Creating functional schedules is one of the most important parts of running your business. What tools can you implement to ensure schedules are accurate and available from anywhere?
Running a small business comes with a range of responsibilities — from hiring and firing to contract management to accounting to employee scheduling. You need the right tools at your fingertips to make these processes simpler and more efficient.
When it comes to scheduling, the key considerations are accessibility, accuracy, and efficiency. And these needs won’t be met without software that integrates many workforce management features and streamlines scheduling. A survey from Software Advice found that 61 percent of small businesses experience faster, easier, and more accurate scheduling when they implement some form of scheduling software or online tool.
Here are three ways these tools can help you master the art of scheduling for your small business.
1. Cloud access and accessibility
A major benefit of today’s digital world is that documents and workflows can be created and saved in the cloud. This means important information can be accessible to anyone who needs it from anywhere at any time. Employees don’t have to come into the office to see when they’re working; they can view the schedule from the comfort of their homes.
Cloud-based scheduling means an internet connection is all you or your employees need to access the schedule, and most are accessible from mobile devices, like tablets or smartphones, with easy-to-use apps. These features put the schedule and other important information at your workers’ fingertips, so they are more likely to view them and stay informed of changes in the schedule.
Examples of software and applications that are accessible from anywhere and particularly helpful for small businesses include Deputy, which is designed for businesses that employ shift workers, and APS Online, which integrates other features into scheduling, such as payroll, attendance, and key reports.
2. Accuracy of information
The next important consideration is accuracy. You need tools that will truly make the scheduling process easier and won’t create even more headaches for your team with inaccurate information. This means allowing employees to have different levels of access so schedules can’t accidentally be changed, and intentional changes aren’t reflected before they’re approved.
If your small business needs to record precise in-and-out times, you should use a tool that allows workers to view their schedules and also clock in and out on their timesheets. This type of software is particularly helpful to small businesses like cafes, restaurants, and bars, and it includes apps like ZoomShift, an affordable tool that integrates a time clock with a work schedule, or Homebase, which also provides team communication capabilities and hiring tools.
With all the business data these platforms collect, you can be sure the reports you’re viewing are accurate and include the latest information about how your business is running and what its workforce is costing you, both in time and money. More on this below, since accuracy is closely connected to business efficiency.
3. Efficiency for your business
Finally, remember that online scheduling tools can provide lots of valuable information about your workforce and your small business. They provide dashboards where you can view important data, such as hours worked, cost analyses, and more. You can create mock schedules and analyze the cost of each version instantly, helping you stay within budget when scheduling. Bizimply provides this cost analysis feature in addition to other workforce management tools and provides a separate app just for employee use.
Another nice feature of tools such as Findmyshift is the shift reminder function. Employees can receive alerts about their upcoming shifts or any scheduling changes, making sure that everyone stays on the same page and improving the likelihood they will show up to work on time.
Efficiency is one of the most important considerations for any business, and the growth of your small- to medium-sized business depends on it. Using a cloud-based tool for scheduling can provide much more than just a weekly calendar, and will contribute to greater accessibility for all employees, greater accuracy for shift times, and important data that helps you analyze the workforce and make fact-based business decisions.
A major part of workforce management is the ability to access and update important documents in one place. VendorSmart connects vendors with association community managers, helping you manage requests, important documents, and compliance, all in one web-based marketplace. To learn more about all the solutions VendorSmart provides and how the tool can help you manage important aspects of your small business, get in touch with the team today.