Automating your business often seems well outside the realm of possibility for most entrepreneurship and small business owners. However, automation doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. In fact, you are already using automation in your business if you have an email auto responder, shopping cart or online credit card processing or even email list management tool. These are all forms of automation. If you find more ways to automate, you can save time and improve productivity. You can use this productivity recipe to help you get started with business automation.
Automating Your Business
Ingredients for Automating Your Business
- Open mind. Be willing to try new things.
- 25 Ways You Can Automate Your Business Worksheet (Click here for your own copy)
Preparation (Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes)
- Download the worksheet. *Optional
- Set aside 1 hour as quiet time to focus on creating a plan.
Cooking (Cook Time: 30 min to 1 hour )
- Evaluate the different ways you might automate your business. The recommended worksheet can facilitate this process.
- Consider which areas would be easiest to automate with regards to training, implementation and cost. Rate these on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 being the easiest.
- Consider which areas would have the greatest impact on your time and productivity. Rate these on a scale from 1 to 5 with 5 having the greatest impact.
- Add up the two scores.
- The area with the highest score would be the place most likely to give you the biggest productivity and time savings return.
- Prioritize the results into a time line.
- Schedule the next steps for the top area.
- Add three to five additional areas to a project calendar for future implementation.
Yield: An automation business plan
Many of my coaching clients have avoided automating tasks in their business because they are already overwhelmed with the amount of work they have to just keep up. The idea of investing more time to save time later is a lot like telling someone living paycheck to paycheck that they have to save for retirement. It seems impossible. However, taking just one hour to step back and evaluate your business will help you to see areas where automation can be done quickly with very little investment of time and can reap significant results in the short term. It’s much like suggesting to those unable to invest in retirement that eliminating one fast food meal a week could get them started now on a retirement plan for their future. They probably never thought of it that way.
Automating your business can save you time in several ways including:
- Automation works faster than humans can.
- It can help eliminate errors that cost extra time.
- Automation allows for deeper levels of interaction that you just don’t have time for now.
Hopefully, by now, you’ve been able to see that getting started automating your business doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, automating aspects of your business that you are currently doing may free you up to do more work that is income producing. If you make just $20 an hour in your business (and probably a WHOLE lot more than that) and you save an hour of work by using an automation that costs $20, you are now making a significant return on your investment.
It also doesn’t have to be high tech and it can be done with a minimal budget and by just about anyone with basic computer skills. Be open to ideas around how automation may not require fancy coding skills or a brain that is more computer savvy than yours. Even using a crock pot to cook dinner is a form of automation.
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