Spring Cleaning For Your Small Business: 3 Tips To Improve Efficiency This Season

small business spring cleaning tips

Birds are singing, temperatures are rising and spring is in the air. Now is the perfect time for a little spring cleaning. While running a dustcloth over your desk won’t help your bottom line; these three simple spring cleaning tips for your small business can keep you running at peak productivity all year long.

1. Website refresh

Take the time to audit your website page by page and recruit a few friends to do the same. Of course you want to immediately correct any functionality errors and fix any typos but a thorough audit takes a broader view and looks for ways to improve the customer experience:

  • Add new products or services and delete any that are outdated or no longer available
  • Update photos with fresh, high-quality images
  • Ensure all pricing is current and accurate
  • Incorporate recent customer reviews and testimonials into your content
  • Check how your site displays on a variety of desktop and mobile devices
  • Investigate new platforms, programs and plug-ins to enhance the user experience for customers and visitors to your site
  • Consult with a designer on ways to make the site cleaner, more visually appealing and easier to navigate

2. Digital decluttering

Now is the time to tackle all those piles of paper, boxes of files and overflowing cabinets you’ve been ignoring. Invest in a high performance scanning system and take the time to build an effective system for document storage and archiving now; doing so will pay off in security and efficiency for years to come. Choose your scanning system wisely. The Ambir nScan 915i network scanner, for example, is engineered to handle multiple users with ease. The compact, standalone unit connects to your network wirelessly with no cable or computer required, and scans directly to your email, network, device or the cloud.

  • Take advantage of cloud technology to build a secure document archive that is available anywhere, any time.
  • Divide all your paper files into two groups: store or toss. Be realistic and ruthless
  • Shred all discarded documents for secure disposal and easy recycling
  • Set up a simple cloud-based digital file system and scan all the remaining documents directly to the appropriate file
  • Once the documents are scanned and stored, there is no need to keep hard copies; simply shred, recycle and marvel at how much space your office suddenly has!

3. Contact list clean-up

Your communication is only as strong as your contact list. If you’re using outdated lists then you are simply wasting your time. Building a better database from the ground up will help build your business so consider investing in a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) program such as Nimble. Far more than just contact lists, CRM programs help you manage your contacts, automate sales and marketing functions, capture business intelligence about prospects and competitors, and track social media conversations and engagement.

  • Purge all databases of outdated or irrelevant information
  • Consolidate all your fragmented contact lists, databases, spreadsheets and business cards into one central database or CRM platform
  • Capture the information your team needs to drive sales: demographics, social profiles, buying patterns and more
  • Track message opens and clicks to determine if your message is reaching the right people
  • Monitor key contacts’ social media profiles to identify emerging trends or potential issues

Maximize Efficiency On the Go: Top 5 Mobile Office Must-Haves

Whether you work from home or in a mobile office that needs to travel everywhere you do, efficiency is the key to success. Limited space, time and resources can all be optimized for maximum results, thanks to a few handy programs, cool gadgets and well-chosen pieces of equipment. What are the must-have tools for the professional on the go? We’ve listed our top 5 favourites here:

1.  Cloud-based storage

You need access to all your files from any device, any location. Gone are the days of messing with thumb drives and emailing files to yourself, thanks to the magic of the cloud. Whether you choose iCloud, Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive or one of the many other storage services available, you have the comfort of knowing your all your files are safely backed up and not tied to a single device. No more fearing the blue screen of death! The peace of mind that security brings, plus the convenience of accessing files from any device with internet access, is priceless.

2.  Portable power

Is there anything worse than watching your battery life fade before your eyes? Stay connected on the go with portable power solutions such as the Ventev Powercell 10000+, a 2-in-1 portable battery and wall charger which can charge three devices at once. For wireless convenience, consider a portable power mat like Mophie’s wireless charging base, or the Duracell Powermat lineup.

3.  Wireless scanners

Paper files are so yesterday. Plus, who has the space to store them all? Reduce paper costs, save time, simplify storage and ensure document security by going paperless. You’ll never lose an important document again and can access and share any file from anywhere by simply scanning and storing. The small size and wireless convenience of Ambir’s MobileScan Pro 500i make it easy to take anywhere. Its available Andoid and iOS apps, and instant scanning to Evernote and Google Drive functions make it a snap to use.

4.  Pocket-sized projectors

Want to wow your clients with the perfect presentation anywhere, anytime? All you need to shine is your phone or tablet and a great pocket-sized portable projector. The FAVI Pico+™ Smart Projector features Android OS and lets you wirelessly showcase your favourite videos, share photos and presentations, or even stream apps like Netflix. The LG PH5550 is one of the brightest micro projectors on the market, comes with a built-in battery and allows you to connect via Bluetooth to external speakers for premium sound.

5.  E-signature solutions

We may never eliminate the need for forms, applications and signed contracts, but we can easily overcome the issues of storage and security they bring, thanks to e-signature solutions. Ambir’s nForm, for example, maintains all the workflow of your standard paper forms without any of the hassle. Plug & play simplicity, Citrix compatibility, and integration turns any iOs or Andriod tablet into a digital signature pad, or use with Ambir’s own custom nForm 410x tool to make going digital a breeze.

25 of the Most Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Better Office Productivity

keyboard

As people who work in offices, we all know that productivity and organization go hand in hand.

To help, we’ve put together the most popular keyboard shortcuts for Windows, Mac, Gmail, as well as Facebook and Twitter.

10 Windows/ PCs Shortcuts

  1. Windows key= this key shall take you to the start screen if you are at the Desktop. If you were to press the key again, the action is reversed.
  2. Ctrl +Tab= if you use the shortcut while on the start screen, there is switching between the Apps view and the Start screen.
  3. Windows Key + type an app name= if you used it on the Desktop, it should take you to the Start screen where will search for any installed apps using the name you typed in.
  4. Escape= If you used this key on the Start screen, the Start screen closes and switches to the Desktop.
  5. Windows key + E= this shortcut launches File Explorer from the Start Screen and the Desktop.
  6. Windows key + P= It produces a Project Sidebar to creating an extension for your image to the second screen that is created.
  7. Windows key + F1= Launches the Support documentations and the Windows Help that is provided by Microsoft.
  8. Windows key + F= It launches the File Search where you can search for the files on your PC.
  9. Windows Key +W= this shortcut launches the Setting Search. You can apply this app in searching for any OS (Operating System) settings by only typing in the keywords.
  10. Windows Key + Q= when you use this search, the General Search is launched. You can therefore use the Search in finding various settings and files.

5 Mac users’ shortcuts

  1. Cmd + Q= this shortcut will help you to end task. You shall therefore quit the appemtirely.
  2. Cmd + W = this shortcut will only help you to quit from the active window, but shall not end the task altogether.
  3. Cmd + T= this shortcut will enable you to open a new tab without using the file menu.
  4. Cmd + Tab= this shortcut will aid you in accessing the application switcher, and lets you switch between open apps without the utilization of a mouse.
  5. Cmd + Space bar= the shortcut will help you in accessing the spotlight search. The spotlight search helps in locating all applications and files on your Mac.

5 Google/Gmail shortcuts

  1. Selecting a continuous series of messages(Shift): Hold `shift` after checking the box for an email then select the last email contained in the series.
  2. A Selection of random messages (Command): Hold `command` after checking the box for the email then select the designated emails.
  3. Archiving the selected messages (e):  pressing this button (e) shall help you archive the messages that aren`t important.
  4. Marking the selected messages as important (=): Pressing this button (=) shall help you mark a message as important.
  5. Reply all (a): If you need to respond to more than one individual, just press `a` to respond to all.

Social Media (Twitter/Facebook ) shortcuts

Facebook

  • Help Centre: ctrl + alt +0
  • New Message: ctrl +alt + m
  • Profile page: ctrl + Alt + 2
  • Notification: ctrl + Alt +5

Twitter

  • Home: G+ H
  • Activity: G + A
  • Mention: G + R
  • Discover: G + D
  • Connect: G + C

10 Office Hacks You’ve Never Thought Of, But Will Love

Your office is a place you spend a great deal of time, whether you enjoy it or not. You can make the time you spend there more enjoyable by customizing your office the way you want it. You’ll feel more comfortable and be able to work better when you have an organized space. Here are some creative tips on how to get your office the way you want it:

1. Binder Clips

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Binder clips are great for holding all your important papers together in order to keep your documents organized. However, they have more uses than just to hold papers together. Attach these clips to one side of your desk to hold the ends of your power cords for your phone, computer and other devices. The ends should go through the metal part. You won’t have to worry about searching for the end of the cord because they’ll all be right there. In addition, none of them will tangle, which you know is a common problem in the office that’s quite frustrating.

2. Cell Phone Holder

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You don’t need to spend a fortune on a place to situate your cell phone while you work. Instead, use an old cassette case and flip it so that the part that holds the cassette is sloping upwards. Your cell phone will fit perfectly in this slot. If you don’t have an old cassette case, many used CD places sell them for very cheap. It’s a win win situation since you can purchase a tape that reminds you of your youth while creating a unique space for your mobile device.

3. Color Code Your Cords

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If you’re struggling to remember what cord goes to what, use nail polish, colored duct tape, or even bread clips to help keep track.

4. Hair Straightener

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A hair straightener doesn’t just have to be for hair. You can use it to get wrinkles out of your clothes. Purchase a cheap one and store it in your office drawer, so you always look presentable.

5. Q-Tip or Tape

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Use clear tape or a Q-tip to clean in between the keys on your keyboard

6. Use Dry Erase Paint

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Use dry erase paint to create a space on your wall to jot down notes.

7. Clear Shoe Rank

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Hang a clear shoe rack on your closet door. It’s an excellent storage space for office supplies. And since it’s clear, you’ll be able to see through it to find anything you want with ease.

8. Never Forget Your Keycard

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Put that keycard inside your smartphone case so you won’t ever forget it again.   Pretty “smart”, huh?

9. Make Cubbies

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Make a small group of cubbies by stacking mason jars in a pyramid and hot gluing them together. They make an excellent space to hold pens, pencils and other office supplies. Not to mention, this looks very unique.

10. An Old Shutter

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Paint an old shutter and hang it on the wall in your office to create a space to hold letters.