal task codes across the organization. That’s because taking a business call or typing a letter of correspondence looks the same in every operational area.

Give Employees More Ownership of Their Work = Pride

Just because people don’t work in your office doesn’t mean that they cannot take pride in their contractual employment and get the flexibility of working like freelancers. When you use time tracking software and employees of all types track their work and manage their time, they get to feel like freelancers. You can redesign your positions to be more flexible. Employees can begin to serve different client accounts or work in different geographical areas, but they can qualify to work on an increasing range of tasks. The longer they stay with your company, they get to enjoy more flexibility in work assignments. They become experts in your entire business model, and they can shift easily to different accounts or projects based on business needs.

Move to Cross-Functional Teams

If you set up all of your activities to fit a list of task codes, employees can truly work anywhere in the organization. They will have access to more tasks as they develop the subject-matter knowledge required to perform them. They are more like freelancers. Your company can reap the benefits of process management organizations, which often use cross-functional teams to increase productivity. Let’s see what this looks like. A company makes every task into a code that can be performed by anyone with the right qualifications. If employees want to move to a different cross-functional team, such as working on the marketing team or providing customer service, they can shift. This only requires a conversation between the leaders of the two teams. At the same time, employees from marketing can temporarily assist the customer service team with certain tasks to address business shortages or take advantage of limited-duration business opportunities.

We have more ideas on using time tracking software to change how work is managed in your company. Please contact us today.

6 Reasons Expense Tracking Software is Important

6 Reasons Expense Tracking Software is Important:

expense-tracking

expense-tracking

Expense tracking is important at all stages of a business. In the beginning, it might not seem as crucial, especially if you incur few expenses. However, if you’ve ever lived wondering just where all your income went over the past month and why you have nothing left over to save, you’ll likely experience that same feeling in your business when you don’t track expenses. For a greater understanding of its necessity, here are six reasons expense tracking is important:

#1 Makes Tax Time Less Stressful

If you don’t routinely track your business expenses throughout the year, you will have to hunt for the information and take the time to record everything from the past year. Obviously, this will be stressful and cause extra work. Few people enjoy the process of filing taxes, so the quicker you get them done, the better. By tracking your expenses, you won’t have to spend a lot of time on reporting taxes.

#2 Don’t Miss Out on Any Deductibles

Another problem with failing to record expenses is you’ll miss out on possible deductions come tax season. That’s money you’re leaving on the table. To save as much money as possible on taxes, keep up with your expenses.

#3 Accurately Determine Budget Cuts

Sometimes a business needs to make budget cuts due to overspending or not making as much revenue as expected. Whatever the reason may be for budget cuts, you need to have an accurate history of your business’s spending in order to make an informed decision. Without keeping track of expenses, you could potentially make a harmful budget cut while ignoring an area that doesn’t really need as much investment.

#4 Thinking About Money Helps Generate More

A habit of people in debt or living paycheck to paycheck is to largely ignore their finances. They don’t check their bank accounts on a regular basis, and often don’t know how much they have available. If you track your expenses, it forces you to regularly think about money rather than ignore its inflow and outflow. By facing your expenses, you will become less fearful of financial issues and stay on top of finances. As a result, you may notice your income grow.

#5 Become More Disciplined

Discipline is an important skill for business owners to have, because customers will lose trust in you if you fail to do what you were supposed to. You must also have the discipline to work on your business even when you don’t feel like it in order to maintain momentum. Discipline is difficult to build but one way of doing it is to stay on top of your expenses.

#6 Increased Productivity and Willpower

Some experiments on tracking spending found that people become more productive and conscious in all areas of their lives when they get into the habit of monitoring their expenses. According to Duhigg in his book The Power of Habit, “As people strengthened their willpower muscles in one part of their lives — in the gym, or a money management program — that strength spilled over into what they ate or how hard they worked. Once willpower becomes stronger, it touched everything.”

The benefits of expense tracking are too good to give up. Keeping track of your finances, both personal and business, is essential for having a healthy financial mindset. You’ll save more money by staying aware of how you’re spending it and having the data at hand for tax deductibles. Moreover, you’ll make smarter financial decisions for your business and increase your productivity in multiple areas of your life.

You can easily get started tracking your expenses with CloudBooks, an invoicing software that enables you to stay on top of your business’s finances. If you have any questions or comments about our software, please contact us and we will get back to you.

Close More Deals With Quote Software and Keep Your Sales Cycle Running Smoothly

Online Quoting & Proposal Software

Online Quoting & Proposal Software

Whether you view it as a rewarding challenge or a dreaded task, responding to Requests for Quotes (RFQ) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) is a crucial part of running and growing a business. A professional accurate document that puts you in the running requires meticulous attention to every detail, and this requires valuable time. Therefore, as much as you may want to reply to every RFQ that comes in, it is a prudent practice to step back and realistically assess each opportunity and respond only to those you have a chance of winning.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Is this RFQ prompted by a present need or is the requester just testing the waters?
Does the purchasing agent express resolve and commitment?
Is there a budget involved?
Have you ever done business with this customer?
Can you effectively compete?

If you decide to respond, fire up your quote software, it’s time to deliver a quote that stands out from the competition.

Preparing Your Quote

More About Them Less About You

At this point, forget about the basic features and costs of your service or products, they will come next. Concentrate on the needs of the prospect and clothe your deliverables in language that details how your offerings will fit in with the culture of their company. Focus on the outcomes and beneficial results that will come with accepting your quote; the particular problems it will solve.

Offer More than One Option

Since your competitors will, most likely, be responding conventionally and offering one option, providing multiple ones will make your proposal stand out. Customers like to feel they are doing due diligence. By giving them a set of options, you’re helping them out in that regard. In essence, you’ll be acting like a competitor to yourself, filling their need to shop around and hopefully dissuading them from looking elsewhere.

Another benefit from taking this forked road is that you’ll be able to offer both a higher level of service, i.e., a more expensive one, and they just may choose it. But if they cannot afford it, your lower priced option, the one they actually had in mind, will look like a bargain.

Keep it Short

Remember that the requester will be receiving several responses. Making yours relevant and concise, mentioning only areas that are important to the prospect will increase the chances that rather than just thumbing through it, he will read it all the way through. A good rule of thumb is to limit quotes to a maximum of two pages, focusing only on what you think will close the particular deal.

The Quote as Contract

Include a final paragraph that gives the requester the opportunity to signify (s)he accepts your proposal by signing it. Being able to turn the quote into a contractual agreement shows your commitment and may increase the likelihood of the customer’s doing business with you.

Our cloud-based software presents you with templates that can match the varying needs of each and every prospective client, allowing you to create an attractively formatted estimate that includes your company logo, address, and contact information. But that is only the beginning of the benefits our system offers. With Cloudbooks, you’ll be able to see which quotes have been accepted and which have been declined, and with just one click, convert those accepted estimates into invoices.

Contact us to find out how Cloudbooks SAAS can help you take charge of your business and automate your entire sales cycle, not only turning quotes into invoices, but also tracking those invoices, creating recurring ones, and giving you detailed reports that help you maintain the cash flow needed to keep the wheels of your business turning.

4 Ways Invoice Software Can Help Boost Sales for Your Cell Phone Business

Increase sales with invoice software

Increase sales with invoice software

With cell phones being such a hot commodity today, it makes sense that cell phone distributors are going to be in high demand. These individuals are constantly dealing with an ever-changing technology base and products coming in and out. Because there is so much going on at one time, it is more important than ever that you take care of your customers to keep them coming back. It’s easy to see how something could slip through the cracks with such a busy schedule. But, that’s the last thing you want to happen. Not providing excellent customer service to all your clients could end up costing you your reputation and valuable customers. Check out the following tips for cell phone distributors to determine how the right software can help you boost sales today.

Deliver accurate invoices and estimates on time.

When dealing with any large cell phone order, customers will often ask you to provide them with an estimate for how much their wholesale order is going to cost. Part of that estimate is that they are going to want a printout of what your costs are going to be. That allows them to compare it with other estimates and make an informed decision about who they want to go with to do the job. You need to be able to give them the estimate right there during your phone or in-person conversation with them. They don’t want to wait weeks to get an estimate sent to them. They want it then and there. You need to be able to accommodate your customers’ needs to the best of your ability.

Show up to every appointment as scheduled.

Nothing screams poor customer service than not showing up to an appointment when you are scheduled to be there. Regardless of whether it is to give an estimate, discuss products or deliver an order, you need to make sure that you arrive when you tell the customer you are going to be there. It is important that you have a scheduler to enter all of your appointments into to make sure no one gets left behind. This makes sure you don’t garner a reputation for not showing up to appointments or leaving your customers waiting for their products to be delivered.

Accurately document every job you go to.

Beyond having a scheduler where you can enter appointments you have coming up, you also need a tool that allows you to enter important information about every current order en route and any new ones in process. If you are in the middle of a major wholesale order, you want to be able to document what’s going on so that everyone knows what needs to be done and when. This ensures all of your employees are on the same page for each order you have on the books.

Give all employees the tools they need to succeed.

As a business owner, you need to make sure all of your employees are equipped with the tools they need to be successful in every facet of their job. This means being able to quickly answer any questions customers might have about your products, their balance and what the status of their order is. Everyone needs to have access to this information at all times. You don’t want to make customers wait for a return call from another staff member when you could equip everyone with the tools they need to succeed.

By accounting for the above, you can make sure no customer ever has a negative experience with your cell phone distribution company. If you aren’t sure how to go about bringing all of these elements into play, contact us to discuss our software management solutions designed for businesses just like yours. Our goal is to help you succeed as a business owner. The time to embrace change is now.