Small business owners have their plates full. They handle all tasks, no matter how redundant and tedious they are.
If you’re a small business owner, you probably struggle to do everything yourself. What if we told you that you could automate most of these exhausting jobs? Did you know that there are several business tasks you can complete with the help of technology?
Software is affordable and user-friendly nowadays, and a small investment can save you time and energy, so you can focus on the operations that need your expertise and creativity.
What does business automation look like?
Automation can simplify all areas of your venture by completing the tasks you do manually. Check your email box for automation examples. Most emails you receive from companies are generated with the help of programs. Automation has become the key to success (especially when we’re speaking about small businesses). 79% of top-performing brands have been using marketing automation for over two years, and 63% of the companies that are outgrowing their competitors have integrated marketing automation in their processes.
But automation isn’t reserved for corporations; small businesses can also benefit from its advantages if they dare to incorporate it. From serving your clients to sending invoices, the software can complete repetitive processes and allow you to devote your time to other, more important tasks.
Not sure where to start? This article provides a glimpse of the tasks you can automate.
Customer service and engagement
Keeping your customers satisfied with your services is vital for running a successful business. It enables you to build loyalty and attract new customers through word-of-mouth and referrals. Adding a chatbot to your website can solve customer inquiries in real-time and even outside business hours. Specialists state that 85% of business interactions are completed without human interactions. There are several CRM tools you can use to handle customer service.
With the advancement of technology, you have gained access to lots of data you can use to personalise content, business offers and send reminders to clients. Use sales surveys to receive feedback and use the gathered data to improve your services.
When running a small business, the last thing you need is to waste your time trying to convince people who’re not interested in your services to purchase them. Gaining and retaining leads is essential these days because it allows you to direct your efforts towards promoting your services to an audience interested in your brand. However, lead nurturing is a time-consuming process, and when you do everything on your own, you don’t afford to do it.
With automation, you can easily segment leads, assign inbound leads to sales reps, respond to inquiries, and follow up. Once you gather information through market research, you can store it into a database and use it in the sales funnel. HubSpot is one of the most popular platforms for nurturing and converting leads.
Respond to email requests
If you add an email address to the Contact Us field on your website, expect to receive an overwhelming number of emails. Responding to your clients’ emails days or weeks later isn’t an option when running a small business because each purchase and customer counts. Waiting an hour to contact someone decreases the odds of converting them into a lead than replying to them within five minutes.
By using automation software, you can respond to emails immediately without thinking about it. Replace the email address with a contact us form on the website, and the software will reply automatically with a prewritten message. The email can sound like something you fired on at the moment. “Hi, [First Name]! Thank you for contacting us. I wanted to send a quick note to let you know that we received your note. Someone from the team will be in touch shortly.” The sender is glad that their message didn’t end up in a black hole, and someone will solve their issue as soon as possible.
Billing and invoicing
All companies have bills to pay. So instead of manually checking each bill like your grandparents, use software to pay them as they come automatically. Most apps send reminders to prevent you from forgetting a bill that can gain a hefty fee if you’re late.
A tool like the QuickBooks accounting software is also very effective at creating invoices and tracking cash flow. You can use your smartphone to create and send invoices and prevent financial paperwork from building up. Quickbooks enables you to upload receipts on the go if you have access to an internet-connected device. When all your financial data is organised in a single place, you can easily prepare and submit your VAT with HMRC and avoid mistakes. Even if you have an accountant, you can save their time by automating your finances and save money in the long run because you pay them only for the time they spend handling your business’ paperwork.
Remind customers about an abandoned shopping cart
In your promotional emails, you include links to inspire on-the-spot purchases. Your clients read their emails, click on the link, but fail to complete the purchase. Studies show that two-thirds of online shoppers abandon shopping carts because they get distracted or decide not to buy. It doesn’t mean that you should give up. Use software to detect when a prospect puts products in their cart but neglects to complete the purchase. Program the software to send them one remainder email 30 minutes later and another the following week.
Send appointment reminders
In a busy world, people often forget about their appointments. A forgotten appointment wastes time and money for your business, and you don’t afford to spend hours completing personal assistant tasks with your clients. Automation software can ensure your clients never miss an appointment because they forget about it by sending them appointment confirmations and reminders on the day of the appointment. When a client cancels, the program automatically notifies you so you can reschedule.
Above are some tasks automated software can complete without requiring you to spend time. Are you ready to free up your agenda?