As a small business owner, your plate is always full. You need to manage daily administrative tasks, keep track of your expenses, and even handle customer complaints.
Some redundant tasks take up loads of your time, such as sending and responding to emails, scheduling meetings, and creating to-do lists. Automating these repetitive tasks can free up your time, so you can focus on more critical aspects of your business, such as strategy and customer needs.
This article will show you some of the business tasks you should automate to increase your business productivity.
1. Scheduling appointments
Booking a meeting with a prospect or a client can seem impossible sometimes. You suggest one date, and they tell you they are not available. They propose another date, and you tell them you will be busy. Finding the appropriate date ends up becoming a cat and mouse game.
But with scheduling apps, you can solve this problem. Share your calendar with others through email or embed it on your website. They will see when you’re available and select the time and date when they are also free to meet you. Once they book, the event will automatically be added to your schedule.
With a scheduling app, you can also block out the time when you are always busy with other tasks. So your days become more organized, and the quality of your output increases.
2. Market research
Qualitative research is the foundation of successful marketing. When you do research, you know how your prospects think and what their needs are. You also learn their buying behavior, including the marketing channels where they hang out. You discover how long it takes for your prospects to move from being unaware of their problem to being solution aware and making a purchase.
Qualitative research is time-consuming when done manually. Imagine listening to customer sales calls at your company to identify pain points, and reading social media mentions of your brand. By the time you’re done, you’ll be exhausted.
But what if there was a way to do research faster? Many SaaS apps can automate your research process. For example, DeepTalk AI is an app that analyzes texts, emails, chats, surveys, social networks, or general text data using artificial intelligence. It then identifies patterns that give you clues on your prospects’ pain points and behaviors.
Proxy servers can also simplify your research process by checking the entire web for you and providing a report of the gathered data.
3. Sorting and responding to emails
According to a 2018 survey by Adobe, employees spend approximately 5.6 hours a day sorting their work and personal emails and prioritizing which ones to respond to. You’re wasting 5 hours of your valuable working hours checking emails that sometimes may never impact your business.
What if you could reduce the amount of time you spent on email? Automation allows you to remove annoying emails or newsletters you no longer read. You can also create automatic responses for certain types of emails. For example, if someone applied for a position at your company, you could set an automatic reply informing them that you received their application and when they can expect an answer.
4. Data back-up
Most people never think about backing up their data until their computer crashes and loses vital information. If you’ve ever been in such a position, you’ve probably been extra cautious and now have a good backup in an external hard drive or the cloud.
What if backing up data could be automated? Well, it can! Cloud services like Google and Dropbox automatically back up your data, so you will no longer need to be worried if your computer gets destroyed or lost.
5. Recruiting and hiring
Hiring is the most crucial aspect of growing your business. If you hire the wrong people, your business’s growth will stall. But the right people will bring new ideas that can benefit your customers and help you achieve your business goals.
Even though you’ll have to eventually speak with potential hires, automation can help you immensely. For example, Ziprecruiter can send your job description to multiple job sites. So you don’t have to physically upload your job description on every job-hunting site.
Yello, a talent acquisition software, helps you simplify the hiring process by ensuring faster scheduling, video interviews, and candidate evaluations.
Manually performing redundant activities like checking all emails and scheduling meetings can be time-consuming. Automating these tasks gives you time to focus on more important things, such as your marketing strategy. You will also have more time for personal activities such as hanging out with friends and family or mastering a new skill.