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02 22 2017

Small business automation tips

02 22 2017

Small Business Automation: 4 Effective Tips for Success

Running your own business isn’t easy. There are countless tasks to accomplish and limited time to spend on them. Luckily, business owners today have technology on their side.

Automating some of your business processes is beneficial on multiple levels. First, it saves you time and energy that you can be dedicating to another important feature of your business or outside life. Second, automation is typically a good way to dodge mistakes made simply by human error. Finally, investing in an automated process can simplify the task and save you money by not having to hire someone to carry it out.

If you’re looking for new ways to boost your productivity through automation, consider these key processes that can be easily automated to make your life easier.

1. Payroll

Perhaps the quickest way to create a disgruntled team is to make a mistake on payroll. People expect their paychecks to come on time, in full and with no errors. But, as many business owners know, that’s a tall task to accomplish, especially when you throw confusing tax codes into the mix.

An online payroll service can easily take this necessary business task off your hands, Quickbooks pointed out. Not only will a payroll service make sure everything is done by the books, but it’ll also give you an expert you can turn to when you have a question. Typically, these services will cover a range of payroll-related tasks, including:

  • Keeping track of sick time, vacation and other paid leave.
  • Preparing W-2s.
  • Direct depositing paychecks.
  • Calculating and paying the proper taxes to the correct government offices.

2. Online marketing

Every business, regardless of industry, should have an online presence. This is how you stay in tune with your current customers as well as how to introduce yourself to new prospects.

Online marketing is hard, especially if you’re not very familiar with the nuances of social networks or website design. Fortunately, there’s a plethora of software systems out there that can make your online marketing a breeze.

Chances are, your blogging platform will give you the option to set release dates for each post. Write all your content at the beginning of the month, then distribute the posts throughout the month. You won’t have to think about blogging again for the next 30 days.

The same goes for social media. Keeping active and engaging social media accounts attracts customers who appreciate personal engagement with the brands they support. Platforms like Hootsuite allow you to control all your accounts from one place and schedule posts to go out weeks in advance.

Email marketing is another great aspect of business online marketing. Use it to get the word out about sales, specials or events. These can also be put on a schedule.

3. Customer Relationship Management

Keeping an eye on customer trends is crucial for pitching the right sale at the right time. It’s also important to track communications with potential and current customers. However, manually updating information in a spreadsheet is time-consuming, complicated and prone to errors. Plus, it’s difficult for everyone on your team to access these documents – a crucial part in keeping everyone on the same page.

Upgrade your system to an automated CRM system like Salesforce, or Infusionsoft, suggested SproutSpire.

4. Hiring

Putting together a cohesive team is crucial for business success and a positive work atmosphere. But weeding through candidates and searching for the perfect team members can be a long, frustrating process.

Systems like Recruiterbox can collect resumes, respond to applicants and manage various open positions, SproutSpire noted. Others, like ZipRecruiter, will post your job openings to the biggest job boards without charging a fee, allow you to easily review application materials from one platform and are integrated with social media platforms, MoneyCrashers reported .

More than likely, there are some aspects of your business that should never be automated. However, there are plenty of behind-the-scenes tasks that are important to get done, but can be done just as well – or even more efficiently – through an automated system.

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