Automate And Elevate
As entrepreneurs and small business owners, it can be quite a task trying to get everything done by ourselves. We wear all the hats. We’re the marketing department, customer service, sales support…and don’t get me started on IT!
It’s not easy doing what we do!
But, there’s this little thing called automation that, if used to our advantage, can pack a heavy punch and relieve a lot of the pressure of running a business. It allows you to put the regular parts of your business on auto pilot, leaving you to focus on the things that only you can do.
Simply put, automation is your friend!
Here are three ways you can automate your business:
1. Connect your tools to Zapier. Zapier is an automation app that connects your systems so that they can communicate with one another without you getting involved.
For example, Zapier can remind you to do a particular task when a contract or proposal is signed. It can send an email for you to a new client three months down the line to request feedback. It can automatically add a new contact to your database as soon as someone books a call with you.
2. Utilise digital marketing platforms. Newsletters and mailing lists are great for keeping your database in the know. They’re a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with your audience and keep them in the loop with your latest offers.
Tools such as Mailerlite, Mailchimp and ActiveCampaign are great for this. You can schedule your newsletters and campaigns ahead of time and create sequences so that they go out exactly when you want them to, at whatever interval you desire. And you don’t need to be anywhere near your computer when they do; you could be in a meeting, working with a client, at the supermarket, who knows!
3. Get a CRM system that works for you. In my opinion, a CRM (customer relationship management) system is something that every business should have. It’s basically your little black book on steroids! It helps you to keep all your contacts in one place with easy reference. No more turning pages or scrolling through spreadsheets to find info on a particular person or business. Just a quick search and there it is!
The possibilities are endless. And it’s all about making your life easier.
But, apart from being your digital address book, CRMs can be used for so much more. When utilised to its full potential, your CRM can improve your follow-up game tremendously! You can easily see your last interaction with someone, the date it took place and any notes/activities, just by clicking on that contact. You can set a reminder to reach back out to someone at a certain time. You can set tasks to complete in relation to a particular client. You can keep track of your sales/goals, and so much more.
I use Nimble CRM. It’s not too complicated. It just helps me to keep things organised in a straight-forward way, which is all I could ask for. It even has a mobile app, so I can access my contact records at anytime from anywhere.
For the most part, you can find free plans to get you started with the above automation tools. Most of which are still more than enough for me and my business (with the exception of my CRM, which I pay just $19 a month for – well worth the small investment).
Of course, there are always going to be exceptions to the above automation tips that only you would know about in your business. Some things can’t be automated. Some things simply can’t be executed without some human interaction.
But, for those tasks, there’s always the option of outsourcing. You can even outsource your automation set up so that you don’t have to worry about that part either.
Spending a bit of time to set up automation in your business can save you a lot of time in the long run. So, what are you waiting for? Automate your tasks and start claiming your time back today.
Enjoyed this post? Check out my blog, 4 Must-Have Productivity Tools For Working From Home.