With the number of new web applications available, it’s easier than ever for small businesses to automate most of the paperwork and data entry headaches that can pile on top of the every day tasks of providing service and making sales. Several office tasks are perfect candidates to automate without sacrificing the well being of your business. Why work harder when you can work smarter instead?
In fact, some of these tasks not only save time, but also can actually be done better through automation. Automation makes it less likely that (a) you’ll forget; (b) tasks will fall through the cracks if an employee leaves; (c) mistakes will occur through repetitive entry of information.
What apps could YOU be using to automate and go more hands-free with the administration of your business?[bctt tweet=”Want to go more hands-free with your #business admin? Here’s how…”]
- Paying Bills: Instead of spending your limited time paying bills each month, use a service like Bill.com to manage all of your payments.
- Bookkeeping: Integrate your Point-of-Sale (POS) system with your bookkeeping system like Freshbooks, including scannable receipts to bookkeeping a breeze.
- Marketing Communications: Automating your Sales Funnel, Email Marketing & Social Media Postings using a tool like Hootsuite, Buffer or the CRM features inside your online business management software.
- Online Sales: Sell products while you sleep by offering them online. I know this seems obvious but many retailing businesses avoid putting products online just because the task seems too daunting. Use an easy, online shop application on your website like Shopify, or WooCommerce.
- Online Booking: Allow your calendar to fill up while you are away from your desk. Clients LOVE the convenience of finding appointments that fit their schedules and you avoid all the phone tag hassle of “Appointmenting“.
- Intake Forms and Automated Client Data Collection: Save valuable time in your office by having your clients fill out all required forms before they even arrive at their office. Set it up electronically and you won’t even have to enter their data. Now your time with them can be completely value adding AND you can come to the appointment more prepared.
- Client Relationship Management: It’s time to stop trying to remember everything. Automate all the communications you send to your clients and customers. Set up automatic birthday promotions to be sent on their birthdays, monthly promotions, and even referral thank you’s to your clients without having to keep tabs on it. Use a CRM system with these features attached to your client purchasing history to keep your data fresh and your interactions and emails relevant.
- Shipping & Package Tracking: If you’re sending packages, take the extra time to set up shipping with package tracking so you can avoid those extra client calls looking for updates. Set up the system once and your clients will get fresh updates from the shipping company and you’ll have a lot less headaches.
It’s time to replace your daily paper reports, manual bookkeeping and receipt entry, rolodexes, (ask a millennial what those even are!) written correspondence and non-automated email responses, sales calls, appointment calls, shipping management, advertising production and promotions with systems that will give you a lot more time to do the things you love.