Owning a business can be hectic most of the time, and yet there are many online tools that can facilitate and improve the business, its workflow and its brand. Take advantage of these tools to enhance your online presence and to simplify your work days.
This blog was originally posted on the CPA Private Practice Division and written by Maggie Bergeron.
There are some amazing tech tools that can improve your processes and create efficiencies in your practice. Whether you’re a clinic owner, aspiring clinic owner or independent contractor, you can use these simple tools to save time, improve your workflow and make your day easier.
Best of all – there are free versions of each of these tools. In no particular order, here are the top five tech tools I use on a daily basis.
1. Google Drive – Collaborate
Google Drive is the best way to share and collaborate with colleagues, and it’s free to use - all you need is a Gmail email address. Think branding, marketing, clinic policies and anything else on the business side that you want input from others, all in one place.
There are a couple of things to take consider with Google Drive including privacy. You can read the security and privacy section of the full Google Drive review. Don’t share patient information or anything containing personal health information (PHI) on Google Drive, but for the purposes of sharing marketing and clinic documents, Google Drive is a great way to collaborate with a team. You can create a document on drive (like a word or excel document) and share it as a live document so anyone you invite can edit or write comments in real time.
2. Trello – Project Management
With my team, I use Trello to manage all of my projects. It serves as an assistant to help execute the sometimes overwhelming number of individual tasks associated with the project. You can set deadlines on projects, tag colleagues and write notes about the project all in one spot; a meeting spot of sorts to keep all involved and on the same page. The real value of the tool - it saves the user time searching through threading emails. It also helps ease the task of remembering, organizing and following through with tasks.
When I founded Embodia (healthSwapp at the time), one of the stressful things was trying to keep track of the different projects including what I was currently working on, what I’d like to do, general ideas, and daily, weekly and monthly tasks. As we started to hire, we found it even more challenging to manage the projects. Using Trello we can keep projects organized and track progress. We continue to use the free version of Trello to this day with our now team of ten.
3. Canva – Photo Design
We’re not trained in design as physiotherapists, and while some of us may have a natural knack, you probably don’t have the time to spend learning or using complicated design tools like Photoshop.
Using Canva, you can quickly and easily design beautiful posts for all of your social channels. Have you ever wondered how so many brands get their image sizes perfect for each social media platform? Canva does it for you – they provide all of the proper sizing for all the major social media platforms. Upload your images, choose which social platform you are posting to, add text and other simple design items, and you’re done.
This is the only tool that I pay for ($12.95/month) on this list and it is absolutely worth it. There is a basic free version but we upgraded to pay to use the ‘Magic Resize’ feature where Canva will resize any of your images for the social platform of your choice and custom fonts which allows us to use our brand fonts.
4. Later – Scheduling
So now that you have beautiful social media images, how do you post them? I used to login to our Embodia social accounts everyday until I discovered scheduling tools such as Hootsuite and on Facebook itself (learn how to schedule posts on your Facebook page here). Hootsuite is a great tool to post on all of the major social media sites, except for Instagram. And as it turns out there are very few ways to schedule for Instagram.
If you’re busy seeing patients or running your business, there isn’t a lot of extra time in the day, right? I have found that Later is the best way to schedule Instagram posts ahead of time. Using their free version you have 1GB of storage and you can add up to 10 team members.
5. Slack – Messaging
Depending on the size of your team and the way that you communicate, you may find a messaging app is useful for your team. Slack was designed for business messaging. Slack helps simplify communication, particularly if you have a big team or multiple clinics.
You can sign up to Slack for free and immediately start to use their instant message feed and create Slack channels. Some examples of our channels are ‘Marketing’, ‘Events’ (sharing events happening in the city and events we’re attending) and ‘General’.
Maggie Bergeron is a physiotherapist and the co-founder of Embodia. Early in her career, Maggie recognized the need for an effective way to engage patients in their home exercise programs and a more efficient method for professional development. Maggie continues to see patients on the weekends and organizes the leading health tech event, HealthTO, which connects the healthcare and startup communities across the GTA.