When you own and operate a business, the saying “time is money” rings doubly true. As the head of the business, your time is best spent on major game-changing activities such as leading the team, cutting big deals, and making the big decisions for taking on the competition.
The day-to-day activities, such as managing the website, processing payroll, nit-picking every marketing detail, or customer service-like activities, are all important but they take up a great deal of time.
Interestingly enough, these smaller, but important activities, can be automated. Once I began using outsourcing and automation tools I found myself savings hundreds of hours.
Let me run through a handful of these activities in better detail (and give you a few starting resources) to add outsourcing and automation to your business:
Once you begin to take on additional help (whether it’s someone working in office or outsourcing freelancers), it becomes convoluted trying to manage time sheets. Automation of time sheets through MasterTax payroll tax software has helped immensely, as it allows those working to clock in/out, send invoices, and handle the accounting in one place, which cuts back on the micromanagement of payroll across the board.
Social media has become quite essential for bringing attention to your brand, but it’s easy to get wrapped up in spending all day on the platforms (which stops you from getting more important work done). You don’t want to ignore these platforms, but services like Hootsuite will become quite handy once you gain a steady flow of followers since it’ll let you schedule and manage all your social in one location. Most of this can be automated, too!
It’s not the most exciting part of starting the day, but handling customer questions and complains are often what makes all the difference in how well the business does during the operating hours. Customer management systems such as Salesforce is great for scheduling and managing the customers while creating FAQ’s, forums, and putting social platforms in place to answer questions. A majority of time will certainly go to customers but if you can answer the major, common questions without interrupting yours (or employee) time – the better, which is why these tools come in handy.
Content gives you something to share on your site and social media, but when you’re strapped for time it can lead to hours upon hours of research and creation. Most of the time people just want something quick and easy to read – you don’t have to go out of your way to create some massive post. Content curation really comes into play in this regard especially when you can use tools like Buffer to find and schedule out new pieces; through this you’re keeping followers happy but also buying yourself time to work on big items (and create some special content while you’re at it).
Streamlining a business does take a decent amount of up-front time to put the systems into place, but once you have them working they really do start to work for you. Handling the minutiae like payroll, marketing, parts of customer service, and basic business management items (like the site) is important but why not take advantage of these resources? You’ll save time which turns into money once you have more of it to work on the bigger goals and activities for your business.
Are you ready to start streamlining? Already have? Share your thoughts on the topic.