7 Things Every Entrepreneur Should AutomateSeptember 23, 2020
Your time is valuable, and if you don’t treat it as such it will flitter away until there’s none left. The goal is to clear blank space to focus on big, needle-moving projects and incredible opportunities. If you’re drowning in admin, that isn’t going to happen.
Use automation like an expert to free up space and help you do more of what matters. Here are seven things every entrepreneur should automate.
Their email responder
If you’re running a business and juggling lots of moving parts, it’s likely you’ll be asked a lot of questions. An entrepreneur’s inbox can receive thousands of emails per day; so make sure you don’t miss the important ones among the unimportant, and make sure you don’t spend your day responding to queries. If someone emails you, they should be directed exactly where they need to go, without you having to respond. Tim Ferriss calls email “the single largest interruption in modern life” and recommends the all-encompassing autoresponder for those looking to achieve more.
The best email responders I’ve seen direct people to a few different places depending on what they are looking for. Sales enquiries, FAQs, quick questions. Put a comprehensive autoresponder in place and watch 80% of people solve their own query. Go one step further by linking to a now page, that explains what you’re currently working on, what you’re saying yes to and what you’re saying no to.
Mailing list building
Your mailing list should be growing around the clock, without you having any manual input. If you’re downloading CSV files just to upload them somewhere else, you’re doing the work of a robot and it needs to stop. Integrate your software using tools like Zapier to take the legwork out.
Jot down a list of all the places where people could join your email list, and make each more compelling. Give a specific reward or gift for subscribing. A discount code, a freebie, a download, or access to an amazing workshop. Make joining your list a no-brainer for anyone who lands on your site. Make the signup place more obvious. Think, “would I join this list?” Make use of every platform available to direct people there, and get your team involved. Your mailing list is your ticket to massive growth so don’t get in its way.
Digital advertising can take what’s already working and make it huge, or it can waste your money faster than anything. Dig into your customer life cycle and make every touchpoint exceptional, then test all the ads you can by sending people through it. When your sales exceed your ads cost, ramp it up.
Make use of automated ads tools to do the monitoring for you. Set maximum bid caps, set daily budget. Leave Facebook’s ads tools to tell you which ads are best. You can analyze yourself all you like, but set the parameters so your input is minimal and you can maximise your efforts elsewhere.
Your home should enhance your work, not be another form of work. Automate everything you can. Get your food shop on a schedule and buy a robot hoover. Use Amazon Dash. Put default processes in place and take yourself out of house admin. Make repeating calendar entries to take the conversation out of where to eat. Let your friends choose your next trip.
Household chores should not be able to detract from your work. Your headspace and willpower is a finite resource, so use it wisely. Chances are, you have the same conversations and do the same things every single month. Get good at working out what could be on a schedule and free up space to relax.
Rarely does anyone hear a life-changing “yes” the first time they ask for something. Publishers, journalists, prospects and partnerships all require some form of follow up. The biggest deals usually require persistence. Don’t leave it to chance and don’t let them think you’re not bothered.
Automate your follow ups with regular reminders. Create some automated tasks, and every time you make a request, add their name to the next round. Never let yourself slip through someone’s net again.
It can be easy to get tunnel vision when running a business, rarely coming up for air. Continuous improvement requires continuous learning; keeping your mind fresh and receiving regular doses of inspiration to spark new ideas. I’m not talking about news sites and social media, I mean new inventions, trends, case studies and technology. But trawling through the internet to find the latest, most trustworthy and most relevant articles is a huge time outlay.
Write a list of the best thinkers you know and subscribe to their email lists. Leave them to do the curation of the world’s advancements and consume them in bite-size chunks at your convenience. Make a commitment to reading what you receive and exploring anything relevant further. Automate a direct line between their brain and yours to advance without the admin.
Entrepreneurs can be guilty of forgoing their own wealth and wellbeing in favour of their team. You’d never email a team member whilst on holiday, yet you find yourself checking your inbox on yours. You’d never pay someone late, yet you miss your own name off the wage list regularly. It sends signals to your brain that you aren’t valued. Your actions and intentions conflict.
Automate paying yourself. Weekly, fortnightly, or whatever frequency you prefer. Train a mindset of abundance and receive regular reminders that you are paid for the work you do, that adds value to others.
Great businesses and relaxed business owners are made of slick processes that run smoothly without them. Don’t rely on remembering to do something for it to happen. Make more happen by default. Remove yourself as a bottleneck to progress and watch your business flourish.