Small Ways to Automate Your Business That Can Lead to Big Results
When it comes to running a small business, saving is just as important as revenue. Saving doesn’t just refer to your budget, it also makes reference to your time. All too often with smaller businesses, the staff – and especially the owner, are doing the work of several roles to keep the company going. When resources are limited, you need to maximize the time you do have on things that will help grow your business.
Automation is helping many small businesses control their costs and give precious time back to staff. There are big ways to automate, such as a purchasing system on your ecommerce website. However, there are many small ways to automate that you might not have considered. Here is a list of some of the best approaches that will make your business more efficient.
Something as simple as file sharing can take up a lot of time and become tedious and confusing. What if you need approval on a document from different people? Many small businesses will email that document back and forth and make changes as they go. While this might work for some, it can also get confusing as to which is the most recent version, and who made what edit at what time.
With a cloud file sharing and storage solution, everyone can easily access files, and you can track changes that are made at any time. It will alert when someone else is making changes so you know not to overlap your efforts. Plus, you can use these solutions to provide clients and prospects with downloadable documents that they can use for research, invoicing, or any other document needs. This will save you time by having everything available on your platform instead of needing to email documents.
As a small business gets more successful, its contact list will grow exponentially. That means that communicating with everyone will become more of a challenge. Yes, you can email, but again, those emails can start to seem like junk mail to a lot of people, especially if you are marketing to them. Plus, sometimes a phone call or a text message would be more appropriate for the information you want to share.
There are automated phone call solutions that you can leverage to save you time and effort. Record your message once, and have it sent to as many recipients as you need. You can separate your contact list into groups for further personalization, and reach them all within seconds. These services also often come with text from email solutions. You can send all of your contacts text messages with important updates and marketing content just like you would an email, but with the much better open rate of text messages.
Many business owners want to be closely involved in the hiring process, and with good reason. However, it can be not just time consuming, but expensive to recruit, hire and train new people. If you’ve been doing it the old way, you might not realize how easy it is now to automate much of the recruitment process. You can save time, and still get the right people for the job.
Recruitment services allow you to post a job, and set certain parameters that candidates have to meet. If they do not, then the service will automatically filter them out so that only the best options come to you. No more leafing through resumes of great candidates mixed in with ones that are not close to being qualified. Not only is automated recruitment more efficient, but good candidates are less likely to get lost in the shuffle.
You might be surprised at how much of your day is spent reading, sorting, and sifting through emails. It may seem like it’s only a few minutes here and there, but all of that time can add up. Plus, many emails either need to be answered by someone else, or are not important to your core business. Many email services allow for automation of your inbox. This means your emails can be sorted into categories and delegated to the appropriate person for a response.
These services will also provide automatic emails to let customers and partners know that their message has been received and that they will get a response. This is especially important if you have a contact form on your website. When people submit their information, you don’t want them thinking that it has disappeared into the void, never to get a response. By sorting, categorizing, and automatically responding, you can be much more efficient with your inbox and save everyone a lot of time.
These are all relatively simple solutions that you can implement almost seamlessly into your everyday business processes. Yes, some of them do involve making an investment, but remember that time is money. If you can save yourself time in your day, you will have more of it to work on growing your business where you want it to be.
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