Small and mid-sized business owners face dozens of challenges on a regular basis. They’re bombarded…
Time-saving Automation Tips
Do you feel like there are never enough hours in the day to do the things you need to do in your business?
Let’s have a show of hands. I felt like that for 15 years. I was always ‘busy’, I had very little in the way of formal systems to support me and make my business work for me (not the other way around).
Now, I know that there are several ways that my business systems can support me better. And today, I’d like to share with you some ways that automation can make your business life so much more leveraged.
A homegrown example.
When we built our house, we put in a veggie patch out the back. In the Australian summer, however, the veggie patch needed to be watered for around 45 minutes per day. Now, I had two children under two years and a business. I did not have that kind of free time.
So, my husband and I took a day to put an automated irrigation system in. Sure, it took two people several hours to install and set up, but the end result was automatic watering. Instead of it taking 45 minutes per day, it now only takes a few seconds to turn the system on at the start of the season. The timer takes care of the rest.
So while the initial setup of the automatic system was time-consuming, the time it freed up for us was astounding. How can you do this in your business? There are many things you can automate, but I’m just going to cover a few:
Email sequences and auto responders.
If you don’t already have an email service provider like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, etc., I highly recommend you get one. And if you haven’t tapped into the power of email sequences, seriously, now’s the time to start.
Whether you craft a welcome series for those signing up to your list or automatically send out an opt in gift, you will be saving time (who has time to personally email out their opt in?) and serving your community.
Schedule social posts.
Social media can be a massive time-sink for the modern entrepreneur. If you’re not up to outsourcing your social media, then you definitely need to get onboard with some kind of scheduling system. A great time saver is a scheduling system like SmarterQueue or Meet Edgar that has a built-in reposting ability.
Like with my garden irrigation example, if you take a few hours to batch create your posts and then load them up into your social media scheduler, you’re going to save time. Your posts will be distributed to your networks without you needing to lift a finger.
Unfortunately, you can’t quite automate community engagement. For my Facebook group, for example, I make a point to check in and be present with my community. However, a lot of the work for my page, etc., has already been taken care of. Think of the scheduler as your irrigation system and community engagement as like the manual tending to your garden (planting seeds, harvesting, weeding, etc.).
Other automations, for example, recurring invoices, direct debits, etc.
Payment systems are another great thing to automate. While you might save money doing your invoices in Excel, it can be lots of time down the drain. If you’ve got clients on regular recurring packages, it’s time to get out there and explore the world of invoicing software. Whether it’s Xero, Quickbooks or something else. Find a system that can help you automate some of your bookkeeping.
Another financial automation tip is thinking about what bills can be direct debited to save time from paying them manually.
Pick one thing today to automate.
Now that you have a few ideas think about what repetitive tasks you’re currently doing and ask yourself what you can automate. Pick one thing to automate and do it today. Choose another thing to automate next week. And so on.
You’ll start to see your return on investment in the amount of time you have to focus on other things in your business.
What are you automating? What are your automation challenges?
Let’s chat in the comments below.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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