Prepping for 2019: Identify where automation can make a world of difference.

With Christmas upon us, thoughts about the New Year aren’t far behind. For many of us, we start to consider what it is we’d like to achieve. What do we want to build? What do we want to leave behind? What changes, ideas, and innovations can we implement to give ourselves space for expansive and exciting growth? 

For small business owners, the notion of growth can be both exhilarating - and terrifying. Balancing overhead alongside opportunity is not for the faint of heart. There may be natural areas you can identify that are ripe for attention, but the thought of bringing on another employee to give you the muscle you need is prohibitive.

Before the resolutions kick in in earnest, I’d encourage you to take a step back and look at the year that’s been. What’s worked well for you and your team? Where are your pain points? Are there areas where simple, innovative changes could make a world of difference to your output and success rates?

Take the time to carry out an automations audit before the rush of the new year begins, and you may be able to arm yourself with the tools you need for growth - without adding a single dollar to your overheads. 

Brew a cup of coffee, sit down, and consider these questions…

  • Where is there manual repetition? If areas of your day-to-day activities involve heavily repetitive tasks, I can almost guarantee that automation can take the load. Examine whether automation could take over the process when a new lead engages with your website, or handle your customer service enquiries to lift the brunt out of an employee’s inbox.  Identifying how automation can radically reduce the repetition in your workflows can save you time and money every single day of the year. (Hint: Zapier offers full customisation for repetitive workflows.) 
  • Are your employees working outside of their job descriptions? Small teams often find themselves juggling tasks that fall well outside of their core roles. If you’ve got your administration officer managing your marketing, or a sales executive responding to incoming enquiries, there’s space for automated processes to reduce the time spent outside of the areas where your employees are most effective.  (Hint: Buffer’s the social media scheduler that could save the day.)
  • Do you spend time hunting for files? If you’re still working in a paper-heavy environment, beginning your automations audit with the digitisation of your workflow will open the door to fluid communication and management solutions. It’s almost 2019 - save the trees, and your time, by keeping your files in the cloud, and not in an overstuffed filing cabinet.  (Hint: pair your CRM of choice with a scanner such as Evernote Scanner for immediate results.)

What’s on your automation checklist? Small changes add up to big results. Chat to your team, examine your workflows, and let automation become 2019’s MVP.

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