1280071_keyboardHere’s a surprising statistic: almost 40{7e4ee7cd997d36f6dec43befd6b19c37edf0959bbf61766e988f901dd91e96d7} of small business owners and their employees work harder than they did five years ago. This amounts to a whopping eleven hours a week of work that you weren’t working in 2008 but are working now. 70{7e4ee7cd997d36f6dec43befd6b19c37edf0959bbf61766e988f901dd91e96d7} of those surveyed by Sage, a business management software company, also said they worked longer days in general and sometimes even weekends.

If that’s not bad enough, small business owners are actually taking less time off and less vacation time. Obviously, small business entrepreneurs are working harder, but how many are working smarter? While working smarter may not always reduce the number of hours you work a week, it will certainly give you more bang for your buck in the long run. Here are just a few ways to start working smarter today.

Think About Upgrading Your Technology

Are you still running Windows XP, or do you have computers with bubble monitors? Have you checked for updates or improvements on that piece of software your entire office uses? Staying behind the technology curve can not only put your business behind the pack, it can alienate and confuse your employees, too. There are so many new options out there that have become popular in recent years, such as cloud software that simplifies the process of updating each and every computer individually.

Check Your Cash Flow Management

Are you still writing out numbers on a sheet of paper, or using an old version of some excel sheet to track all of your numbers? It’s time to upgrade if so. Even just investing a few dollars in a program like QuickBooks will make your cash management process much smoother. Besides that, being able to see last month’s budget with a single click and a glance is much easier than digging up a makeshift budgeting sheet you’ve made in some other program.

Embrace Mobile Technology

This one is difficult, especially since mobile technology changes quickly and can be dangerous if an employee was to lose a tablet, cell phone, or other mobile device used for business. However, with the right security and the right choices, tablets and small convertible computers can boost productivity in your office and bring in more customers. How amazing would it be that instead of bringing paper aids or a clunky laptop to a meeting with a potential client, you got to bring a presentation that showed off your flexibility and connection with technology? This is especially important if your business is in the technology industry.

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