Have you ever looked at your to-do list, whether it’s jotted haphazardly on a post-it or perfectly organized online, and thought, “How the hell am I supposed to do it all?” You’re not alone, friend. Running a business puts so many demands on your time. Sometimes it’s stuff you’re excited to do. And others? It’s the shit you can’t avoid if you want to be successful. The good news is, there are a lot of business tasks that can be automated.
If you’re new to this whole idea of automating those time-consuming (or annoying) tasks or maybe just looking for some ideas on how you can level-up your automation game, mosey on through this post. I’ve got plenty of ways you can make life easier with some clicks!
1. Recruiting & Hiring
Okay, let’s be clear, here: You do actually need to speak with someone before you hire them… Unless you’ve got a robot for that. But there are a whole lot of business tasks that can be automated to make your recruiting and hiring process faster and way less stressful for you.
It starts with sharing your job description. Instead of painstakingly filling out each job site’s forms for your exciting new role, you can automate that process with tools like ZipRecruiter. They send your description out to multiple sites so you don’t have to manually execute that process.
From there, you can simplify tasks like:
- pre-screening candidates (and creating a shortlist and “no thanks” list based on that information)
- scheduling interviews
- running background checks
- sharing documents and collecting signatures
- sending onboarding materials
- providing training docs and resources
Using business automation tools to kick some of these tasks into auto-drive will not only save you time, but it will make the hiring experience all the better for those diamonds in the rough pros that are joining your team.
2. Customer Service & Communications
It doesn’t matter what a kickass service or product you have to offer. If your customers aren’t taken care of, you lose your street cred and the chance to build a loyal following. The challenge is making time to answer every single one of those emails and inquiries while running a business, and not losing your mind. I know. It ain’t easy.
Customer service is one of the best business tasks that can be automated because when done right, your customers feel seen and acknowledged without having to drop everything to respond to them. Chatbots are a fantastic way to give your customers immediate responses and answers to simple questions: they immediately acknowledge your customers and you can set them up so that you’re pinged with items needing more feedback.
Plus, integrating with your CRM and/or email platform of your choice opens the doors to all sorts of tools and tricks you can use to show your customers some love. You can send them customized offers and thank-yous, reminders, insider tips and deals, and most importantly, make them feel special and tell them they’re important to you. You can’t automate a big hug, but the right tools can help you crush customer service.
3. Invoicing & Billing
Does anyone actually enjoy poring through invoices and paying bills? If that’s you, bravo, but I’ll be over here automating that shit everywhere I can.
Part of being a responsible business owner is paying your bills, and paying them on time. I don’t know about you, but sitting down with a fountain pen and an actual checkbook ledger makes me feel like I might as well be in Anne of Green Gables or something. Let’s take paying your bills into this century, shall we?
Setting up automatic payments with your recurring bills takes the task off your plate, and makes sure you never miss a payment or get served painful late fees. And when it comes to collecting payments and makin’ it rain, automating your invoicing process will help you get paid faster and save yourself some time.
4. Managing Your Calendar
Let’s talk about scheduling appointments. If you’re doing it the old-school way, it might look something like this. You tell someone when you’re free. They tell you when they’re free. You suggest a meeting time. They tell you it works. You create the meeting and send an appointment. Make it STOP.
That whole process is just painful. Don’t do it! Instead, take advantage of the fact that managing your calendar is one of those handy business tasks that can be automated. It will make your life so much better. Maybe not like, two-day work weeks every week, better. But better.
There are tons of calendar scheduling apps you can use to simplify things. (Personally, I’m a fan of Calendly.) They let people choose meeting times on your calendar that you’ve already marked as free, send follow-ups and meeting reminders, and totally eliminate all that awful back-and-forth. Plus, you can block off time to ensure nothing gets into the protected windows you need for working, being productive, and maybe that Netflix special you’ve been waiting for…
5. Paying Your People
Whether you have a team of one or of 10, paying your people is muy importante. They bust their asses for you, it’s your responsibility to compensate them on time and with the correct amount! Consider this a major priority when it comes to your business tasks that can be automated.
Automating your payroll doesn’t just help you with the act of paying your team. It also pays off in the long run for you. Come tax time (ugghhh), it’ll be a whole lot easier to prepare your shit. I mean, some payroll automation tools will even help you with filing. Sweet!
There are a lot of online payroll options out there that will simplify the payroll process for both you and your employees. You can use them to create paychecks and tax payments–and accurately.
6. All The Social Media
Ever had that moment of social media FOMO? You know, you’re in the middle of something actually important for your business and you think “Shit, I should post on social media today.” It happens. But you know what? With the right tools, you can keep those moments from ever happening again. Plus, you can avoid blacking out for hours as you mindlessly scroll, like, comment, and follow (as fun as that might be).
Take your pick of tools to make your social media management a business task you can automate. Software like Later (my fave!), Buffer, Planoly, and HootSuite let you plan out your content in advance and schedule it so it pops onto newsfeeds and timelines just when you want it to.
Some will even provide you with reports so you can see what content is performing well, what isn’t, and how you might want to tweak your approach.
7. Stay On Top of Your Shit
If you’re an entrepreneur wearing 5,234 hats, you probably have a few things on your plate. Even the most organized person needs some help staying on top of it all so things don’t fall through the cracks (you know, like your sanity). Use automation tools to help you keep track of it all, and even better, make time to look ahead and plan for your world domination. Or, maybe just the next month.
Getting set up with a kickass to-do list management tool will help you save time, be more productive, and–you guessed it–more organized. Depending on your style, preferences, and how you like to go about managing your shit, there’s a tool just for you. From Asana and Trello to Zapier and HelloBonsai, there are a lot to choose from.
Take some time to figure out what workflows you need and what tasks you can punt to an app or software so you have time for your big ideas, and maybe a nap. When you take a hard look at your pain points and where you get stuck, you’ll find there are a lot of business tasks that can be automated, and that will make you so much happier.
Ready to automate the shit out of your business and start living the good life? Well, at least a life where you have fewer tasks sucking your time away from the stuff you like doing? Hit me up for an Integrator Intensive. I’ll be the Wonder Woman to your systems, automation, and processes, and help you whip it into shape. I can’t promise I’ll be in costume, though.