Automate Your Business and Free Up Your Life!

BY: ON THURSDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2013

Let’s face it: there’s not enough time in the day to do everything we small business owners should to successfully grow our companies. We need to be marketing our business, paying our bills, keeping in contact with customers, and, oh yea, delivering whatever our products or services are. It’s a physical impossibility to get it all done! At least it’s impossible if we do everything manually.

I’m incredibly thankful that there are so many tools and apps out there to help us automate processes. Then it seems (nearly!) possible to get all those tasks done and have time at the end of the day for a relaxing cup of tea.

1. Auto Schedule Your Invoices


If you bill the same amount to clients each month, eliminate the unnecessary legwork and automate the process. QuickBooks Online offers packages that include automated invoicing. With this feature, you can send invoices without ever even looking at them, or you can require the system to ping you before it sends your invoices so you can review them. Either way, you’re saving time on a rote activity you do every month.

2. Set Up Your Emails to Autorespond


Once you have an email subscriber in your funnel, what happens? Do you have to manually create an email to send your list? You’re better off creating a series of emails that send as soon as someone subscribes, and then at regular intervals after that. One company that does this well is AWeber. Using autoresponders, you can send a whitepaper or coupon to new subscribers, share an article, or provide a special offer on your products, all without having to lift a finger.

3. Make Your Employee Scheduling Easier


If you’re still using paper schedules for your staff, you’re wasting tons of time. Employee scheduling software like Hello Scheduling makes the process digital. You can automatically schedule the same employees each week, which cuts down on the juggling you’ve got to do with everyone’s schedule. Employee vacation requests are built into the system so you can easily see who’s available to work on a given day.

4. Never Forget a Client


If you’ve ever let a meeting or to-do slip through the cracks, you know how embarrassing that can be. Fortunately there are tools to remind you of what you need to be doing. Take Insightly online CRM. It can send you automated emails reminding you of your deadlines, milestones, and tasks so you never miss anything. It’s customer relationship management software combined with project management software. Bottom line is: with the right tools, you can get organized, improve your efficiency, and be more attentive to your clients.

5. Schedule Your Tweets and Social Updates


You aren’t logged in to your social profiles all day, but you want to make it look like you are. Facebook gives you the ability to schedule your updates on your business page, and tools like Hootsuite do the same across platforms. Spend just 15 minutes scheduling updates for the rest of the week, and you’ll look like a social media genius!

6. Don’t Forget That Vacation Autoresponder!


Now that you’ve freed up your life so much, why not take a vacation? But before you do, make sure you turn on your vacation autoresponder. That way, you let clients and contacts know how long you’ll be out of the office. If they have an emergency, give them a point of contact at your office who can handle it in your absence.

Isn’t technology grand? It’s truly amazing how much we can get done with the right tools.

Image via Shutterstock

About the Author

Susan Payton

Susan Payton is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in marketing communications, copywriting and blog posts. She’s written three books: DIY Press Releases: Your Guide to Becoming Your Own PR Consultant, 101 Entrepreneur Tips and Internet Marketing Strategies for Entrepreneurs, and has blogged for several sites, including The Marketing Eggspert Blog, as well as CorpNet, Small Business Trends, and BizLaunch.
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