Business owners love when you make life easier for them. Whether it’s buying them a coffee, responding to invoices in a timely fashion, or just answering emails promptly, it’s just good business to spread a little positivity! The good news is, this blog is all about making life easier for business owners through to the power of business automation.
In case you hadn’t heard, business automation is one of the biggest buzzwords in our modern world. Companies worldwide are discarding manual processes as enthusiastically as people consigned flares and disco music to the scrapheap in the 1980s. This movement has the potential to provide the next giant leap in productivity in the workplace and it’s time to get your business on board.
And, while it’s not time to replace your staff with robots just yet, there are still hundreds of different ways you could be automating right now. Here are six ways your business should be automating.
Look for Repetition
Let’s start with the basics. What tasks do you find yourself doing repeatedly? Write them down in a list and look for ways to automate the processes. Engage with your team and ask their opinion on how their working lives could be made easier. Very quickly, you’ll spot missed automation opportunities. Once you’ve taken steps to rectify, your team will have more time to handle big picture tasks and the efficiency of your business will skyrocket.
Believe it or not, some small business owners are still processing staff hours manually. This busy work is a prime candidate for automation. Apps like Timely and TSheets allow staff to log their hours easily each day with a simple click. Do your staff work on billable hours? Both apps allow for projects to be added as “job codes” that staff can assign their time to. These two simple apps can massively reduce the workload surrounding time management.
Ever entered data into a “contact us” page on a website and never received a response from the business? This happens more than you’d think. CRM platforms like Infusionsoft and Salesforce can automate these responses using a simple bit of code. Instead of becoming overwhelmed trying to respond to emails, this simple piece of software will enable you to craft an organic-sounding reply that will be auto-sent to each client that reaches out. Your clients will be thankful their enquiry didn’t disappear into the void, and your team can follow up on promising leads in their own time.
Even small sales teams can easily suffer from breakdowns in communication, leading to lost revenue opportunities. Business automation software can act as a project manager for your sales team, ensuring leads are distributed evenly and people are pinged with follow up reminders. To return to the earlier example of Infusionsoft, it assigns a flame score to your hottest leads, allowing your team to focus on the clients that will most likely result in sales.
Your ecommerce efforts don’t end once you set up an online shop. Instead, it’s an area that’s ripe with opportunities to automate. Customers expect a tailored shopping experience. And, if they don’t receive it from you, they’re likely to shop elsewhere. An example of how this might work is if you sell a month-long supply of a product. Automation software can be used to send a reminder to customers to purchase again when their supply is almost finished. Elsewhere, platforms like WooCommerce allow for the creation of customized customer experiences that suggest products they might want to purchase, based on their previous spending behaviour. It also covers abandoned shopping cart emails that prompt customers to complete their purchase.
If you’re in the business of running events, automation can make your life a breeze. An easy and quick way to achieve increased efficiency is to handle ticket sales through a platform such as Eventbrite. For a small cut, Eventbrite will handle all the time-consuming aspects of event planning – sales, confirmations and even event reminders. Running a free event? Use Facebook Events to share information on the event with your followers, and receive instant feedback on confirmed attendees, people interested, and those that have declined. Facebook will even automatically remind clients in the days leading up to the event.