Being a small business owner is supposed to be freeing and rewarding. You’re supposed to be able to set your own hours, take vacations when and where you want to, and spend more time with family and friends. But oftentimes, small business owners find that the exact opposite is true. Could automation solve this disconnect?
If you want to grow your small business and remain lean, you have to prioritize efficiency of both time and cost. Here’s how automation can help:
1. Eliminate repetition
There’s something to be said for repetition. In fact, many companies use automation to make complex tasks more repeatable. However, there are also situations where too much mundane repetition eats away time and prevents you from engaging in more meaningful tasks (like customer outreach). If you look hard enough, you may find a few of your own.
“To find missed automation opportunities, I get my team together to discuss what we’re doing that is repetitive,” says venture capitalist Tim Draper. “Then, we look for an automated solution that can perform the task as well or better, while delivering exceptional service.”
Invoicing is a great example of this. Simply using an invoicing template can help you speed up the process and promote consistency. The same goes for email. An autoresponder solution can streamline follow up emails and save hours of time that would otherwise be wasted with back-and-forth communication.
2. Have people on speed dial
If you feel as if every business task has to be handled internally by a salaried employee, you have a control problem–one that will land you in hot water before too long. While core tasks should absolutely be taken on by core team members, there’s nothing wrong with outsourcing other tasks to virtual assistants or contractors outside of the organization.
The great thing about virtual assistants and contractors is you aren’t locked into using them. You can use them for a dozen tasks one week and zero tasks the next week. And if you have the right people on speed dial, this sort of automation will enable you to scale with tremendous efficiency.
3. Improve access
One of the biggest time-wasters in small businesses is the process of chasing down paperwork, files, records, or spreadsheets. Either they get filed in the wrong place or only one person has access to them. Either way, it zaps productivity and wastes dozens of hours per month.
The good news is you don’t have to deal with these problems any longer, and much of the issue can be streamlined by improving access. Files and documents should be stored on the cloud and all relevant parties given permissions. This allows for around-the-clock access that isn’t location- or device-dependent.
Other Articles From AllBusiness.com:
4. Streamline communication
In order to grow, small businesses need to reach more people. The more conversations and points of engagement you have with prospects, the more opportunities you have to grow revenue. The traditional model says that you hire more salespeople and increase your budget, but this gets costly.
Published at Sun, 30 Jun 2019 17:54:00 +0000