Busiest Day for Submitting Expense Reports in U.S. is December 19

A great product or service may be the starting point for your business, but productivity and efficiency are critical for making it a success in the long run. Problems in workflow can cost money and can eventually sabotage your efforts. Here’s how the most successful companies large and small can run into difficulties and how products and strategies aimed at improving productivity and efficiency can literally save a business, no matter what the size.

So Much to Do

So little time. Today, December 19, is the busiest day of the year in U.S. businesses for submitting expense reports. It’s an issue that could cost companies a potential $2 billion in waste, according to Concur, a provider of integrated travel and expense management tools. There are many ways proper management of workflow can help your business thrive. Aim for better productivity and watch profitability climb. Yahoo! Finance

A better way. Fortunately there are some great tips out there for getting through days like this in your business. Check out this guest post from Andrew Presti, general manager at Presti & Naegele, a New York-based accounting firm, who shares some great tips for getting your staff through this busy time of year. Share some examples below of how you help your team through the tough times. We’d love to hear! Concur.com

Like a Machine

Plans for productivity. The key to more efficiency and better productivity in a small to medium sized business or even for a part-time entrepreneur or solopreneur lies in creating a plan that will allow you to utilize your time and resources effectively. It is also important to have the discipline to follow that plan in day to day operations. Here productivity enthusiast and entrepreneur Timo Kiander interviews L.J. Earnest, owner of the Simple Productivity Blog, about her efforts as a part-time entrepreneur balancing her online business with a full-time job. Productive Superdad

Priority picks. While creating a plan to improve productivity is important, just as critical is the ability to prioritize tasks. Time is money, as the old saying goes, and it’s important to conserve the time you need to operate your business effectively. That means saying “no” to some projects, explains small business owner Paul Cox. It all begins with understanding the value of your time. SpinLessPlates

Better Tech

Tools make the difference. As important as it is to improve the productivity of your employees, the right tools can also improve efficiency. One example is TurbineHQ, a software application that gets rid of excessive paperwork and gathers all the information needed to run your business into one place, making it easier to track. Imagine the increased productivity in your business if you eliminated paperwork. Check out Stephanie Watson’s review to figure out whether this tool lives up to its reputation. GetApp Learning Center

Through a scanner brightly. Converting all that paperwork your business relies upon does not require special software, however. In fact, a simple scanner will do the trick. Ramon Ray gives us a video review of one of the easiest to use of these devices, showing you how to digitize all those important papers that hold crucial information imperative to your company’s survival. Smallbiz Technology

How to Excel. You don’t need to be high tech to improve your business efficiency. For example, even Microsoft Excel, perhaps a bit old-school to many high tech entrepreneurs, has excellent capabilities that help you look at your business’s productivity and efficiency in a whole new way. The key is to bring the right expertise to each tool, says sales trainer Neal Shorney. Learn the ins and outs of all your tools so you can use them effectively to create the business you want to run. Tweak Your Business

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.