Last updated on December 15th, 2022
There are a lot of different areas to running a business and sometimes, you can’t cover them all by yourself. Luckily, there’s one great solution to this issue – automation.
I love automation as it means I can concentrate on the important areas of my business while the menial, repetitive tasks can be handled by a computer instead. This means everything runs smoothly and I can focus on the areas of my business which most requires my attention.
It’s also not just me who agrees – 70% of workers agree that the biggest benefit of automation is the reduction of time wasted on repetitive tasks.
So, automation is the key to changing your life while running a business – but what things should you automate first?
Here are my thoughts.
1. Social Media
Social media (see also ‘How Can Social Media Listening Increase Customer Advocacy‘) is an increasingly important part of running an online business because it offers so many benefits you can use to your advantage.
In fact, 77% of marketers say that social media marketing has been somewhat to very effective for their businesses.
According to a Hootsuite 2020 survey, 45% of marketers said that ‘drive conversions’ was a key business outcome for social media in 2021, and 66% said that social listening helped increase the value of their business.
However, one issue I find with operating social media platforms for my projects is that I constantly forgot to post on each platform regularly.
Regular posting on social media is a must and according to HubSpot’s 2021 survey, a majority of marketers post on social media platforms four to six times a week – that’s a lot of posts!
Automation is a great way of ensuring that your business’s social media stays regularly updated.
I automated posts on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to remind followers of upcoming events, links to the official website, images of my products, customer reviews, and more – so all this goes on in the background without you needing to set reminders to post or upload every few days.
For some great social media automation tools, check out SocialPilot, ContentStudio, and Hootsuite. Because automated social media is so widely used, there are a lot of tools and softwares you can use to help you achieve this too – but these three are some of my personal favorites to use.
2. Review Monitoring
Reviews are another vital part of online marketing. Review signals count for 15% of SEO ranking credit on search engines like Google.
So, the more people who talk about your business online, the more likely search engines will view your website as a legitimate business and start to recommend it to search engine users.
Review monitoring helps you to respond to these reviews, and this can help build your company’s brand and positive reputation.
56% of customers say that a company’s response to online reviews can change their opinion on the business itself, so this is your chance to improve customer retention.
You can set up automatic responses to say thanks to those who leave good reviews, making those customers feel appreciated and driving customer engagement.
On the other hand, you can set up automated messages for those who leave negative reviews, apologizing for their negative experience and promising that a member of staff will soon be in touch to try and make amends.
Automation here allows for speedy replies and engagement, showing to customers that you care about their opinions and are actively listening to their feedback – even if you don’t see the review yourself until hours after it has been posted!
3. Email Marketing
89% of marketers say that their main channel for lead generation is email marketing, and 41% still use email marketing as their top source of analytics. However, it’s very easy to set up automated email marketing to tick off a huge number of tasks each day (see also, ‘How to Delegate Tasks in Your Marketing Campaign?‘).
It allows you to set up all kinds of automated messages to help improve the way your business is run, engage with customers, and overall improve their experience with your business.
A few examples of automated email marketing include:
- Automated welcome emails to every new customer who signs up.
- Automated invoices and bills whenever someone purchases goods through your website.
- Reminders of abandoned carts or updates on items back in stock.
- Birthday or anniversary well wishes.
These types of automated emails help improve customer satisfaction and build a friendly relationship with them, along with helping you boost any sales made online. They’re so successful that 38% of marketers plan to increase their use of marketing automation.
4. Customer Service
Customer service is key as 80% of customers say that they would rather do business with a competitor after one bad experience.
As 90% of customers say that an immediate customer service response is essential or very important, automation can help you out here too by sending automated messages and responses after a customer query.
If you are out of office, you can set up an automated email so customers know that you won’t be able to get back to them until a certain time, and link them to helpful pages on your website where they may be able to find the answers they seek.
5. CRM System
In my opinion, an automated CRM system is a must for every business, big or small, because it is a game changer. 74% of businesses say that a CRM software improved their access to data, and automating can help boost productivity.
This includes loyalty programs, invoices, satisfaction surveys and scores – everything that can help you streamline your leads and make informed decisions regarding your marketing.
It’s so useful that (according to a HubSpot report) marketers use automation in their CRM systems 76% more than sales teams and 139% more than finance teams.
6. SCM System
Another automated system I think every business needs is an automated SCM system. 57% of companies also believe that good supply chain management gives them a competitive edge, and automating your SCM system can help improve your productivity and efficiency.
It’s a quick and easy way to handle your inventory and supply checks, plus it prevents you from over-sourcing supplies and more.
You will know what to order and when, allowing your business to stay efficient while reducing costs. A lack of cash is why 38% of businesses fail, so automating your SCM can actually help prevent your business from meeting the same fate.
7. Collect Job Applications
A natural step in your company’s progression is to hire more people and build a team.
While you could always just accept job applications through your emails, using an employment automation software will help you review the applications and then schedule interviews without having to do any manual steps.
The automation will post your job descriptions, collect candidate information, stop accepting applications after the closing date, and keep track of all your applications.
This way, you aren’t shifting through dozens of emails and trying to remember which candidate is which. One in ten business leaders agree that automation can make hiring easier – and this could be how.
8. Collect Payments
If you are running an e-commerce website, then automation completely changes the game when it comes to payments.
I’ve had issues in the past when a billing charge won’t clear or a charge has failed in a subscription, and sometimes I haven’t noticed for a while after the failed charge.
Automation can help catch these failed payments immediately and notify you and the customer. This means that you don’t have to go days without payment and only realize too late.
Some automations can also catch credit cards just before they expire, and send out notifications to customers and subscribers to remind them to update their payment information, or that a bill is due, or that a payment failed.
It helps keep your finances in check and your business ticking over without hassle.
9. Daily Reporting
Data analytics can help make decision making in business five times faster, so getting those reports quickly can help improve your productivity.
Whether you use channels like Google Analytics, Google Ads, or Facebook Ads – automation can help you get all the facts you need first thing in the morning via email.
10. NPS Feedback
Automation also works for collecting feedback from your reviews, not just replying to them. This means that you can automatically work out your net promoter score (NPS) based on feedback without missing any important information.
Of course, this information can be vital for future marketing decisions – so using automation ensures you have all the data you need to make informed decisions regarding your business!
Over one third of businesses have five or more automated divisions, and I use it for a ton of different tasks myself!
31% of business leaders agree that automation software reduces labor costs, 80% of marketers saw an increase in leads after introducing automated marketing software, and 69% of daily management tasks are predicted to be automated by 2024.
All of this shows just how useful and important automation is.
So, I’d seriously recommend that you implement an automation system for the above tasks so you can get on with your work and concentrate on the most important aspects of your business.