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Five ways to automate your small business

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The hours that would otherwise be lost on back-and-forth correspondence can be saved by using an autoresponder solution to automate follow-up emails

Is automation the solution to the challenges faced by small business owners in achieving work-life balance? Many entrepreneurs initially believe that running a small business will provide them with freedom and fulfilment. They think they will have control over their schedules, be able to take vacations at their convenience and have more time to spend with loved ones. However, in reality, many small business owners struggle to achieve this ideal scenario. Automation could potentially bridge this gap and help small business owners reclaim their work-life balance.

Here are ways to incrementally automate your small business.

Eliminate Repetition
Repetition does have certain benefits. In fact, automation is a common tool used by businesses to increase the repeatability of complex tasks. But there are other circumstances in which doing too much boring repetition saps your energy and keeps you from working on more important projects (like reaching out to customers). If you search thoroughly, you might discover a few of your own.

“To find missed automation opportunities, I get my team together to discuss what we’re doing that is repetitive. Then, we look for an automated solution that can perform the task as well or better, while delivering exceptional service,” venture capitalist Tim Draper said, AllBusiness reported.

A good illustration of this is invoicing. You can expedite the process and encourage consistency by just using an invoice template. Email is no different. The hours that would otherwise be lost on back-and-forth correspondence can be saved by using an autoresponder solution to automate follow-up emails.

Have People On Speed Dial
You’ll soon find yourself in hot water if you believe that every business task needs to be managed internally by a salaried staff member. While core team members must handle core tasks, there is nothing wrong with assigning other tasks to contractors or virtual assistants who are not affiliated with the company.

The best thing about contractors and virtual assistants is that you are not forced to use them. They can be used for twelve tasks in one week and none the following. Additionally, this kind of automation will allow you to scale extremely effectively if you have the right people on speed dial.

Improve Access
Tracking down paperwork, files, records, or spreadsheets is a major time-waster for small businesses. They either end up filed somewhere incorrectly or are only accessible by one person. In either case, dozens of hours are wasted each month and productivity is sapped.

Fortunately, you can avoid dealing with these issues going forward, as enhancing accessibility can simplify a significant portion of the problem. All parties who need access should be granted permission to access files and documents that are kept on the cloud. This enables location- or device-independent, round-the-clock access.

Streamline Communication
Small businesses need to reach more people in order to grow. You’ll have more chances to increase revenue the more interactions and dialogues you have with potential customers. Increasing your budget and hiring more salespeople is the conventional model’s recommendation, but it becomes expensive.

“This makes automating your outreach with software an ideal solution. Sure, it may have a slightly lower conversion rate, but it’s much less expensive than a sales team and will lead to higher overall results,” entrepreneur Oleg Campbell said.

Only automating the top of the funnel is crucial when it comes to communications automation. As prospects advance through the funnel, it is necessary to increase engagement and personalise communications. Now it’s your chance to intervene and seal the deal.

Use Dashboards
Businesses can progress and gain a clear understanding of their situation with the help of data and analytics. But you need an alternative if you don’t have the time or money to hire a data scientist full-time. Data dashboards are the ideal middle ground, providing you with real-time access to reliable key performance indicators (KPIs).

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