It can be exciting to see the results of your hard work when your business is growing, but it is also common to face difficulties during this time.
Growing pains can look a little something like this:
- Daily chores, like communications and organization, become overwhelming.
- You spend more time on mundane tasks than on strategy or business development.
- Your marketing efforts fall behind as you’re tied up with client work.
The challenge is to find ways to sustain growth in the face of these obstacles So how do you sustainably expand your business?
We suggest that instead of outsourcing more work or reducing the amount of sleep you get, you identify the areas where your workflow is slowed down and implement tools to automate those areas.
You cannot handle everything manually if you want to grow.
A business automation tool is a software developed to solve inefficiencies that occur regularly.
There are many benefits to using software programs to help run your business.
After deciding what processes to automate, your company will need to choose the right tools for the job.
This blog will help you find the answer to the question, which will require some internal digging. And here’s the good news! You don’t need all of them. There is a good chance that you will only need one or two tools to automate most of the boring manual tasks.
1. Marketing Automation Tools
It would be impractical to email every customer individually whenever you wanted to share something about your company. Yikes! Before automation, marketers would spend a lot of time on similar tasks that were boring.
Thankfully, today we have marketing automation tools. They help remove repetitive work so you can efficiently reach your marketing goals.
There are many automation tools that serve different marketing needs. And some are better than others. We’ve chosen two marketing automation tools that are easy to use and have more capabilities than their competitors.
Marketing automation tools are powerful digital marketing platforms that allow companies to track and target customers with automated marketing messages.
- Do everything that the majority of email marketing solutions allow you to do
- Segment contacts dynamically
- Implement an “if, then” automated email campaign
- Maintain strong email deliverability rates
- Send the right message at the right time to the right contacts
Implementing Marketing Automation tools can help businesses succeed.
2. Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing tools allow you to…
- set up web forms
- auto responders
- and give you basic email marketing reports (open rates, click-through rates, etc)
Autoresponders are a series of emails that are sent out automatically after a web form is filled out.
They also provide flexible API interfaces which can be integrated with other systems, such as contact management systems and shopping cart solutions.
At a minimum, you will need a basic email marketing tool that is free. Mail Chimp offers a free, no obligation plan so businesses can start using email marketing early on.
3. Business Process Automation Tools
As your business grows, so does the demand for automated processes and management systems that provide a comprehensive overview.
This is where business process automation tools can be useful. BPA is the use of software to automate complex business processes or transactions. This can include tasks such as tracking inventory, managing customer data, or processing employee payroll.
Many business processes involve multiple systems and steps when they don’t need to. When you link various systems and data sets together, you can make various tasks easier. If you use automation, you are less likely to make mistakes.
The goal of this is to make your workflow more efficient to support your employees and keep operational costs low.
4. Contact Relationship Management Tools
A contact management system (CRM) has many benefits for small businesses. Small business owners often do not use CRM software, even though it could be beneficial.
A CRM system can be used to store data about prospects or customers, manage workflows, sales processes, and much more.
The importance of having a CRM solution cannot be overstated. If you use a CRM solution in your business, you will make fewer mistakes related to managing workflows and sales pipelines. APIs for CRMs are typically flexible so they can be integrated with other platforms, like email marketing and shopping cart solutions.
5. Shopping Cart Tools
If your business needs a place to sell products or services online, accept payments securely, and do it all with high levels of encryption and security, then you need a shopping cart solution.
When deciding on a shopping cart solution for your business, there are many options to choose from, which can be confusing. It is important to consider your business’s needs when making this decision. Most shopping cart solutions can be integrated with other platforms because they have open API interfaces.
There is value in having a shopping cart for any type of business. You can keep track of customers’ purchases, how often they make purchases, and how much they spend on average using a shopping cart. Additionally, you can give customers the opportunity to purchase items on their own through your sales funnel or website. Who doesn’t like to make money automatically?
If you are a small, service-based business that only completes a few transactions each month, you may be able to get away without having a shopping cart. You can use solutions like Quickbooks, Freshbooks, or Paypal instead of leaning on them. Shopping carts can be useful for almost any type or level of business. To automate the sales cycle in a business, a shopping cart is essential.
6. Client Onboarding Automation Tools
The onboarding process is important to establish a good working relationship.
Since first impressions are important, you and your clients should find this step easy to do.
Lots of information and data needs to be exchanged and gathered before a project can even begin. It is important to have a process that is easy for customers to follow so that their expectations are met.
Tools that automate the onboarding process for new clients can help you to ensure that everything is done properly. A great software will minimize the amount of downstream issues, remove time-consuming onboarding tasks, and leave more time to focus on important work, like nurturing strong client relationships.
7. Social Media Automation Tools
Having a strong social media presence is one of the most important things for your brand today. The “About Us” section is where you tell customers what your business is all about. It can be helpful to connect with the people who care about you.
Keeping up with your social media accounts can be time-consuming. Investing in automation for your social media tasks can save you a lot of time and stress, and ultimately help improve your bottom line.
8. All-In-One Solutions
This is a rarity in platforms for small businesses. There are only a few all-in-one solutions that have a cross-list of features. An all-in-one solution refers to a type of technology that can automate multiple tasks or processes. This type of solution is often more expensive than a single-featured solution. The trade-off for the higher cost of all-in-one solutions is that they can handle multiple functions that would normally require multiple separate solutions. This saves money by avoiding the need to purchase multiple solutions, and saves time by reducing the amount of time needed to switch between systems. This is a huge challenge for businesses that are growing rapidly, as it not only hampers growth but also takes away opportunities.
Ok, now for the fun part…
The following are some advanced automated processes that can be implemented. Remember that you can use a combination of different platforms to create these processes, either through an API or with a marketing automation solution.
- Track lead sources and produce ROI reports that show cost per visitors, lead, and customer.
- Webinar registration and follow up
- Interest or behavior-based offers
- Affiliate registration and follow up campaigns
- Sales process targeted follow-up and scheduled tasks
- Dynamic marketing based on actions, behaviors, purchases, and more.
- Full internal workflow processes
- Full billing and purchasing support; automated billing, emails when billing errors occur, assigned tasks
- Retention processes
- Responses when actions occur in membership-website based products
- Targeted up-sells, down-sells, or cross-sells
There are endless possibilities, especially when you are using all-in-one or marketing automation solutions. They are designed to be very flexible and robust, and to work with outside platforms, plug-ins, and software solutions to create automated systems for your business. platforms that have fewer features and focus only on…
- email marketing
- contact relationship management,
- shopping cart
Marketing automation platforms offer a significant value proposition as they provide the ability to construct marketing processes and workflows that would otherwise be difficult to manage manually. These systems can help to optimize and automate marketing efforts, making it easier to measure campaign effectiveness and ROI.
- create efficiencies
- and additional revenue streams
A singular solution refers to using one method to fix a problem, as opposed to multiple methods. This term is often used in business, as businesses often have to choose between using multiple API-connected solutions, or one singular solution. These are designed for businesses that have hundreds or thousands of leads and customers, and they come with a corresponding price tag. Although these marketing automation and all-in-one systems can be very helpful for businesses that have a lot of customers and leads, they are not designed for everyone and can be quite expensive. As soon as a company makes money and starts having problems from growing too quickly, that is the perfect moment to start using a marketing automation program or an all-in-one solution. At the end of the day, prioritize putting systems in place for your business. All solutions do this to varying degrees.
Automation that brings everything together
Sometimes the issue isn’t being able to find tools you like, it’s getting them to work well together.
There is software available that is specialized in this area and is very effective. They make all of your favorite applications work together.
You can set up triggers and actions between different apps so you don’t have to keep manually transferring data between them. When you focus on progress, you spend less time on needless processes.
Best for: automating tasks between two or more apps.
Zapier can be thought of as an app that connects different services together. It allows you to automate tasks between two or more web-based apps.
Zapier integrates with over 3,000 apps to make sure it is user-friendly. Use the simple command “when this happens, do that” to easily set up a trigger event and one or more actions between apps.
Features to love:
- An uncomplicated editor to set up automations, no programming or code required.
- Pre-made Zap templates with commonly-used automations between popular apps.
- Integration with 3000+ apps across different roles and industries.
Pricing: $ to $$$, Low to High
Zapier offers a free plan for an unlimited time with 5 Zaps and 100 tasks per month.
You can upgrade to the company plan for $599 per month. This plan includes unlimited Zaps, 100,000 tasks per month, and a more extensive list of features.
Kick time-sinking tasks to the curb
Workplace automation is not something that might happen in the future, it is something that is definitely going to happen. The future of companies will be based on automation (a system we are big fans of here at Content Snare). A global survey by McKinsey & Co. found that 66% of business leaders were already testing automation solutions for at least one business process in 2020.
Its not always easy to know what or when to automate. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every business is unique, and so are its needs.
You can identify which processes need assistance by learning about various automation tools. If it seems like you’re spending too much time on tasks that aren’t productive or that you’re doing over and over, it might be time to get a tool that can help your business.
THE PROBLEM: YOUR BUSINESS ISN’T GROWING AS FAST AS IT SHOULD!
Your sales have stagnated or decreased, and you cannot figure out why. Discover what is holding you back from achieving predictable sales growth in your business.
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