If Time Is Money, Automation Can Buy Lots of It!By Nina Kaufman, Esq.
I was having lunch the other day with Sam. His business is bursting at the seams—a problem you think he’d be thrilled to have—yet, he’s losing his mind. “So much of my day is spent maintaining what I’ve already built—it’s like I can’t escape the daily grind. I haven’t take a day off all year!” he lamented.
Sound familiar? You dreamed of being independent but you’ve only become enslaved by a new master. And your business can’t grow in a sustainable way if ultimately it rests on your shoulders.
One way to get responsibilities off your shoulders is to delegate to your team. For many functions, that’s the right way to go. For others, you can save time and money—and ensure consistency—by delegating to technology.
What Can You Automate?
As was once said about comedienne Kathy Griffin’s career, look at the “D list.” What are all of the activities that don’t absolutely, positively need YOU to complete them? For example, I’ve automated the distribution of my newsletter, All Systems Go, and sharing my blogs via social media. (Savings: easily a couple of hours a week). What lower-level tasks do you perform on a regular basis?
As I’ve helped clients optimize their workday, here are several processes that are frequent candidates for automation. You may have others:
- Accounting. Who doesn’t want to minimize their time spent keeping the books? Even accountants I know don’t like accounting and automate as much of their work as they can. There are a number of great accounting solutions on the market that are affordable for companies of any size.
- Invoicing. You have to invoice if you want to get paid but this repetitive task begs for automation. Depending on the volume of invoices you produce you can either automate or delegate these tasks to save time.
- Marketing. Yes, marketing is a critical function, but there are many marketing tasks that can be automated. I mentioned how I automate blog distribution. Look for ways to expand your marketing campaign by automating parts of it. Might autoresponders be a solution?
When Do You Start to Automate?
Yesterday. (Seriously, do it as soon as you can). Repetitive tasks are costly to your business—they impede growth and reduce the value of your company. But don’t automate rashly. Start by getting yourself off the “D” list and make smart choices.
Tip: Don’t try a Big Bang approach to automation. Choose a task and make it work before moving on to automating the next task.