If you are a small business owner like me, you need to keep your prices low to garner business and yet keep your overhead low to make more profit. So, what can you automate or farm out to others in order to have the time to do what you do best – sell your services?
For me, it was automating much of my accounting as this was a huge time drain for me. By purchasing accounting software I made billing customers faster and more accurate.
My next step was to automate my credit card billing process. By integrating my credit card billing into my accounting software I cut multiple steps of having to manually log payments.
I then looked very carefully at the simple, no thought process, tasks that I perform daily that seem to take up time and I have trained an assistant to do them affordably. Sometimes paying a flat rate to do a task can work, especially when it is with your own children. For me, I have my kids check off that my writers have turned in their blogs and done their tweets. That way I can focus only on the problems or late items that need my personal action. My kids make summer time money and I get more time to sell jobs.
I also decided that I needed to train a helper. Not everyone needs this, but if you can find someone competent you can train a person to do some of the repetitive tasks you do daily or weekly. For me, I use a helper to add blogs that customers write themselves to their blog control panel and add links that I have selected and written up in advance to social bookmarking services. I don’t let me helper do things that really require sophisticated knowledge or decisions that the client is really paying ME for, but for the mundane tasks that are a part of certain service offerings I try to use my helper.
By really reviewing what you can move off your daily queue, you can allow yourself more time to follow-up with leads, have more time to really talk to and service existing clients and prospects, and time to have a vision for your own business.
When you are so inundated with daily tasks you have no brain power left to create new services, position your own business where it needs to be on the Web, or to look for new ways to serve your existing clientèle. So, what can you automate to get back to what you love, which is why you started your own business in the first place? Let me know what you have automated by leaving a comment below.