No Time? 5 Tools for Automating your Small Business Today
This is a guest post from Kat Sarmiento – you can see her bio at the end of the article.
All businesses eventually either grow or fail. And with growth comes challenges and complexity. Whether you’re an entrepreneur offering personal products and services, or a manufacturer or distributor getting your product out in the marketplace, you’re going to encounter struggles in your business as you grow. You might find yourself having difficulty regarding your accounting, operations, or even handling your business’ social media accounts.
Luckily, small businesses can now thrive in this current age of technology. Many business tools and software are now completely accessible and available to use, even for the smallest companies. Whether you’re an advisor looking for efficient ways to schedule appointments with clients or an entrepreneur struggling with handling the finances of your service business, you can take advantage of automation tools.
Why Use Automation Tools for your Business?
There are various things you can automate when running a business. Rather than spending your time doing essential but routine tasks, you can utilize automation tools to do the job for you. Investing in these helpful tools can save you a lot of time, money, and allow you to do more significant work.
For instance, you can set an automatic schedule planner that can help you set appointments with your clients. There are also tools to automate billings and invoices for your service and update your financials. With these automation tools, you can spend more time focusing on customers and coming up with ideas to produce growth rather than actively managing the details.
5 Automations Tools To Use for Small Businesses
Ontraport is one of the best all-rounder business management tools for your business. It is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) automation platform and has an easy to use excellent design. Ontraport covers almost all aspects needed for small business marketing and sales including a strong solution for email marketing automation.
Additionally, it can automate various tasks you would normally do routinely when it comes to dealing with prospective customers. It is an all-around automation software perfect for management tasks such as handling schedules, marketing automation, sending emails, billing invoices, and even some handling of financial or sales aspects of your business.
One struggle in running a business is handling the accounting part of your business’ finances. Although many expense management solutions are available, QuickBooks is one of the best automation platforms for overall bookkeeping and accounting. It has a friendly user interface, and easy navigation to organize your business finances and transaction records.
QuickBooks is great for reporting and financial data, inventory management for product businesses, billing and invoicing options, and other essential accounting needs you might have, including support for payroll and payment options. It is a powerful bookkeeping tool that’s also easy to use.
Calendly is a must automation tool for businesses dealing with clients and appointments. It is a simple automation application that handles scheduling and appointments between you and your clients. It helps you save a lot of time answering emails to arrange an appointment or meeting with your clients or customers.
Instead of sending back and forth emails with your prospects to set the date and time, Calendly will do the work. This automation tool will embed the event in your email invitation, whether it is meetings, phone calls, or other important schedules. Recipients can choose their preferred date and time slot and automatically update your calendar for newly set appointments. It’s easy to use and more importantly, it’s easy for your clients to use…!
Managing and doing the repetitive tasks of running your business can be quite time-consuming. Integrating new technology such as automation tools like Zapier can handle the day-to-day tasks for your business. It is simple, easy to use, and very straightforward. It supports a lot of applications used in our everyday lives and to run businesses. This automation tool features support for Gmail, Slack, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Mailchimp, Asana, and other useful applications.
Essentially, Zapier allows you to save time and boost your productivity when it comes to running your business. It is an automated software where you can set actions in the featured applications and trigger a set of actions to other applications. For instance, you can automatically save all attachments you receive in your Gmail to your Google Drive or set up a trigger to automatically post your business website’s blog posts to your business’s social media accounts simultaneously.
Small businesses should keep up their social media presence active. Whether you have a product or service business, social media is a great platform to increase your presence and drive sales through social media marketing. However, creating social media posts, posting them one by one, and handling your business social media accounts across different platforms can be difficult to manage and is definitely time-consuming.
Automating your social media posts is a great way to boost your productivity. Hootsuite is an automation tool intended to schedule your social media posts ahead of time throughout the month. You can schedule your content, fix the captions and posts, and set which social media platforms you will use. Hootsuite also allows you to plan your content and is a great automation tool for content management.
There are lots of automation options out there – these 5 are hopefully a good starting point for you. If you have others that you think are worthy, share your thoughts in the comments.
Kat Sarmiento – Kat is a Molecular Biology Scientist turned Growth Marketing Scientist. During her free time, she loves to write articles that will bring delight, empower women, and spark the business mind. She loves to bake but unfortunately, baking doesn’t love her back. She has many things in her arsenal and writing is one of her passion projects.
Shawn Kinkade Kansas City Business Coach