If your competitors arrived for a race on souped-up dirt bikes, you wouldn’t roll up to the starting line on a tricycle, would you?
While you struggle with administrative headaches and repetitive tasks, your competitors rely on smart software to do the heavy lifting. It’s time to catch up. By automating more tasks, you can reduce your day-to-day burdens and spend more time growing your business.
With so many smart software options on the market today, there’s no excuse for entrepreneurs to waste time on business processes that computers can handle equally well. Workflow automation eliminates friction and allows you to spend more of your time on work that matters.
Get with the times by taking advantage of these automated solutions:
1. Social Media
Even the most buttoned-up banks run active social media accounts in 2019. Whether you target big-shot B2B executives or Gen Z consumers, you must stay on top of your social media accounts if you want to grow your brand.
Tools like Buffer and Hootsuite make it easy to schedule posts and track metrics across the most popular social channels. Instead of using three monitors to log in and out of different social media sites, you can combine your efforts in a single dashboard. Add new profiles, manage posts and accounts, and start using social media like a pro.
Without a CRM, your sales, marketing, and customer service teams don’t have the information they need to do their jobs. Look into HubSpot’s free CRM if you’re just getting started. Larger organizations should consider Salesforce, one of the most prominent players in the CRM arena.
A good CRM can integrate with all sorts of other tools. You can rely on your CRM to keep track of customer calls, which empowers your teams to provide contextual help in every situation. Sales teams can use your CRM to spend more time in pursuit of qualified leads, while marketers can use segmented prospect lists to nurture those leads into eager buyers.
Your customer service agents have to sleep sometime. Fortunately, your chatbots don’t. While chatbot technology won’t catch up to real human interactions for quite a while, chatbots allow your business to maintain 24/7 communication on your site and on social media platforms.
VentureHarbour put together a list of the 10 best chatbot builders on the market today. Chatfuel, a builder for Facebook Messenger, allows even non-programmers to design bots for free. Flow XO offers a more robust solution for social media and owned websites for users with a bit more coding experience. Play around with different options to see which bots work best for your business.
New employees need help to get up to speed, but you don’t have time to hold their hands. Automate your onboarding process to get new hires producing as quickly as possible.
Documentation and training tool Trainual helps companies create content libraries to fill in the gaps for new hires. You can update documentation as you go and create tests to make sure new employees understand the material. When you and the rest of your staff don’t have to spend weeks carrying the new person, everyone gets more done.
Customers can tell you what they need, but if you never ask, you’ll never know. Tools like SurveyMonkey provide simple, intuitive solutions for business owners to find out what customers think and adjust accordingly.
Like all the best feedback tools, SurveyMonkey integrates with CRM systems such as Salesforce so you can solicit feedback seamlessly as part of the customer experience. As regular insights trickle back up your funnel, you can evaluate common complaints and identify areas for your business to improve.
6. Payroll and HR
Automate internal processes to spend less time managing your employees and more time collaborating with them. When you let software handle tasks like payroll and time management, you can ensure employees get paid on time without wasting hours every month to manage the system yourself.
Payroll software provider Gusto offers inexpensive plans for startups and small businesses to stay on top of HR processes. Gusto can handle everything from employee and contractor payments to benefits administration and vacation time. No matter which solution you choose, anything beats manual entry (or, worse, pen and paper).
Your business needs all of you, not some of you. When you refuse to automate and waste precious hours on tasks machines could handle, you borrow from your company’s future growth. Stop letting manual processes hold you back, and take advantage of the free and low-cost tools available to small businesses. After you automate a few processes, you’ll wonder how you ever survived on your own.