There comes a time in every entrepreneurial venture when you realize you simply cannot do it all yourself.
Sure, when you’re just getting started you really are the “chief cook and bottle washer.” But as your business grows, it becomes painfully obvious that trying to do everything is only going to lead to:
- Frustration (when critical tasks don’t get done and deadlines are missed)
- Burn out (when you’re working yet another 12-hour day)
- Overwhelm (when your to-do list is longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning)
There are many ways to combat this business-growth hurdle, but one of the best is automation. Imagine a completely hands-off system that works for you even when you’re hiking on a remote mountain or lounging at a luxury spa.
But here’s an even better reason to automate: it lets you scale your business. Think about it, the less manual work you have to do, the more time you have to do the money-making tasks such as networking, marketing, and client support.
So what can you automate? Almost everything, but start with:
- Paid Traffic
Chasing organic traffic is an exercise in frustration. You’ll spend all your time creating content for your blog, other people’s blogs, YouTube, social media, and other web properties. All that content creation leaves you little time to actually work with the clients you’re trying to attract.
Instead, invest in some quality paid traffic, and get off the endless content creation train. You’ll be glad you did.
- Email Funnels
What happens when a new subscriber joins your mailing list or someone buys a product? Do they just sit in waiting on your list until you have time to send an email? While broadcast emails have their place—especially in time-sensitive promotions— be sure to also set up an autoresponder series to:
- Welcome new subscribers and help them find their way around your site (and your offers)
- Nurture buyers so they know they’re in the right place
- Make additional offers based on what someone has already purchased or shown an interest in
And the best thing? Once your autoresponder is set up, it will continue to work even when you’re not.
- Social Media Management
Yes, it’s important to be personable and engaging on social media. But that doesn’t mean you have to log in to Facebook just to post a link to your latest blog or YouTube video. Automate that kind of update and save yourself hours of time each and every month. Not only that, but you won’t have to worry about missing an update, either!
- Calendar Management
If you have clients, partners, a team, or are often asked for interviews, then an automated calendar is a must. Rather than endless back-and-forth emails trying to find a mutually available time slot, simply send your calendar link and let your client, project manager, JV partner or anyone else choose a time that works for them. Your appointment will automatically appear on your calendar, and you’ll even get reminders (if your calendar supports that).
There are dozens of options for automating every aspect of your small business. As you grow, you’ll find new and better tools to make everything run more smoothly. For now, though, implementing these four ideas alone will save you hours of time every month.