If you want to save time and money in your business — and let’s face it, who doesn’t? — you should definitely consider taking advantage of technology that allows you to automate many common operational tasks.
With the aid of apps and other software, it’s possible to stop spending so much time on tasks you would normally have to repeat again and again, and instead have more free hours to devote to working on your business, rather than in it.
There are plenty of jobs you can outsource to a software provider for a free or low cost. Read on for some common tasks you can take off your to-do list today.
Most people don’t enjoy the accounting side of running a business and put off these jobs for as long as they can. That doesn’t tend to be a good thing for a venture though, as it’s important to keep a close eye on cashflow and expenses. Happily, with today’s technology, it’s possible to automate many of the normally tedious jobs to a computer system instead.
For example, payment processing can be made quicker and easier for both businesses and customers. Regular invoicing can be automated using a variety of accounting programs, including well-known ones like Xero and Freshbooks, and those set up through merchant services providers. These types of systems are even often able to generate automatic email reminders and send them to customers whenever a bill goes past its due date.
Using these same sorts of electronic billing and payment devices, it’s also less time consuming and less costly for businesses to receive money for goods and services sold. This is because, for customers, presentment for payment online is simple and straight forward. Electronic payments can be completed at any time of the day or night, so don’t rely on businesses or their customer service lines to be open; and bills can be paid using credit cards and other convenient methods.
Many accounting programs today also complete other handy functions for entrepreneurs. For example, they can:
· Automatically store receipts
· Code expenses
· Generate reports
· Compile expense claims
Payroll is also made easier with technology. Once you have staff members set up in a system you can program it to automatically create and send pay slips and yearly tax-related documents to each person.
Reporting is another task that business owners and managers have to deal with often if they want to grow a venture and identify current or potential issues. Whether you regularly look at sales, inventory, lead generation, profit, or other types of reports, consider using software to make your life easier.
You can take advantage of programs that will create form templates for you, as well as those which auto-fill fields with commonly-used information. Furthermore, many accounting programs, marketing platforms (such as Google Adwords or Google Analytics) and payroll systems also have functions whereby you can automatically generate reports as required.
When it comes to marketing, one of the most effective tasks you can do each day, week, or month is to send out an email newsletter to your database that lets people know about your latest deals, news, products and more. In addition though, it is also important to follow up with potential and current customers when they complete a variety of actions, so that you can encourage them to buy more often and spend more money.
Using specific online systems, you can take the time and hassle out of your follows up by creating automated emails which get sent out according to various triggers. For example, you might arrange for someone to receive a set email:
· When they sign up to your email list
· When they put items in their shopping cart
· When they complete a purchase
· When they haven’t bought from you again within a set period of time
Social media is another essential marketing tool that can eat up a huge amount of hours if you let it. To stop this from happening then, you should utilize some of the software programs that are available which automate much of the work for you.
You can write a variety of content and then have this posted for you at set times automatically (such as one post per hour, day or week); as well as use a platform to share your content on multiple social media sites at one time. You can also use tech which will help you identify industry leaders in your field, learn about which posts perform best online, and discover shareable content for your audience.