What is one thing (bookkeeping, digital marketing, etc.) that small business owners should consider automating and why?
The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
There are a lot of tools available to small businesses to help automate the SEO process. WordPress plugins like the Yoast SEO plugin make it really easy to automate basic SEO tasks, such as title tags and meta descriptions, while tools like Yext and Moz Local help businesses automate the process of managing directory listings. SEO can be a monotonous process, but automated tools save time.
2. Contract Signing
You work hard to get a deal, so don’t let it fall apart in the logistics of getting the contract signed. Use tools like DocuSign to automate signature request reminders and streamline the process for your customers. If a few clicks get the contract signed, it’s far more likely to get done than having to print it out, sign it, scan it and email it back to you.
3. Social Media Tracking
Going through Google Analytics or any other tracking tool can be quite time-consuming. However, most software titles have an automated reporting function that you can implement to have only the information you need emailed to you on a scheduled basis. This strategy saves valuable time.
4. Lead Generation
Lead generation can be a challenging task until a small business discovers their growth channel. Once the right channel is identified that brings the maximum ROI on leads and conversions, automate the lead generation process to free up time with lead nurtures and closing sales.
5. Digital Marketing
With the advancements made in marketing automation today that allow you to personalize your messages and send them out without human intervention, companies should take advantage and upgrade their marketing efforts. My company can be marketing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year without one of my employees or me needing to be present. That’s powerful.
6. Email Marketing and Product Education
We use Klaviyo, an email automation tool, to greet and educate our customers. You’ll get an email from me saying thanks the day after purchase, which personalizes our brand and serves as a mechanism for feedback. On day three, there’s an email that explains how to use the purchased product in video and text content. These two methods alone have had a major impact on our customer satisfaction.
7. Social Media
Social media automating systems have helped my business a lot because it gives you the flexibility to curate content and plan it out in advance. Take a few hours each week to schedule all of your upcoming posts. This will ensure you’re posting consistently (which is the No. 1 issue small businesses have) and free up time during your day to engage with other users.
8. Website Traffic Reports
Understanding data and website traffic is paramount in today’s world; however, sorting through mountains of data on a weekly basis can be extremely time-consuming. With that said, it’s extremely efficient if you’re able to set up automated reports with key performance indicators that are automatically emailed to you once a week. By setting up automated reports, you can save your company a great deal of time.
9. 401(k) Services
Unless you’re interested in becoming an investment and compliance expert, setting up and maintaining a 401(k) is really not a great use of a small business owner’s time. Automated 401(k) solutions will now take care of everything from employee notices to payroll sync, so there’s no need to deal with the ins and outs of deductions by yourself every month.
10. Infrastructure Management
Web and application hosting management is a significant cost center for many small businesses. Modern cloud platforms allow businesses to automate a lot of the day-to-day hassles of managing servers and networks. With infrastructure automation, businesses can increase infrastructure utilization, minimize spending and optimize for efficient scaling.
Scheduling and bookings are a core part of small business service providers and are very time-consuming. The back and forth between bookings, cancellations, rescheduling, and dealing with no-shows really hurts your bottom line. Online booking not only removes these headaches but also provides a better customer experience where scheduling, appointment confirmations, changes and reminders are all automated.