Let's face it, running a business is hard work. BUT there are ways of making it easier for yourself. Some people like to be in control and don't want to automate systems but for the love of yourself and those around you look into it. They can take so much stress away from you. Sure, they take a bit of work to set up but once done you can relax, and it is one less thing you have to worry about.
Types of Automation
Before I get into all of the nitty-gritty involved in process automation, it is important that we assess this in two parts. When your company is ready to get automated, I suggest looking at it like this:
1. Individual automated system: Automation has an incredible way of optimising your own workflow. It will also ensure that you are working a lot faster in lesser time on a personal level. This is not only important as an employer but an employee too as everyone can benefit from personal optimisation.
2. Team-based automated system: This level of automation is aimed at supporting all of your staff in their work ventures. From increased efficiency, speed and convenience and automation processes ultimately give your business its competitive edge.
Now, I must admit that I LOVE Automated Systems! Not only are they a major part of my own life, but that of my teams too! So, to help guide you, I have listed all of my favourites below!
My favourite automated systems
1. Management systems
As someone that has been running a business for quite a while now, I can confidently tell you that automated management systems are the future. True automation begins within your own workforce before you can implement it outward.
By having a system that caters to the basic running of your business you will not only help lower most of your operational costs but optimise your resources and time both personally and on a team-based level. These management systems that give you an overview of all of your work operations will also allow you to improve your processes and seize new growth and work opportunities.
Some popular management systems that can help with elements like meeting slides, task tracking, performance reviews and more are:
But my absolute favourite is ClickUp!
ClickUp has so much to offer. It sure can be overwhelming at first however once you are set up it really transformed my business! Click this link to check it out. (Please note I DO get rewarded if you sign up, but I would not recommend anything I don't love)
2. Canned Responses
Ever feel like you are typing the same email again and again and again? If you use Gmail, you can simply turn on canned responses and have all the common things you say right there. It is super convenient!
I still personalise my emails, but if it is something I repeat all the time, I will create a canned response. I'm sure there is something similar for outlook, if not though, try creating a word document for yourself.
So, to help streamline your emails, which can easily become overwhelming, I suggest using Google and Outlook’s automated response option! It is a time (and quite frankly life) saver!
3. Social Media Scheduling
I am a sucker when it comes to posting on Instagram and Facebook. I have all these good ideas to post but you don't want to bombard your audience all at once and then I forget all the ideas I had when it comes time to post.
So, now I schedule my social media for Monday mornings, and I use one of the many programs out there to post my content for me! It is super easy and so easy to see what you are posting and when.
I personally enjoy using Later.
https://later.com/r/e5c2d7- This link will give you an extra 10 posts free per month!
4. Automated Email responders
I know I hate the feeling when I send an email and I don't know if they have received it. Hence why I set up an automated email responder. In my email I thank them for the email, tell them my working hours and when they can expect a response. I find this is great for setting expectations and that way you also don't have someone on the other end getting cranky you haven't responded.
Again, this crucial automated system can be found under your email settings. This is where you will be able to draft a message and ultimately breathe a sigh of relief!
5. Calendar Schedulers
Sometimes making times to meet with people can be painful, there are any emails going back and forth trying to figure out the best time to meet.
There are many great scheduling tools available such as:
But my favourite is TidyCal by AppSumo.
- It is a one-off fee! Unlike other schedulers where you have to pay a monthly fee.
- It is VERY basic which is great for usability, but is a program that the developers keep improving.
- Easy to embed into websites
- Can make unlimited types of bookings at no extra cost.
Try it out here!
Points to keep in mind about automated systems
- Try not to choose an automated system that is difficult to use, understand or integrate into your existing systems. Not only is this frustrating but incredibly time-consuming!
- Have a goal for your automated system. Explore its uses and test it against your list of expectations and needs to see if it’s genuinely worthwhile.
- Opt for integrations that offer a clear win! When you add an automated system to your workflow you want its benefits and workflow automation to be obvious and apparent.
- It is best to use automated systems that come with quick and easy repairs that will not negatively affect your business (or personal) workflow when an error occurs.
- Embrace automated systems that have been tried and tested. Scrolled through the review section and browse through other people’s experiences with the automated system. It’s easy for a company to claim that their system is the best however it’s important that other people validate that claim!
Improve your business from the inside out by embracing the power of automated systems! They will change the way you do business - for the better!