Small business automation has been gaining more interest in the past few months. With a challenging market, business owners want to improve efficiency and have a competitive advantage with their operations.
The business that will thrive in the market is the ones that, besides offering the best value to customers, know how to be more productive and make better use of their resources and time.
It doesn't matter if your business is online or offline - I'm sure you have a manual and repetitive process that consumes a lot of your time and that you wish there could be a better way to do it.
And actually, there is! The answer relies on automation. An automated system working non-stop for your business will give you way more advantage on the market than you can imagine.
While the automations and systems work on the operations of your business, you can use your time on the most strategic process to grow your business, like delivering great results to your clients or going after more.
But don't worry - automation is not very complex for you. There are different ways to start, and in this article, I will show you how to automate your small business.
Here's how to start:
1. Analyze & Identify Your Processes
The first step to automate your business is to analyze your current operations and identify which process of your business could be improved or automated with better tools and systems.
Start by looking at which manual and repetitive steps you need to do daily to keep your business running. This includes customer support, invoicing, emailing, marketing activities, etc
2. Start with the most time consumed tasks
Don't rush into automating all your processes at once. Start by focusing on the ones that are the most repetitive, tedious, and time consuming that you identified in the initial assessment. This will help you to reduce the risk of making mistakes and ensure that the automation process is completed successfully. Furthermore, it will also give you the opportunity to become more comfortable with the automation process before tackling the more complex processes.
3. Research & Implement the right tool
With the increasing number of automation tools available today, it can be difficult to decide which ones to select. While some are easier to get started with, it is important to consider if they are the most suitable ones for your needs. You may want to look into more advanced options if you need to automate more complex processes. However, it is important to ensure you have a good handle on the basics before you move on to the more complex ones. That way, you can ensure you get the most out of the automation tools and maximize their potential.
4. Start setting up the automations
Most of the tools available have a free plan (like Zapier, Make), so it is highly recommended that you begin with the free option. This is especially the case when you're just starting, as scaling your systems will eventually lead to costs you'll need to factor in. To ensure that you are able to take full advantage of the features available, it is important to consider the budget that you have set aside for the project and make sure that you select the plan that best meets your requirements. You may find that a free plan is sufficient to get the job done, or the costs associated with a paid plan may be worth the investment.
5. Run tests
It's essential for you to test every step of your automation thoroughly. Making sure that it is functioning correctly and without errors is a must before you put it into production. If you don't do this and you end up with broken automation, it can create a lot more work for you than if you had just stuck to the manual process in the first place. That's why it's so important to take the time to test your automation and make sure it's in a good state before you put it into live operation.
6. Track & Optimize
Even after you have the automation up and running, keep monitoring it closely - it's essential. Your processes and systems are constantly evolving, and staying on top of this is important. You will need to adjust and optimize the automation from time to time. Making sure that you are regularly checking in on your automation and making any needed updates or tweaks is key to ensure that your processes and systems are staying up-to-date. This ongoing process of monitoring and updating your automation is vital to keeping your processes running smoothly.
Now that you know how to automate your small business, it's to get started!