How to Automate Everyday Tasks in Your SMB

For years, companies were held back by mundane business processes. These would typically consume significant time and resources, restricting employees from achieving their full potential and delivering on core competencies.

Since there were no alternatives, essential tasks such as contract management required human effort. Consequently, daily business tasks, such as meetings and email responses, consumed a large portion of the employees’ time.

Due to the recent technological advancements, more tasks can now be automated using digital software and advanced solutions. The process of automation of mundane tasks has transformed many daily routines, while significantly boosting productivity.

Automation shifts the focus of the employee onto more important tasks which directly contribute to better performance.

So, how exactly should you go about automating tasks in your SMB? Let’s examine some of the business tasks you can automate using a combination of applications on your computer and smartphone.

Marketing

Customer Support

Social Media

Content management programs such as HootSuite can help you to create social media posts in batches. The posts then can be dispersed at a rate you can set within the program. This means that you can send multiple posts at once or at regular intervals, according to your preferences. Moreover, Hootsuite allows you to coordinate various other functions within your social media.

Research

In today’s information age, Google Alerts and other competing programs are a godsend. By entering search terms for your industry associated with your competitors and your company, you can monitor online mentions in real-time. Such automated business tools can also help you track specific keywords over a given period, helping you optimize your marketing efforts. Google Alerts will save you time, automatically delivering content relevant to your business needs.

Blogging

If you have a blog on your website, platforms such as WordPress offer options to schedule posts in advance. Therefore, this tool allows you to write multiple blog posts, and slowly disseminate them to your audience at set intervals.

The automatic release of your blog articles saves you a lot of time since you don’t need to manually submit each post. In addition, you can even integrate social media posts to be set out simultaneously with your blog articles.

Customer Support

Customer Support

Using computer technology, you can automatically generate help desk tickets. This greatly improves the efficiency of your customer service team. Using the ticket system can streamline the process of resolving technology issues and responding to inquiries, ultimately reducing associated time and hassle.

Email Responding

If you frequently and repeatedly receive the same questions, canned responses can help you minimize the time taken to send the same response. However, since automated responses can be frustrating for consumers, it’s important to use them selectively.

When used correctly, automated responses can be useful for consumers, while saving you time and allowing you to focus on your core operations.

Blogging

Financial

Invoice Reminders

When a customer owes you payment, you can set up an automatic reminder using a tool such as Freshbooks. This software package will send alerts of overdue payments, while also signaling the payee with an automated email reminder.

The ability to send automated emails will allow your accounting team, or the requisite parties in question, to focus on important tasks.

Payroll

Apps such as Gusto allow you to automate the payroll process, which traditionally consumes significant amounts of time and money.

Your HR department will be relieved at the thought of not being bogged down twice a month during processing of staff payments.

Receipts

Accumulating piles of paper receipts that need to be organized can eat into a company’s morale. The mere thought of sifting through a mass of paper isn’t conducive to high performance, while also unnecessarily tying up your assets.

Fortunately, with modern apps such as Shoeboxed, you can automatically export the information you need. Moreover, you can use them for extracting actionable data to gain important insights. Once you’ve scanned your receipts, you should make a habit of taking pictures on the go to avoid a slog later on.

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