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As a small-medium business owner, time is at an ultimate premium and there is no discretionary cash to spend on unnecessary technology. So when you do spend even a dollar, it has to be totally worth every penny.

Therefore, entrepreneurs and SMB owners are always looking for different ways to save their time and be as effective as possible. Luckily, we live in the tech era and you can find a bunch of products, software and tools online that can do just that for you – save you some time.

Here are 7 tech products that will save you a tremendous amount of time.

1. Gusto

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It’s 2020 and having to manually generate pay stubs and sign cheques to pay your employees is not only outdated but time-consuming.

Enter Gusto. It’s ideal for businesses under 50 employees. You can manage hourly employees, salaried employees as well as contractors all in one place. It takes care of taxation laws based on your state and generates W2 or 1099 forms. You can set up your account in less than 15 minutes and run payroll in less than 5. The money goes straight to your employee’s bank account. No paper, no mess. It can’t get any easier.

Gusto costs you $39 per month as a base price and an additional $6 per month per employee.

2. Canva

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Every business has some graphic design needs. Hiring a designer is expensive and using tools like photoshop, illustrator or sketch is not straightforward. So what do you do when you want great professional-looking designs for your flyers, business cards, or social media posts?

You go to Canva. Canva has hundreds and thousands of pre-designed templates for all your business needs. You don’t need to know how to design from scratch. Just pick a template you like, change color/font/style or add any elements/icons/images by simple drag and drop and make it your own. It will serve 90% of your design needs.

The Canva membership costs $9.95 a month. It will save you thousands of dollars you would otherwise pay a designer.

Furthermore, it only takes a while for you to master working in Canva and it may be a bit confusing in the beginning but we assure you that you will create professionally designed photos in a matter of few hours.

3. SquareUp

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While there are many point-of-sale systems such as Clover, ShopKeep, etc. Square is the easiest to onboard with and works right from your cell phone. It has a flat 2.75% fee for every transaction and no other added fees.

Their dashboard is easy and intuitive to understand customer purchase trends, repeat customers and other analytical data. It also allows for simple email marketing campaigns for your customers… If this is your first time using a point-of-sale, just go with Square. Square also has a product called Squarespace where you can easily set up your website and items for sale.

4. Deputy

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If you have hourly employees and you need to manage their weekly schedule, then you must use Deputy. You can create your staff schedules that match your budget and team availability. Then notify employees instantly via web, app and mobile. Employees can clock-in, clock-out and record break right from their phones.

Best of all, you can export the timesheet right from the tool to your payroll system such as Gusto. Imagine the many hours you saved to calculate and verify timesheets and run payroll. Time back is time earned for your business.

Deputy basic plans cost $2.50 per user per month.

5. Later

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No business owner can stay away from social media. It’s like a love-hate relationship. You don’t have time for it, but you have to constantly post to remain fresh.  But, is there a way to optimize the time spent?

Try Later. A product to schedule content across Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter to be published on a later date. Spend one day a week, to create your content using Canva and the schedule for the upcoming week. Let the tool take care of posting at the right time and day.

You can try Later for free. Their free plan allows for 30 posts per social platform a month. Their plus plan allows for 100 posts per social platform for $7.5/month.

Two other popular tools in this segment are Buffer and MeetEdgar. However, they don’t have a free plan. Bugger does allow for a 14-day-free-trial and MeetEdgar provides a 30-day money-back guarantee.

6. Avvo

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As an SMB owner, paying lawyers for anything is generally last on your mind. But once in a while you just need advice on whether you really need a lawyer. What do you do?

Checkout Avvo. Avvo is a one-stop-shop to find lawyers practicing criminal law to corporate law. When you just need a quick legal opinion, post your question and someone will most likely answer your question for absolutely no cost. It helps you understand whether or not you really need to hire a lawyer for your specific situation.

A few other tools I’ve found useful: Mailchimp for email-marketing, G-suite for business email accounts, Calendly if you’re in an appointment driven business, Rocket Lawyer for quick standard legal documents, VistaPrint for all your printing needs, Indeed for general hiring and Craigslist for your service industry hiring needs as well as Edizeven Blog for great tips for restaurant job post writing.

Spending on tools often seems like an added expense, but consider the amount of time you save in signing checks or working out time-schedules or designing (say) your new business card. That time is money for you as a small business owner. And that’s a money back in your pocket!