Whether you’re running your business solo or have hired help, doing too much manual work can feel like a grind. I mean, how many times have you thought, “Ugh, this again?” Manual work is just that… work. The tasks never go away or get easier if we continue to do them from scratch every time.
Another unfortunate byproduct of manual work is the increased possibility of making errors – especially if we’re working too fast or are buried in work.
Utilizing automations can save you time, headaches, and mistakes when you used thoughtfully. But where do you start? I suggest starting with these five simple automations.
TIP 1: Canned Emails + Snippets
Retyping the same message repeatedly is a good way to lose your momentum. Create templated emails or snippets of text to answer frequently asked questions, inquiry responses, or additional information that may be requested. Think beyond your sales process and autoresponders. Snippets are useful for your scheduling links, products or services you’re currently promoting, or frequently shared resources/recommendations. These are super easy to set up in any email client and mass emailing provider (psst, my favorite is Convertkit.)
TIP 2: Checklist Templates
I love a good checklist, don’t you?! As you’re working, create simple checklists of your steps. No need to make a thing of it. Pop open your tool of choice (I personally love the checklists in Trello) and start jotting down what you’re doing as you do it. Then, the next time you have do that task or workflow, you won’t have to worry about missing a step. Need more benefits for this? Using checklist templates allow you to build an operations library to make future delegation easier and gives you a foundation to build upon.
TIP 3: Predictive Text
Use the predictive text function in your phone (or on Instagram! Yes, it’s a thing!) to create templates of text. Simply search “how change predictive text on [insert name of device here]?” and get to work! This is great for responding to frequently asked questions, such as information about your services/products, scheduling links, or contact information.
TIP 4: Zapier Integrations
Have you heard of Zapier? If not, your life is about to be changed. Zapier is a powerful tool that builds integrations between apps. It’s not an app itself. Instead, you give Zapier permission to build connections between seemingly unrelated apps to create automations. It’s free to get started so definitely check out their library of partnerships (which is always growing!)
TIP 5: Optimize CRM Workflows
If you have a service-based business and don’t have a CRM (customer relationship manager), I highly recommend you get one as soon as possible. Not only will it allow you to build templates and tools to make running your business easier, they have workflows built in to maximize automation. Never worry about skipping steps on-boarding, servicing, or off-boarding clients by designing actionable workflows. Don’t know where to get started? Dubsado is my favorite – you can check it out here.
Take my on-demand Client Experience Mapping course to identify additional opportunities to use automation in your business to deliver exceptional service. Click here to learn more.
Jen Lawrence is a productivity and systems expert passionate about creating ease through systems. With over fifteen years of administrative and project management experience, she helps entrepreneurs develop custom client experience and operations solutions so they can transition from the Chief of Everything to CEO. Learn more about Jen Lawrence at http://www.jenlawrence.co.