10 Tools to Help Automate Your Small Business Tasks
Whenever you can automate a task, do it.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
As a small business owner, you're probably looking to save as much time, money and labor as you can. Saving is the name of the game.
However, while it might save you slightly to do certain things yourself, your time is valuable. Certain processes are cheaper, more efficient and effective when automated. Here are 10 helpful tools to get your processes rolling so you can focus on what's important: growing your business to success.
As so many firms are starting to utilize Facebook Messenger and in their marketing and sales process, ChattyPeople is looking to help make integration into Messenger seamless. ChattyPeople acts as a one-stop shop for all your Messenger E-Commerce needs. Their platform allows for you to put up products, track metrics, and even integrates with all major payment systems. If your small business is looking to sell online, then ChattyPeople is definitely a great tool to have.
2. Deluxe Payroll
If you aren't already automating your payroll services, then I highly suggest you start now. Not only do companies like Deluxe take the stress out of handling payday, they additionally have the support staff to help keep with regulations as well. Plus, using a platform like this add an extra layer of security to your payroll services, leaving you with a sense of comfort that there won't be any discrepancies.
MailChimp has been an absolutely dominant player in the automated marketing world, and rightfully so. Their platform not only makes email marketing easier, but they've now expanded to allowing for social media automation as well. This is a savior for any small business looking to help make their marketing efforts more efficient.
If Mailchimp helps automate the design and posting process of your marketing efforts, then look towards Buffer as a great support. Buffer allows you to schedule out your social media posts to the most efficient times, letting you set up and let the rest do the work. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to plan out your weekly/monthly social media at once rather than constantly having to be reminded of it.
Coming up with quality b2b leads can be a tedious, mind numbing task, but that's the exact process Leadcrunch is trying to eliminate. By using Artificial Intelligence, they're able to compile quality leads that accurately predict who you would be most successful at doing business with. Not only is this a huge time saver, but it's going to completely change the way we think about sales in the near future.
Most people know Slack for its ease-of-use in terms of communications for teams, but that barely scratches the surface. Its capabilities stretch far and wide in additionally automating processes such as communicating deployment for development teams. Yes, Slack can do much more than meets the eye, as well as can help synthesize a lot of your efforts into one place.
Hootsuite takes the pain out of going through your different social media accounts by aggregating them all to one place. It additionally allows you to assign different tasks to your team, as well as gauge the success rate of posts. In trying to design a one-stop shop for social, Hootsuite knocked it right out of the park.
When it comes to keeping track of expenses, Quickbooks is the clear winner. Not only can it perform tasks like mileage tracking, expense reporting, and automating your taxes, but it additionally displays it all in one place. This is a huge time saver for most businesses and definitely something you should consider if you're looking to ease up on the time you spend handling logistics.
Quip is a great tool in helping teams automate tasks and assignments. This helps make workflow more productive and efficient, saving your team a ton of time. Plus, it helps keep everyone on the same page in being able to communicate in a streamlined channel. Think about using Quip if you're looking to improve your team's processes.
Scheduling appointments can be a headache, with seeing what dates are available as well as when. Not only that, but missed appointments caused by communication errors can be a huge time waster (sometimes taking up an entire day). However, that's what the folks over at Doodle are trying to solve. The product is stupidly simple- just plug in the times when you're available and when someone books it an appointment, it's already shipped for confirmation to your calendar. See? I told you it was simple.