Business automation – how to serve more customers while working less?

Smart business automation of repetitive tasks is what’s going to free up more of your time to work ON your business, instead of IN your business.

Business automation can take many forms and there are various tools you can use, to make your business more efficient.

Below you’ll find a few simple examples of how to free up some time, which you’d normally spend on dealing with tedious tasks, so that you can work on your business and achieve more.

Automate your finances

Making sure, that all your bills and invoices are paid on time is essential if you want to avoid irate suppliers. Or even late payment penalties!

To make it easier and save yourself some time every month, for certain recurring payments you can set up direct debits and standing orders with your bank – both to make payments and accept them. You can even integrate a direct debit setup into your website.

But why not use automation in as many areas of your day-to-day business operations as possible? This will increase your own and your teams’ productivity.

Set up email auto-replies and campaigns

How many times have you filled in a form on some business’ website and heard nothing but crickets for the next few hours or even days?

It’s very important that you follow up with the conversation initiated by someone interested in your products or services.

Most major email suppliers, programs and apps offer some sort of auto-reply feature. Use it to acknowledge, that you’ve received your customers’ inquiry and to provide value. This will show them, that you value the time they took to reach out.

If you’re looking for a great contact forms plugin for your WordPress website, which allows to send auto-replies and stores messages sent by your website’s visitors, then try Fluent Forms. It stands out among other similar plugins with its simple setup, various forms templates and useful integrations (some of them can be used in free version). The premium version unlocks many more integrations, advanced functionality like conditional logic and even allows taking card payments on your website.

With email service providers, such as Mailerlite or Mailchimp (both have a free version, which is more than enough to start with) or Drip (free for two weeks, then starts at $19/month), you can set up email campaigns. They allow sending several emails in a specific sequence, to provide even more value and promote your business.

Don’t forget about automating backups

Pretty much all businesses these days rely on electronic devices, that use some kind of local storage. By that I mean your documents, pictures, videos and all the rest are saved on a hard drive or memory chip residing inside the device itself.

This means that if this device gets lost, stolen or damaged, you’re most likely going to be left with NOTHING. Unless of course, you’ve got a backup.
Set up regular backups of your websites and all the electronic devices crucial for running your business. And when disaster strikes – have a recovery procedure handy.

To be extra secure, most experts agree that you should keep not one, but at least two sets of backups. Yes that’s right – one in the cloud, and one in an offline, physical location away from your business premises.

Oh, you ask why on Earth would you need two backups? Well, that’s in case your equipment burns down, gets flooded, hacked, infected with ransomware, etc.

Use CRM to help business automation

Using a good CRM (or Customer Relationship Management system), will help you with customer acquisition, retention and support among other things. If you haven’t used a CRM system until now, you should look into it ASAP.

Two of the most widely used CRM systems are Hubspot (which has a free version) and Salesforce (starts at £20/user/month).

There is also a brilliant CRM plugin for WordPress, called FluentCRM. I’ve been using both the free and premium versions of FluentCRM for over a year now and I can highly recommend it, due to its ease of use and integration capabilities. The premium version unlocks email marketing capabilities.

All of the CRM systems mentioned above are great, but as with any tool, it’s best if you try them yourself, to figure out what works best for you.

What to do next?

If you’re serious about saving time and creating more efficient systems for your business, you can download our Automation Tools Checklist. It contains more information about the tools, which can be used to work less and achieve more!

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