Automation is a hot topic – for a good reason! Today’s digital world is transacting 24/7, so your business should be working accordingly. Automate these 5 things to make your business work harder, even while you sleep. By taking these steps, you can save hours in your week and stop sweating the small stuff – giving you more time to focus on the parts of the business you love, like strategy, development, expansion or scaling up.
1. Marketing and sales
Today’s marketing world is inbound meaning that instead of solely putting your brand in front of customers, your business will be more effective if they’re also coming to you. This is because of the myriad of information available online, competition in the market and the fact that shoppers will research a brand before they walk into a store or decide to make a purchase. So, if your brand isn’t ranking in searches, or isn’t pulling customers in, you should consider developing your digital presence through content, expertise and digital marketing. The way to tie it all together is automation – so that when a visitor subscribes to your blog or books a consultation, it automatically triggers follow-up emails containing valuable information to build brand trust and show you care. Every aspect of your sales should be automated too – from instant invoicing to email notifications if a shopper leaves their cart, transaction confirmation and automated shipping should all be ingrained into the basics of your business. Infusionsoft is the gold standard for businesses and start-ups requiring a marketing and solution containing automation from email marketing to effective lead capture and ecommerce plus it lets you A/B test your way to the perfect email. Platforms like Hootsuite and Sprout Social let you schedule and automate posts and optimise them for the most engagement.
2. Box all documents up
Store and send information and collaborate in real time without cluttering up inboxes or spending hours flicking documents back and forth. Dropbox Business is a cloud storage solution that’s a simple way to collaborate without missing a thing.
3. Payroll and HR
While having a bunch of talented staff to work with is amazing, juggling their payslips, holidays and sick leave takes time. If you have a small business, chances are you are the HR department but thankfully platforms like Xero let you automate these functions from a single system to cut hours of time.
Business automation requires a clutch of digital platforms to succeed. From posting on social media to measuring website performance on Google Analytics and email marketing on MailChimp, a typical day can see you switching from five to 10 different platforms. Every secure platform requires a password so you might be juggling as many as 20 or 30 every day. 1password is a nifty app which stores all of them securely in one convenient place, which you just need one password to access. Save hours of searching and stress and download it today!
5. Email responses
Can sending the same email over and over – and automate emails using Canned Responses. This automation feature lets you pre-type and store standard email responses, then, when the time comes to send a response, just select the appropriate one and click send. Learn to setup canned responses in Gmail.
Don’t limit online shopping to ASOS and Amazon – automate groceries through a click and collect service to save valuable time searching aisles. Many smaller suppliers and fast-thinking start-ups also have subscription services so you can have every day essential items sent right to you. Toothcrush delivers an eco-friendly toothbrush straight to your front door every month or two and has free shipping to boot.