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Grow Your SMB with Tools from Microsoft Office 365

Being a small business owner often means spending so much time dealing with day-to-day situations that it can be hard to find time to plan for your company’s growth. Having access to the right tools can make all the difference in how well you’re able to improve your processes and save time. That, in turn, allows you to focus on other things that need your attention.

While you already know the benefits of using such Microsoft programs such as Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint, you might be missing out if you’re not taking advantage of the full suite of Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium features.

If you have already migrated to Microsoft Office 365, this additional feature could be just what you’re looking for to improve operational efficiencies. Designed with tools that can help small- and medium-sized companies grow their business, Microsoft Office 365 Business Premium is an effective way to help streamline processes, improve organization and help manage appointments, among other things.

Let’s look at five important features of Microsoft Office 365 and how each one can help improve your productivity and grow your business.

No. 1: Outlook Customer Manager

Taking the popular Outlook features to a higher level, Outlook Customer Manager does exactly what the name says: It allows you to track and grow your customer relationships within Outlook. By storing customer information in one place, this organizational feature saves time and makes sure you never miss a deadline, email or task related to each customer.

The program will send reminders to help you stay on top of your “to-do” list with each of your customers, and you can share the information with your entire team (or just select members of it) to ensure that customers will have a consistent experience, regardless of who they talk to at your company.

And, because it’s built into Outlook, you don’t have to install new software or learn a new program, so getting started is simple and seamless.

No. 2: Microsoft Invoicing

As important as invoicing is in keeping your business’s cash flow flowing, it can also be a headache and may sometimes even get pushed aside for more urgent tasks. This program is designed to make invoicing fast, easy and headache-free. It can be used on your desktop or on your mobile device, and while it makes it simple to create and send invoices, it also does much more.

The dashboard of the Invoicing home page gives you an up-to-date overview of your business, including the amount due from clients or vendors on outstanding invoices, the overdue amount on invoices you need to pay and your monthly and year-to-date sales. Through the Invoicing feature, you can accept payments, send invoices to customers from your phone and make sure that you’re on top of your financial game.

No. 3: Microsoft Bookings

Scheduling appointments can eat up a significant amount of your time, but it’s an important part of cultivating business growth. If you’ve ever spent a day sending emails back and forth trying to coordinate schedules, you’ll appreciate the simplicity of Microsoft Bookings.

Microsoft Bookings allows customers to schedule appointments online through a simple interface. To make an appointment, they simply go online to the designated page, choose an available day and time, enter their contact information — and the appointment is booked.

Developed for use on both computers and mobile devices, Microsoft Bookings can save time and money by reducing the number of missed or canceled appointments. Bookings will send each party a reminder email before the appointment and allow customers to confirm or, if necessary, reschedule.

No. 4: MileIQ

Tracking mileage is an often tedious but essential part of keeping tabs on expenses, so Microsoft’s MileIQ found a way to make it easier. MileIQ can be used for all your employees to streamline the mileage reimbursement process and improve efficiency for both administrators and employees.

Completely customizable, MileIQ allows you to designate custom locations, purpose of the trip, work hours and more so that each work-related trip can automatically be categorized. There’s also a one-tap feature that allows you to see an immediate real-time report on drive information or can provide snapshot details of multiple drives.

Plans for MileIQ are also sized to fit your company needs, ranging from a free plan that’s good for up to 40 drives a month to unlimited plans that are $5.99 per month. There’s also a Teams option designed for companies whose employees drive for work, which provides a volume discount.

With MileIQ, you can save the time and paperwork associated with tracking mileage while at the same time making sure that you’re getting an accurate mileage log every time.

No. 5: Business Center

Microsoft Business Center provides a central access point for all of the Microsoft apps that you’re using. By bringing together all the tools in one place, Business Center allows you to save time and work more efficiently rather than having to search in different locations for information.

Through this dashboard, you have immediate access to information such as volume licensing orders and purchase agreements, and members of your organization can be given access to download software, manage other users, access reports and manage cloud services and licenses as needed.

Use Business Premium to Boost Your Growth

If you’re already using Microsoft Office 365 to help your business run more efficiently, you’re likely aware of many of its benefits. The addition of these new tools available through Business Premium can help add even greater efficiency to your operations that will help you save time and money. When you optimize your business processes, you’ll find that you can better manage teams, serve clients and grow your business.

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