With owning a business, you know that it’s always go, go, go. You rarely have any time to spare, because you’re constantly thinking of solutions, holding meetings, working to meet deadlines or working with your employees to make your business run smoothly. According to research from The Alternative Board (TAB), the average entrepreneur spends most of his or her time with day-to-day tasks as opposed to looking at the business as a whole and his or her long-term goals.
Have you looked at your task list to identify which things that you can automate in order to save you time? Here are a few tasks you can automate pretty easily so that you can spend your time more effectively:
- Responding to emails: If you use an email service like Gmail or Outlook, it’s worth looking into email templates or automated responses. You’re likely getting several emails a day that you’re answering with pretty much the same responses, like emails from clients or inquiries from potential clients. Load up some predefined responses so they’re at the ready. Instead of taking minutes to respond to emails, it can take a few seconds.
- Managing social media: Depending on the size of your business, you may or may not have a designated person or team to handle your social media. If you’re the one managing it, there are a number of apps and websites that can make it run more smoothly for you. HootSuite is arguably the most popular free social media management application out there. You can schedule posts ahead of time and out to multiple social media channels, like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. It even has its own built in analytics service that can come in very handy.
- Marketing emails: With services like Pardot and others, you can write out email campaigns once and then load them up to be automatically distributed when someone expresses interest in your services or products by downloading a white paper. The service auto-fires out each email for you. The first email may generate a lead, but if it doesn’t result in someone contacting you, then you can have a predetermined time set in the system for follow-up emails to send. After one week is a good general rule.
- Paying bills: The majority of banks and companies have auto-pay features so that you can set up each bill to be paid online and on time. Instead of manually writing out paper checks or keeping track of due dates every month, set up auto bill-pay to simplify your life.
Employ these easy tips to organize and stay on top of everything in your day-to-day business life so you can spend more of your valuable time looking at the bigger picture.