How to Automate Your Business and Free Up More Time
When you run a business, you work out pretty quickly that time is money. The more time your staff spend doing essential, but menial tasks, the less time they are able to dedicate to creativity, inventiveness, sales, and marketing – all of the things that companies need if they want to grow and succeed in the long term. Thankfully, it has never been easier for us all to automate many of our business processes so that we and our employees can spend more time on the tasks that really make money.
Sound good? Here are some things you can do to automate more of your business and free up more time in the working day:
Start using Amazon Web Services
If you run an internet-based business, using Amazon Web Services is a no-brainer because it gets rid of a lot of the man hours that are needed to deal with servers and online services that have crashed, gone down or otherwise stopped functioning correctly. Amazon Web Services is partially automated, and the infrastructure is, to a large extent, able to ‘heal’ itself when a problem arises, which means savings in time and money for the average web-based business.
Create Scripts for Everything
If you complete a task in your business more than a couple of times a week, it’s time you automated that task. Most basic tasks can be solved with the creation of a simple script that will enable software to do it for you, just bring in a programming expert and you’ll never have to worry about filling in that spreadsheet or transferring that data manually again.
Switch to Digital Contracts
As you will undoubtedly know, contracts are an important part of business life but creating sending, signing, and returning contracts takes time. Not only that, but should you need to find a contract again, it can often take more time than you’re willing to spend to locate it. That’s why you should automate the process by going digital.
With the help of https://acrobat.adobe.com/ you can easily create digital contracts that can be sent and received instantly via email and stored digitally for instantaneous retrieval as and when needed.
Accounts Payable Automation
Instead of having your staff process and pay and chase up your invoices, which let’s face it is a boring and unnecessarily time-consuming job, check out www.Dataserv.com/solutions/ap-automation/features/3-way-match which enables you to fully automate your invoicing process, eliminating paper too, for faster, fuss-free payments that are far more error-free than payments processed the traditional way.
Automate Your Books
Maintaining your business’ books and ensuring that you accurately record your incomings and outgoings is, as you will know, pretty time-consuming and it isn’t exactly simple unless you have a` paid accountant on hand to do it for you. Luckily, there is another solution. Digital tools like QuickBooks and Bill.com enable you to track and automate your business’ finances at the clock of a button. Data is accurate, clearly organized and always available, ensuring that your company’s finances are always squeaky clean, despite not taking up much of your, or your employee’s time.
Use Salesforce for Faster Responses
If you get a lot of customer inquiries during the course of the working week, using an automation tool like Salesforce is a great way to ensure that your customers are dealt with quickly and that they are automatically put in touch with the most appropriate member of your team. This will help you to build a great reputation amongst your customers, without you having to dedicate more time to the process.
Clearly Define Staff Roles
When you’re running an SME it can be tempting to use your staff as and where needed across a variety of different roles, but if you’re serious about automating your business practices to make the best use of all of your time, it really is a good idea to clearly define the roles of each and every member of your staff because, single-tasking and having each person stick to what they of best is a great way to ensure that everything gets done automatically to a high standard each and every day.
Use Hootsuite for Social Media
Social media is becoming an increasingly important part of business life. It is a great way for companies of all shapes and sizes to market their products and services and talk directly to their customers, so it is very useful indeed. But, it can be pretty time consuming if you don’t automate the process as much as possible.
By using the tools at http://signuptoday.hootsuite.com/ you can make posting on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and pretty much any other social media platform you like, simpler by scheduling posts ahead of time at your convenience.
Use Yodle to Automate Marketing
Yodle is another great tool, which can be sued by small businesses to automate their marketing. It is particularly good for creating local company listings and adding them to all of the most popular directories, as well as the likes of Google and Facebook, for greater exposure than ever before in a fraction of the time it would take to do the same thing manually.
Email Marketing with MailChimp
If marketing via email is your thing (and most businesses should be advertising in this way to some extent) MailChimp is a fantastic tool which, once set up, can send specific marketing materials to specific people by date they signed up, personal preferences, customer behavior and even past sales. This makes it much easier to target the right things at the right audience, so you waste very little time trying to make sales to people who are simply not interested in what you have to offer.
Show Off Your Logo Printful
Printful and similar companies are perfect for creating merchandise featuring your company’s logo at the touch of a button. All you need to do is upload your logo, and then at the click of a button, you can create custom t-shirts, bags, and posters, which are great for marketing purposes, at the touch of a button. It’s a lot quicker than dealing with the local printers when you have very little time to spare.
Make Use of IFTTT Online
IFTTT is an extremely powerful automation tool that almost any business could benefit from in one way or another. You can use the tool to create ‘recipes’ to perform all manner of tasks based on a predefined criterion. For example, if you need to take all of the email addresses in your mailing list and transfer them to Excel, you can write a recipe to do this and then it will be automated for the rest of your company’s life. This is one of the most simple things IFTTT can be used for- the possibilities are literally endless thanks to the over 240 apps that can be connected with the tool.
Create Content with ClearVoice
Using content to attract customers to your website and market your wares has never been more important than it is now in the 21st Century where the internet dominates, but creating high-quality content takes a lot of time and skill. Luckily, if you don’t have the time or the budget to create your own content in-house, you can automate the process somewhat by using ClearVoice to hire excellent content managers, who will create your content for you and even publish it on your behalf. You can track their progress via your dashboard, but basically, you can just make your request and then forget about it – the quality is excellent and the process about as simple as you’re ever likely to find.
Lunch with Postmates
Eating a good lunch is vital to any business. If employees are undernourished, they won’t perform as well as they otherwise might, which is why you should take a look at Postmates. It’s basically an Uber for food deliveries, which means that you can order in lunch for the whole staff, thus saving time, ensuring you’re all well-nourished and allowing you to concentrate on that tough problem that requires you all to stay in the office when you’d usually be eating lunch.
At http://wheniwork.com/ you will find a great tool that enables your employees to take more control over when they work, enabling them to swap shifts with each other when something comes up so that you don’t have to worry about changing the rota or calling around staff when something comes up.
As you can see, there are limitless tools to help you and your business thrive without taking up too much of your staff’s valuable time. The tools on this list will enable you to ensure that all of those tasks that prop up the running of a business are seen to without you or your staff having to attend to them personally, for the most part, freeing up your time to concentrate on the tough task of business growth.
Do you run a business? Have you been able to automate some of the more mundane daily tasks in your company? How did you do it?