Easy Steps for Small Business Automation

Starting a business is a hands-on experience. Many times, small business owners find themselves working on accounting in one moment and customer service in the next moment. When your company is in the start-up phase, then it is necessary to have all-hands-on-deck to make sure that you are starting in the right way. But, don’t overlook the importance of implementing small business automation to set up for future success.

As your business grows, it is common to feel like your schedule is getting busier and busier. But, the truth is that you should be doing LESS as the company gains momentum. Setting the right systems in place will allow you to step back from the daily grind. Instead, you can focus on the overall strategy that is implemented throughout the company.

Here are a few options that you should consider for small business automation:

Software Solutions

There is no reason that you should be manually tracking details in a spreadsheet. Instead, find the right small business automation tools to manage the information so that you can reduce the busy work and free up your time. We live in an incredible digital era that makes it easier than ever to manage business expenses and other information. Consider using some of these automation tools:

  • Cloud-Based Accounting: All of your expenses and income can be tracked through a cloud-based accounting program. For the best hands-off solution, pair the automated software with an experienced accounting team. Your accountant will oversee the transactions that are moving through the account, complete regular reconciliations, and finalize the numbers to ensure that you have accurate reports. You can access this information anytime, anywhere through the online software.
  • Invoicing and Bill Tracking: Falling behind on your invoicing means that you will have a hard time managing cash flow. Unfortunately, invoicing sometimes falls to the backburner when other matters are more pressing. Instead, look for a solution that makes it easy to automate your invoicing. Often, this feature can be incorporated into your accounting software. You can also talk to your accounting team to get recommendations that work well with the rest of your accounting system.
  • Tracking Receipts: There is no reason that you should have a shoebox full of receipts and spending documents. Instead, implement a paperless filing system so that you don’t have the clutter of so much paper in the office. Dropbox can be a great solution to consider. Sign up for paperless statements, or take a picture or scan of each receipt/invoice, then file everything in an organized folder. This information can be shared easily with your accounting team for reconciliations.
  • Password Manager: Do you have the same password for every account so that you can remember the logins? If you are still using your pet’s name for your password, then it is time to make some changes. Passwords should be long and strong with multiple letters, numbers, and characters. Use an encrypted tool such as 1Password or Roboform to keep track of the credentials. Never store your passwords on a Post-It note or in a spreadsheet that can be accessed by other people.
  • Admin Tasks: Simple tasks can be outsourced to freelancers. For example, you shouldn’t be dedicating time to write blog posts or social media updates. Hire a freelancer to handle these tasks so that you have regular online publishing without spending hours every week on the task. You can find affordable help through freelancing websites, allowing you to access people with applicable skills and many years of experience with the tasks that you need.

Daily Tasks

Other tasks need to happen around the office to keep things going. Don’t let yourself get caught up in the tedious work. Instead, assign tasks to your staff or bring in outsourced services to help. These are some of the daily tasks that you can automate so that you don’t have to worry about the details:

  • Office Cleaning: You shouldn’t have to take out the garbage on your way out the door at night. Hire a cleaning service to scrub down the bathrooms, manage the garbage, and water the plants. These baseline tasks should always be addressed so that you don’t waste brain power thinking about these things.
  • Lunch Orders: It can take a lot of time to leave the office so that you can find something for lunch. Instead of spending an hour away from your desk, consider the option to have a pre-paid meal delivery service. You can submit your order in advance, and then the meal will show up in your office at the planned time. This service allows you to take a shorter lunch break because you don’t need to spend any time in the car.
  • Landscaping: If you own the building for your company, then it is essential that you invest in a good landscaping team. These services are helpful so that you can keep up with the outdoor appearance of the building. Remember: the curb appeal of your office will set the first impression when people come to visit. So, you need to make sure that you are setting the right tone for current and potential customers.
  • Snow Removal: Businesses located in cold areas need to also think about snow removal services. Often, these services are offered through landscaping companies. Instead of showing up an hour before the office opens so that you can shovel the sidewalks, it is nice to come to work and find that the snow has already been cleared.

Customer Management

There is no doubt that your customer relationships are the most important resource to your company. Maintaining positive relationships with your customers will increase the likelihood that people will come back in the future when they are ready to purchase again. Because customers are so important, business owners often dedicate a lot of time to customer management activities.

These are a few ways that you can automate customer interactions to reduce the time that you need to spend on these tasks each week:

  • Customer Service: It is important to provide fast, quality customer service. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to spend your day responding to emails or answering the phones. These tasks can be assigned to an employee. Or, you can outsource using websites such as Help Scout or Ruby Receptionist. Basic admin tasks can be handed off to these services, freeing up your time to focus on other important tasks for business growth.
  • Managing Communication: You need to be proactive to manage communication with your current and potential customers. One of the best things that you can do is put together an autoresponder series so that regular emails are sent. These messages should be personal and engaging, helping customers see that you are interested in their satisfaction.
  • CRM: One way that you can improve the personalization in your company is by implementing a database that tracks customer information. A good system will help you keep up with details such as the person’s birthday, their shopping history, and how much they have spent with your company. Then, you can send out personalized emails on birthdays or anniversaries. Additionally, you can offer discounts or coupons that are catered to their shopping habits.

Why You Need Small Business Automation

Automating these tasks in your company can give you the time and energy to level up your business results. If you are micro-managing every small detail, then you are stunting the growth of your company. Instead, you need to put the right systems in place so that you can automate these tasks. Letting go of some of the daily busy work will free up your schedule.

What will you do with the extra time? When you aren’t loaded down with busy work, then you can spend that time on business development. Research new product ideas, look for ways to boost your current services or optimize the office to improve results for your customers.

Another option is to spend your time building relationships. Forming the right business relationships is a valuable step to open up options for the future. You can’t put a price on important relationships. But, it can be hard to form these solid relationships if you are too busy working on the minor details in your company.

Our team at Easier Accounting understands the importance of small business automation. So, we are working hard to make it as easy as possible for you to manage your accounting and bookkeeping. We offer a wide range of services that will simplify your business management and make it easier than ever to help your business grow.

Whether you need help with basic bookkeeping tasks or you are looking for tax-strategy advice, we are here to offer the assistance that you need. You are welcome to contact us anytime for more information about the services that we offer. We’ve worked hard to identify the best solutions that will maximize results for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Call our team at Easier Accounting to see how we can help with your business automation systems: (888) 620-0770