We’ve mentioned that we’ll be out of the office for the 2016 Christmas holiday—but that doesn’t mean business shuts down completely. As Boreal has grown, we’ve implemented a number of tools that will help our business to stay running even while we’re away.
We know firsthand the importance of scaling smartly, so we wanted to share with you the tools we can’t live without. These tools make running our business easier, save us time, and let us focus our energy on serving our clients—or spending time with our families during the holidays—instead of dealing with administrative hassles all day.
Microsoft OneDrive is our file-sharing tool. Before OneDrive, we had to be physically present in the office, at a specific computer, to access the files we needed for ourselves and our clients. Now, we don’t need to come into the office if a client needs something right away: we can access all our files no matter where we are.
This is the “small business version” of the accounting software QuickBooks. If you’re like some of our friends and keeping a box of receipts in the corner, using Word for invoicing, and generally operating the money side of your business in complete chaos, QuickBooks Online is for you. It’s our entire accounting system, well-organized and available at a moment’s notice—and at a totally reasonable monthly subscription price. Added bonus: at tax time, our accountant can just log into the program, so we don’t need to prepare anything extra.
Basecamp is our project management tool. Before we had Basecamp, project management happened in our brains or across separate notebooks. It was a lot to keep track of! With Basecamp, we have a web-based central location to do all our project management, brainstorming, and idea filing, and it’s become absolutely fundamental for us. If you’re a solopreneur, you probably don’t need something like Basecamp—but as soon as you have two or more people, you’ll save time by having one place to keep all your shared info.
ADP is what we use for payroll. This task used to take a full half-day per pay period, but with ADP, it’s done in five minutes. Just click a few buttons, and everyone gets paid on time and without hassle. ADP also has an app to access it from home, and employees can log in to get their pay stubs. Plus, ADP takes care of T4s and makes it easy to do deductions for things like benefits. It’s amazing for us.
If you’ve ever tried to get one computer system to communicate with another, you know the issues that can come up. We decided to prioritize Apple products to make things easier, using them for scheduling, contacts, calendars, messaging, and yes, even cat videos. The seamless integration between our office computers, iPads, and iPhones has saved us enormous amounts of time. At Dean’s previous job, approximately 3 hours of IT time was needed for every 100 hours of project time—at Boreal, we’ve spent ZERO time on IT issues, simply by ensuring everyone works on the same system.
We’d love to hear about the products, tools, and other resources that make your own workflow easier and more efficient! Conversely, is anything not working as well as you would like that we can help with? Get in touch!
We’ve been inspired! Here at Boreal we are working hard to develop tools to make managing your safety, environmental and quality programs easier. Can’t wait to tell you more!