Business automation is constantly a hot topic to avoid time wasters and squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of a business. Although automation has long been the tool of the mega corporation, small businesses could see the biggest benefit as automation allows a lean staff to do more with less. Automation tools are becoming more widely available and can be surprisingly inexpensive or even free. If you run a small business, check out these great ways you can automate.
Replenish your supplies
Instead of worrying about what supplies are needed around the office such as shipping products or break room odds and ends, you can have the needed items set to automatically restock through companies like Staples and Amazon, or talk to other small businesses in your area.
Collect customer info & follow up
Capturing leads and nurturing those leads has become easier than ever using automation. With options ranging from adding free plug-ins to a WordPress blog and a fully integrated system such as Hubspot, you can rely on your website and marketing efforts to bring in new leads while you focus on closing leads and providing a great product.
A CRM or customer relationship manager is an essential tool to manage clientele and track the sales process so you and your sales team don’t miss out on any opportunities. These tools allow sales people to stay connected to clients, usually with mobile applications so staff can stay mobile. Salesforce and SAP are great examples of large CRM options but there are choices that may be more suited to a small business such as insight.ly
Sometimes you have business tasks that need to be completed but hiring a new employee might not be in the budget, a great answer is looking for freelance workers. Using Craigslist or websites like Elance allow you to hire freelance workers for quick jobs ranging from graphic design or customer service.