Saving time in all possible ways plays an essential role in any business owner’s success. However, it’s particularly important for small business owners. When you don’t have a large staff, you don’t have many people to whom you can delegate key tasks. You instead need to determine which tasks and processes you can automate.
The following are a few particularly noteworthy examples. Although the nature of every business is unique, in general, automating these processes will help most small business owners save a lot of valuable time:
Customer loyalty can make or break a business. That’s not merely a theory. A recent Forrester study/survey indicates 95% of business owners consider providing customers with the best possible experience to be their top priority in any given year. When an opinion is that popular, there’s a reason.
That said, as a small business owner, you might not have the time to address all customer inquiries right away. That’s why you should implement digital customer support automation instead. While there will be some instances when a customer needs to speak with you directly, for the most part, automating your customer support through digital means will help you maintain customer satisfaction without spending an unreasonable amount of time doing so.
Just keep in mind that you don’t need to manually send emails throughout the week. You can draft them ahead of time, using automation tools to schedule when you want to send them.
A sales team needs to be aware of what stage a customer is at in the customer journey to ensure they reach the stage where they make a purchase. That’s why automating certain aspects of your sales operations is so helpful. With the right automation tools, you and your team will receive immediate alerts when a customer has reached the next stage of the journey, letting you know it’s time to reconnect with them.
This point somewhat ties in with the one above. To ensure a new client remains loyal to your brand, you need to also ensure they thoroughly understand your products or services.
For instance, perhaps you’re offering accounting software subscriptions. Your clients must of course understand how to use the software. Thus, you might provide them with educational resources during the onboarding process. This is something you could easily automate, so you don’t have to actually take these steps every time you attract a new client.
Like email marketing, social media can deliver a strong ROI over time by helping you not only catch the attention of new customers, but also maintain brand awareness throughout your current customer base. Social media marketing is also similar to email marketing in that you can automate it. While there may be times when you want to spontaneously post on your social media accounts (for example, if a trending hashtag is relevant to your business), in general, you can usually generate social media content weeks before you actually plan on posting it. Basic automation tools will let you create a schedule for your posts.
Yes, setting up these automated processes will take some time. That’s why many small business owners don’t actually do so. However, small business owners who succeed understand that investing some time to automate key tasks now will actually help them save a lot more time in the future.