When it comes to running a business, the old adage is as true as they say — “time is money.” Unfortunately, people often find that they can only save so much time before they encounter obstacles.

For this reason, many entrepreneurs choose to incorporate automation into their workflows. Knowing what business operations you can automate is not always obvious, though. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide that details some of the most useful business practices that you can use automation to handle.

Let’s take a look at the top business operations you can automate for your company.

Lead Generation

One of the most prominent tasks that you can use automation to handle is lead generation. Under most circumstances, lead generation is something that requires significant effort when performed manually.

To clarify, let’s assume that your sales team does not incorporate any form of automation for this process. This means they will need to manually nurture leads and acquire them, something that will drastically cut into their other responsibilities. Additionally, it often takes time to develop an effective lead generation strategy.

As you market to more and more people, you will begin to learn what works and what doesn’t. This allows you to fine-tune your lead generation campaign to be as efficient as possible. By using automation, you can maximise the number of potential customers that you get in contact with.

This will help you make the necessary adjustments at a far faster rate. When configured correctly, automated lead generation can be one of your most valuable streams of revenue.

Email Marketing

As you might guess, email marketing has the potential to be one of the most time-consuming tasks if handled improperly.

During the early stages of business development, it’s feasible to manually type the emails that you send to your customers. As your company begins to scale, this becomes a less viable option. Imagine manually typing emails to thousands of different people on a regular basis.

Automation truly shines when you use it to handle your email marketing efforts. To help put this into perspective, you can automate the sending of thousands of emails at once.

You can also send follow-up emails if the recipients did not open them or take the desired action. Automation can be used to send customers promotional offers and even welcome them to your platform after they create an account on your website. It’s a great way to disseminate useful information, such as weekly newsletters.

Companies that work directly with clients can use email automation to provide weekly updates about the progress of the services that you provide. For instance, a business that offers search engine optimisation services could automate emails that contain information about their recent performance metrics.

Social Media Posts

In order to succeed on social media, you will need to post content regularly. Creating this content often consumes enough time, and posting it can easily interrupt other ongoing projects at your business.

Fortunately, automation can significantly streamline how easy it is for your company to handle social media posts. The most common way in which people do so is by scheduling a large amount of content at once. In practice, this involves creating an abundance of social media content and then using automation to post the content at specified times in the future.

This will help you ensure that you remain consistent on your social media platforms while simultaneously never missing a scheduled post opportunity.

Invoicing

Getting paid on time is something that many small businesses struggle with. However, this is also true for companies that have been in their industry for a handful of years already.

The larger number of clients you work with, the more complicated managing your invoicing becomes. Even a single oversight could cause a drastic delay in how long it takes for you to get your money. Fortunately, there are tools available that allow you to automatically send invoices once certain criteria are met.

You can even configure settings to automatically send invoices at predetermined times. This makes managing your long-term client relationships far easier.

If your business employs an accountant, automated invoicing can save them a significant amount of time. This is particularly useful during busy seasons when accountants are often stressed from managing a large number of financial obligations.

Hiring/Recruiting

Finding the right talent for your company is much more difficult than most people believe.

Not only do you have to get in touch with potential employees, but you also have to vet them appropriately. Under most circumstances, hiring the wrong employee could be even worse than leaving the position vacant.

This is due to the fact that you may inevitably need to fire them and then attempt to fill the position a second time. Automation can be used to send recruitment messages to relevant individuals. This is most commonly seen on platforms like LinkedIn.

Automation can also help you sort through applications you receive for a position at your company. It can help you scan resumes for fine details and sort them based on certain criteria. As you might assume, this can potentially save you hundreds of hours of work.

Customer Service

Most businesses do not operate 24/7. This doesn’t mean that customers won’t have questions or concerns during all times of day or night, though.

For this reason, more and more companies are beginning to incorporate chatbots into their websites. Although they might seem a bit more human than the average automation tool, they operate in the same way. This form of automation will analyse your customers’ issues and then provide the appropriate solution.

In the event that your chatbot can’t help them, it can automatically connect them with someone who can. This will go a long way when it comes to maximising customer satisfaction.

Since having a strong brand reputation is essential for long-term success, it’s imperative that you consider this opportunity.

Data Management

Managing business data is something that many companies tend to struggle with. It’s not uncommon for entrepreneurs to be unknowledgeable of where certain information is located.

There may even be a chance that it was never recorded at all. As you might guess, data management becomes exponentially more difficult as your company increases in size.

Automation can help ensure you get the right data to the right place every time. For instance, you could have a certain file distributed across multiple archives. Or, you could even have automation software alert you when certain criteria are missing.

This can be highly useful for things like legal documents and client agreements. Proper data management is also a great way to attract potential investors. If your company seems disorganised in this regard, people may view it as a liability.

eCommerce Interactions

eCommerce automation has the potential to drastically increase sales numbers. For instance, you might automatically send a reminder to someone who leaves items in an online shopping cart. You can also send them emails with offers based on their previous store activity.

Managing something like this for thousands of people is impractical. You will also likely be surprised what a simple nudge can accomplish when it comes to generating more sales.

A properly integrated automation tool will help you consolidate and review your analytics, as well.

As time goes on, you’ll be able to develop a deeper understanding of your audience. This will help you market to them more effectively in the future.

Scheduling

Scheduling is something that very few people enjoy managing. It’s often viewed as a secondary task compared to most responsibilities. To make matters worse, scheduling oversights or mistakes can erode a professional relationship.

Automatic scheduling will lift a huge burden off of your team. This generally involves automatically creating events based on availability.

You can also automatically send reminders to everyone involved in a particular meeting. As time goes on, you can tweak your automated scheduling software to require as little human input as possible. For example, you might allow customers to schedule their own calls with you on your website.

You will then receive automatic notification of this event.

Automating Business Operations Is Essential

Otherwise, you will waste extra time and manpower handling tasks that you could use software to manage. Be sure you keep this information in mind when looking for business operations you can automate. This will help you exponentially increase your productivity and revenue.

Want to learn more about what we have to offer? Feel free to get in touch with us today and see how we can help.