As a small-business owner, you know all about the “time = money” equation. You’ve spent hundreds of hours doing work to avoid paying someone else for it (and often gathering less than minimum wage yourself!)
From first-day launch to daily operations, there are a ton of resources out there to help you save both time and money! Here are 12 templates and tools that will streamline operations and give you the time to invest in more important areas of your business.
If you’re just starting out, you need a business plan. Check out this tool, offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. It goes step by step through the components of a business plan and offers guidance along the way, saving you time from writing one from scratch. If you plan to apply for a loan, you’ll need a business plan to show how you plan to be successful.
2. Slogan maker
Here’s a fun one! If you’re trying to think of a catchy slogan for your business, spark some ideas with this tool. It’s all automated, so the ideas it spits out may seem corny – but they’re useful because they can snap you out of your brain block (especially if creativity doesn’t come to you naturally!)
It’s incredibly fast, easy, and cheap to design business cards online. You can do it all from scratch or use an existing template.
This template is useful for small businesses that don’t already have a professional bookkeeper. Easy to understand, it has one sheet for sources of income, one for expenses, and one to track cash flow. It’s quick to plug in the numbers and be done.
This template is an in-depth budget spreadsheet for the business that’s beyond basic. All you have to do is plug in planned and actual expenses and get an automatically updated report that includes pie charts and graphs done for you!
This in-depth form is helpful for any business venture. It can help you figure out startup costs, forecast sales and cash flow, and even calculate employee payroll, benefits, and withholdings. When you keep your financial records well-organized, you lower the risk of costly mistakes.
Amortization calculators are fun tools that show you what your loan looks like. Have a little extra cash this month? How would it affect your loan if you applied it to the principal? See immediately how much you would save in interest over the life of the loan. Calculate whether you can afford to pay the loan off early. Always be thinking in the back of your mind about how best to pay off your loan – and look forward to the day when your business will be debt-free!
This is a simple, professional-looking invoice template (because you want to look professional when you’re telling people they owe you money.)
If you run a business selling a tangible product, keeping track of inventory is essential! You need to know what you have in stock so you can fulfill future orders. You also need to track your inventory to report to the IRS when tax time comes.
This template allows you to use Excel to track the progress of your project. It’s essentially a tool to plan the objective, schedule, task list, employees involved, costs, risks, and other data.
To help you keep organized, use this standard employee schedule. At a glance, you can not only see which employees are scheduled, but how much they are making and how many total hours they are working.
This is a basic customizable form to give you some ideas about what you might want to put on a customer satisfaction survey. Once you’ve edited it to best reflect your business, you can simply print it off, ready to be filled out by the customer.
Time = money. By using all the resources available to you, you’re essentially hiring the internet to work for you for free. These tools save you money, and they save you time – time to drive your business forward without slowing down for anything!
This article was originally written by Nick Rojas for the Heyo Blog.