5 Tools That Can Eliminate Inefficiencies and Free Up Your Time

Some activities, such as payroll and human resources, take away time from the things that will actually grow your business.

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By Eric Siu


Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Growing businesses need to be vigilant about inefficiencies because each one compounds and can ultimately destroy a company. First, let's look at the definition of waste:

Waste is any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value.

Now step back for a second and think about what activities are absorbing too much of your time. Some of these activities might add value but how much time are they taking away from the force multipliers that will really grow your business?

Does payroll frustrate you? HR? Do you have all your business metrics duck taped together with a bunch of spreadsheets? Do you have a bunch of software you pay for that you'd love to integrate?

Related: 5 Tools to Fuel Your Company's PR Machine

This post will provide a few tools that will help you eliminate inefficiencies and ultimately free up your time to double down on your growing business.

1. Zenefits

Hailed as one of the fastest growing software companies, Zenefits is a platform that makes human resources a breeze. Manage contractors, payroll, insurance, vacation and other platforms. It's a surprise there has been nothing out there as simple as Zenefits. It's free to use.

2. ZenPayroll

Who likes filling out government forms and business taxes all the time? ZenPayroll removes the stress of payroll by making it extremely easy for you or your financial manager. Our business previously used other payroll solutions in the past and believed they were all the same. We couldn't have been more wrong. Zenpayroll is what payroll should be.

3. Grow

As a business owner, you're going to need some type of dashboard to "keep score" of important business metrics. Most business dashboards out there can break the bank and aren't a fit for businesses in growth mode. Fortunately, Grow is a viable solution that allows you to plug in metrics from solutions such as Salesforce, Quickbooks, Google AdWords, Google Analytics and more. For example, you can create a sales dashboard that includes the following:

  • Deals closed by rep
  • Lead velocity rate
  • Sales conversion rate
  • Daily sales activity

Imagine if you could have all your metrics in one spot without having to fork over four figures or more up front for a similar tool?

Related: 8 Tools That Can Make Employees More Efficient

4. ToutApp

ToutApp is a robust sales suite that allows you to send mass emails, track team sales activity, save and share sales templates with your team and more. It's a healthy complement to whatever customer-relationship management software you are using (notably Salesforce). With ToutApp, you're able to quickly set reminders within your email application and utilize canned responses to save you time. You're also able to see when a individual has viewed, opened or replied to your emails.

5. Zapier

To help you wrap your head around the utility that Zapier provides, here are some example use cases:

  • If a lead fills out a form on your website, receive a text message.
  • If a lead fills out a form on your website, automatically add them to your email service provider.
  • Automatically add a new contact in your phone on LinkedIn.
  • Automatically announce a new company blog post to your chat room in Slack or HipChat.
  • Pull popular headlines from blogs you love to create a headline "swipe" spreadsheet in Google Docs.

Imagine if you were able to integrate the popular tools you have. How much time would that save you? How much more revenue would you generate?

Zapier has eliminated a lot of manual tasks that we previously had virtual assistants do. The company continues to add new software integrations every day and includes "recipes" for popular integrations so you don't have to start from scratch.


Business is hard. More than 90 percent of startups fail. Don't get bogged down by the minutiae of running a business. Keep looking for ways to eliminate inefficiencies whether it be using tools, improving processes or delegating. If you can keep that cadence going, you might just make it out.

Related: 7 Tools to Help Startups Dominate in Large Markets and Compete With the Giants

Eric Siu

CEO, Single Grain. Founder, Growth Everywhere.

Eric Siu is the CEO of digital marketing agency Single Grain. Single Grain has worked with companies such as Amazon, Uber and Salesforce to help them acquire more customers. He also hosts two podcasts: Marketing School with Neil Patel and Growth Everywhere, an entrepreneurial podcast where he dissects growth levers that help businesses scale. 


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