There comes a time in every entrepreneurial venture where you realize you simply cannot do it all yourself.
Sure, when you’re just getting started you really are the “chief, cook and bottle washer.” But as your business grows, it becomes painfully obvious that trying to do everything is only going to lead to:
- Frustration (when critical tasks don’t get done and deadlines are missed)
- Burn out (when you’re working yet another 12-hour day)
- Overwhelm (when your to-do list is longer at the end of the day than it was at the beginning)
There are many ways to combat this business-growth hurdle, but one of the best is automation. Imagine a completely hands-off system that works for you even when you’re hiking on a remote mountain or lounging at a luxury spa.
But here’s an even better reason to automate: it lets you scale your business. Think about it, the less manual work you have to do, the more time you have to do the money-making tasks such as networking, marketing, and client support.
So what can you automate? Almost everything, but start with:
Chasing organic traffic is an exercise in frustration. You’ll spend all your time creating content for your blog, other people’s blogs, YouTube, social media, and other web properties. All that content creation leaves you little time to actually work with the clients you’re trying to attract.
Instead, invest in some quality paid traffic, and get off the endless content creation train. You’ll be glad you did.
What happens when a new subscriber joins your mailing list or someone buys a product? Do they just sit in waiting on your list until you have time to send an email?
While broadcast emails have their place—especially in time-sensitive promotions—be sure to also set up an autoresponder series to:
- Welcome new subscribers and help them find their way around your site (and your offers)
- Nurture buyers, so they know they’re in the right place
- Make additional offers based on what someone has already purchased or shown an interest in
And the best thing? Once your autoresponder is set up, it will continue to work even when you’re not.
Social Media Management
Yes, it’s important to be personable and engaging on social media. But that doesn’t mean you have to log in to Facebook just to post a link to your latest blog or YouTube video. Automate that kind of update and save yourself hours of time each and every month. Not only that, but you won’t have to worry about missing an update, either!
If you have clients, partners, a team, or are often asked for interviews, then an automated calendar is a must. Rather than endless back-and-forth emails trying to find a mutually available time slot, simply send your calendar link and let your client, project manager, JV partner or anyone else choose a time that works for them. Your appointment will automatically appear on your calendar, and you’ll even get reminders (if your calendar supports that).
There are dozens of options for automating every aspect of your small business. As you grow, you’ll find new and better tools to make everything run more smoothly. For now, though, implementing these four ideas alone will save you hours of time every month.
One of the things we do with private coaching clients is determining what systems to automate and also get them automated! If you are interested in finding out about scaling your business, check out the coaching page.
What systems do you feel are necessary in order to grow your business? Leave a comment below.
Roy A Ackerman, PhD, EA says
We use the calendar method, too. But, our busy times look like a report issued by the Trump warehouse. Plenty of blackouts- there’s no need for others to know who/where/why we may be engaged and not available to help them.
Always use what works for you, Roy! I imagine you have this handled. Thanks.
Jyll Hoyrup says
Yay I’m doing all but paid traffic! Do you have an article on the best ways to go about it?
Not yet! Stay Tuned…
Aletha McManama says
Love this bite-sized tips on where to automate your business. My most favorite is the email funnels delivery. So much time can be saved when a biz owner has this all set up and ready to automate. It’s what I specialize in and love setting up the back-end systems for my clients. It’s amazing what you can do with nurture funnels, targeting those that click on specific links or purchase specific products. Great article…short and sweet!
Minette Riordan says
These are such great systems to have in place. I am looking forward to focusing fresh eyes on paid traffic this year. And I am such a big believer in automation. It is a time, energy and money saver for small business owners.
Incorporate them together, Minette! Automate your paid traffic (or at least automate part of it!)
Frances Cahill says
Thank you for the image of lounging at the luxury spa – mine is at the beach actually.
Your checklist makes it super simple.
I had a traumatic experience with an autoresponder a few years ago.
I am working up the courage to have another crack at it.
Thanks, Frances! The beach is a good place to be also! Systematizing processes will help scale your business! Thanks for stopping by!
Pamela Schmidlin says
Manage time and energies properly and do it smart!
Or, waste your time… I prefer your way!
These are great ideas, some of which I’ve already implemented. What are some ways to “invest in some quality paid traffic”?
Quality Paid Traffic would be things like targeted Google Ads or targeted Facebook Ads, Gettig in front of the right audience at the right time, etc.
Karen Sammer says
Paul…this is really helpful information. I already have a calendar that works pretty well but I need to use social media more effectively and would also like to understand more about paid traffic. My autoresponder is a work in process.
Glad it helped, Karen! Social Media can help with getting more exposure!
Rahul Jain says
Very valuable post, Paul.
I have been in the business for 3 years now but I didn’t focus on promoting my business.
Now, I have planned to be active more on social media, run facebook ads targetting my niche.
You always need to keep the funnel/pipeline filled, I agree, Rahul
I should have had these ideas when we still had our business. For 52 years I was chief, cook and bottle washer. LOL I think I was “afraid to get computerized since I had been doing word of mouth and paper and pencil from the start.
Word Of Mouth is always the best (for me, at least). Automating helps me out immensely!