“You’re busy. I get it. If you’re like me, 100 things need to be done and only one of you! You want to do everything yourself, but the reality is that sometimes we have to delegate tasks if we ever hope to reach our goals.”
What is Small Business Automation?
Automation is the new kid on the block; well, not really. Automation has been around for a while now, but apps and programs and how we interact with these apps and programs have changed, and developers are taking advantage of adding automation to almost everything. But where can you, as a business owner, insert these amazing automation in your business?
Well, I’m here to share with you three automations you can implement in your business today. #quickwins are my favourite type of post!
First, we need to work out what you need to automate in your business. Giving you some random app that you won’t ever use adds to the pain you are already feeling. We need to work out what you do in your business every single day that you could put on autopilot.
Step #1 What tasks can I Automate in my business?
If this sounds obvious or simple, think again. Choosing the right tasks to automate is absolutely essential when starting your automation journey. This is where most businesses come unstuck.
First, you need to understand how automation can help your business and still appear like there is an actual human at the end of that task, even if there isn’t. This is probably the #1 rule when you start automating your business systems. We don’t want our automations to come off sounding robotic or auto-generated at all.
It’s worth spending time on this step, so your whole automation project isn’t sunk from the start. What you don’t want to try and automate are tasks that require creative thinking and a lot of human input – i.e., content creation, design processes or problem-solving. Making sure you have these systems in place will save hours.
So what kind of tasks should you be automating?
You should automate any repetitive and time-consuming tasks that you do at least daily as a start.
Then, you need to identify the components of your business system that could easily be automated with an app or tool. You just might already have a solution for this without realising it!
It’s also worth noting that once you’ve identified these tasks and set up automation for them, they should automatically appear as part of your systems workflow.
#2: Choose your automation tools
Once you know which tasks you’re going to automate, it’s time to choose the tools you will use to make things happen. The list of automation apps and programs is endless these days. The ones I use the most are:
Active Campaign – Sales Automation & Emails
For an all-in-one marketing and sales automation tool, Active Campaign is the place to start transforming your business. Bring your marketing and sales teams together, cut out repetitive tasks and manage your customers as they navigate their way through different stages of the buying process.
Social Bee – Social Media Posting
Social Bee is a social media automation tool that lets you set up your posts ahead of time, so there’s no need to worry about staying on top of things for each platform. It works with Instagram, Facebook & Facebook Groups, LinkedIn, Google My Business and Pinterest.
Zapier – Connecting the dots between your apps
Zapier is a simple automation tool that creates mini automations between your favourite business tools. You can automate Google Calendar entries from Trello cards, add or update ActiveCampaigns contacts from Facebook and MailChimp leads and create all kinds of time-saving automation.
Google Sheets – Data manipulation with spreadsheets
If you’re not already using Google sheets, it is time to start. The functionality of this app may seem limited at first glance, but its power can be harnessed through the use of formulas and scripts that will save hours on data entry tasks.
#3: Analyse if your automations are working
There is no point in getting all of these systems and automation in place if you don’t track what they are doing for you.
The main thing I would look at is TIME. How much time is your automation saving you and your team? Are they helping to free up your team to focus on other tasks? There is no point in spending money on automation tools and investing time in creating new workflows if they don’t make your business more profitable. It’s as bad as doing all the tasks manually.
For example, you may automate your social posts, so that blog articles are automatically published on Facebook and LinkedIn that following week. If your team is already doing this, automating this workflow isn’t going to improve results. It’s simply going to free up time you can spend on other things, which means better bang for your buck with staff!
Automations can have great results for your business if you plan them out well and complement your workflows. Start small, try one of the above suggestions to see if you notice a difference in your business.
If you’ve been toying with the idea of making your business more automated for a while, now is the time. The above ideas are just some examples, and there are many other ways that automation can help make your small business run smoother – find out what works best for you!
Check out my services page to see what you can get assistance with automating today!