Any Small Business Can Automate

Any Small Business Can Automate

Automation is a word that comes up a lot these days when you start looking into modern trends in logistics. The image it conjures up is one of robots building and assembling things and whirring about packages in a futuristic manufacturing center, but that’s only a commonly-held perception of the topic. In fact, there are lots of ways that any small business can automate its processes and save money and time through greater efficiency. The best part is that most of these concepts are free or relatively cheap to implement. Let’s take a look.

Delegate and Track Projects Easier

If you’ve got several different teams working on different projects it can be difficult to keep track of everything and delegate instructions in an efficient manner, particularly if you’re working across multiple offices. Rather than sending countless emails, consider coordinating your teams with project management software. There are dozens of examples of these online including brands like Asana, Workzone, Salesforce, Jira, and others. Most of them are online-based and only require a monthly subscription fee. The advantages for managers include being able to provide updates on projects to all concerned parties simultaneously, tracking how things are going, manage relevant files easier, and consolidate all of the different activity of your teams into one simple format.

Market with Data

In much the same way that project management software makes day-to-day task oversight easier, there are many ways to use marketing automation to gain more insight into the performance of your company’s marketing. This makes it a lot easier to gauge the return on your company’s promotional investments and also experiment with ways to make it more effective. Examples of this kind of software include ActiveCampaign, ONTRAPORT, Marketo, and others. Several programs of this type can even integrate your email, social, digital, analytics, and mobile campaigns into a single platform, making things much more convenient and timely for the user.

Stop Scheduling. Just Share Your Calendar.

Have you ever experienced a lengthy back-and-forth when trying to book an appointment with someone? Scheduling a time to meet with a client doesn’t have to be a headache, and it certainly shouldn’t necessitate long email threads. Why not just share your calendar with them instead and let them choose their own timeslot? This can easily be done with Google calendar if that’s the format your client prefers, or Microsoft Outlook if they’re also a user. There are also newer free online calendars like Calendly that are easily integrated with your Google account.

A Complete HR Office in One Program

If you’re using separate programs to manage payroll, pay your employee benefits like health insurance and workers compensation, track vacation time, schedule shifts, and more, than you’re working too hard. You need a single go-to source for your entire human resource department to condense those tasks and make things more efficient. Good examples include PayCor and GoCo, which can encompass all of your staff’s employment information into a single service.

Make the Hiring Process Easier

Yes, there’s software now that can streamline your hiring process, making sure you employ the best-fit individual for your company’s open positions and culture. A good example of this are programs like SmartRecruiters and ApplicantStack, which can not only market your available jobs and contact new prospects, but also tracks all the various points of communication you have with them in a single interface. Some even offer video interviewing. This is great for managers with time constraints in need of some extra helping hands.

Let Tech Help Generate Leads

How much time do you spend searching for new leads each week? Be honest, how much luck do you rely on? Why not let algorithms and predictive software do the heavy lifting so you can focus on the person you’re trying to connect with? Salespeople have known for years about all the effort it takes to nurture a lead to the point where they become a client. There’s lots of points of communication to keep track of, opportunities to consider, and rapports to build. Today, there are intelligent programs that can actually predict leads that your company would be most likely to successfully engage. Examples include suites like Salesforce, Leadcrunch, Zoho CRM, FormAssembly, and Landingi.

Follow-Up Faster

Say you attend a conference or business expo and you return to your office with a pocketful of business cards and potential sales opportunities. What’s next? Are you going to spend the next hour or so entering each one into your contact database before you begin reaching out to them? There’s a way to automate that process too. With apps like Infusionsoft MobileContact Snapper, and others, you can simply snap a photo of those business cards and have them automatically entered into your contacts or other databases the moment you receive them. Don’t let those leads go cold.

Work Smarter. Not Harder.

These are only a few of the examples of the ways in which you can streamline processes in your company, the exact ones you use will depend on your unique needs. The point to all this is, there’s no reason to make things harder on yourself as a business owner when there are ways you can cut your workload. Consider automating parts of your small business; save time, money, and energy.