Business ownership isn’t always fun. Think of a repetitive, mundane administrative task that a business requires. As an owner you make time for it and do it because you have to, but that time could absolutely be spent accomplishing something else more productive – like growing your business.
When you think of automation, you probably think about huge corporations who automate manufacturing or delivery routes – but small businesses can benefit from automation too. Many entrepreneurs are either unaware of or discount the potential benefits automation can bring to their business lives.
Ok, what can a small business automate?
Your marketing strategy:
Marketing is the lifeblood of your business – it’s what brings new customers in through the door. Your email marketing and social media exposure are incredibly important – and can absolutely be automated. There are a myriad of companies that can creatively automate your email marketing to ensure you stay active in a customer’s inbox, and there are are also services available that can help manage and schedule your social media posts so you don’t have to.
Keeping track of invoices, managing your financial records and tracking expenses can be very time consuming – but with accounting software you can automate many aspects of your business accounting. Once you have systems set up and in place your new transactions can be easily categorized, filed and paid.
Long gone are the days of physical signatures and fax machines – now most of the paperwork, sales documents and contracts you need can be sent and signed electronically in seconds. Copies are immediately sent to all parties involved, taking another task off your plate.
If your business is big enough to have employees but small enough that a full-time payroll person isn’t in the cards – there are many services that can take the payroll pressure off of your plate. Set it up and it can run on its own.
A caveat here. There are many, many services/companies/software options out there. It is incredibly important that you do your homework when selecting an automated service to ensure that the time it saves you will be worth it.
Ok, I’ll look into automation – but how can automation help business owners and business buyers?
Another major bonus to automating some of the administrative tasks within your business? When the time comes to sell, buyers will see that you’ve taken the “work smarter, not harder” approach when it comes to your business. This will speak volumes about how you see a business owner’s time as valuable and about how you have placed a priority on streamlining the business to make it successful.
As you look at how prospective businesses are run and how the current owner spends their time, think “how can I automate this so I can turn the time I would have spent on this task into growth for my new business?” By thinking about the aspects of the business you can automate, you will be better prepared to see the potential of a new business opportunity instead of just what’s currently there.
If you’ve never considered how automation could help your current or future small business, now is as good a time as any to start. Thoroughly research your options – then decide what could help you take some of the drudgery of business ownership off your plate.
Do you own a business and would like to know more about how streamlining your business may impress buyers? Are you considering buying a business and want to know what types of automation would best suit the industries you are interested in? Please feel free to leave any questions or comments and we would be happy to help.