Are you running your business in the same old fashion that you used to run pre-COVID? Business owners are now adapting business automation solutions to increase efficiency and to run the business smartly. Post-pandemic, business automation is just not a choice, it has become a necessity for every business owner. Though the list is endless, here we will discuss the top 10 things which every business owner should automate to optimize their business processes.
What are the top 10 things that Business owners should Automate?
Let's start with the processes which you need to automate in your business:
How to immediately respond to your customers? The first thing which you need to implement is the response automation. Whenever a customer reaches out to you, you need to have a system where you're able to automatically respond to the customer asap. Now, if you use Google Form on your website, then using the Form Notification add on, you can automatically send the email to them, and you also can be notified that somebody has reached out to you.
So, the first thing which you should automate is to start responding automatically and immediately to the clients when they reach out to you.
You might be getting numerous enquiries from various sources like IndiaMART or from some referrals or from Facebook ads etc.. While assigning the enquiries to yourself or your teammates manually, there is no way you can track on how many enquiries you got and which employee is handling which enquiry and what is the status of each enquiry. But that can be solved forever by using a CRM tool.
CRM, customer relationship management, helps the business owners to manage the enquiries in the business. Without a CRM, it's like running a car without an engine. So, it's very important that you start using a CRM tool to manage your enquiries, and assign it to your teammates through a proper system.
Assigning the enquiries to your teammates is not enough, you must make sure that they are taking proper follow ups from those clients or prospects. So, you need to automate the follow-up processes as well.
In the CRM, there is a functionality which allows your teammate to set a reminder, so that they are reminded at the exact date, time and from which client they need to take the follow-up. You can also get the entire follow-up history to analyse on how much effort your teammate is putting on converting that enquiry into a customer.
Do you also want to automate your business processes? Attend our Business Automation Masterclass.
The next thing which you need to automate is networking. More than 90% of business owners are dependent on generating enquiries from their network. They meet so many people every month, every year, but they are not able to get in touch with them on a consistent basis.
So, what do our students do? They do networking using technology. They have a Google Form on their mobile, whenever they meet somebody, instead of exchanging a business card, they add their data on the Google Form. Now, by using Form Notification add-on, they're able to send an automated email to the person they have just met, including the brochure and other details, and that data get added to their email marketing system where through email marketing they’re able to stay in touch with their network, adding the value and always being on the mind of the prospects and on the mind of their network as well. So, as they say, "Out of sight, out of mind." If you want to grow your business, you need to always be upfront in your network.
One of the biggest challenges which business owners are facing is, they are not able to track their business operations. For example, you are in a business where you're fulfilling some orders, or manufacturing a product, or you are into construction where you are getting some projects. But, if you do not have a system where you can track your orders or projects then it's a mess.
You’ll go to the office and ask your teammates about the status of the order. You have no idea because you're dependent on your employee and if your employee is not available in the office, guess what? You'll not be able to give real-time updates to your client. You will end up delaying deliveries resulting in delayed payments from them. So, you need to have a flow management system through which you can track the status of your orders or your projects.
This is one of those things which business owners don’t realise is missing in their business. Now, think if you're in a business where you get a small percentage of payment in advance and after that you need to follow up with your client to get the rest of the payment. Since, your process is manual, so you'll be calling them one-by-one, the client might not pick up the call, and it will overall ruin your cash flow management.
You need to have a payment reminder system where you have a complete order history, how much money you have got in advance and how much money is pending from the client on what order or what product or what project. And in just a click of a button, all the clients will get the automated payment reminders.
Now, you must be wondering, is it all even possible, and if yes, do we need to use multiple software? Not at all! Past eight years, we have been helping manufacturers, traders, service providers, more than 25% industries, and business owners to automate all these business processes using Google Forms and Google Sheets. And if you also want to automate your business processes, then click on the link & attend our Business Automation Masterclass where you’re going to discover on how can you automate your business, even if you're a non-technical business owner.
An average business owner does not delegate the work, or if teammates make the mistakes, he takes all the responsibility on his shoulders. Now, if a business is dependent on you, you don't own a business, you are a self-employed person. And according to Michael E. Gerber, 90% of business owners are self-employed because they don't have the right systems to manage their business.
In the absence of a proper task management system, you give work to your employees verbally either in office or on call and there is no proper record of it and they tend to forget half of the tasks assigned. So, you need a system where you can delegate tasks to your teammates digitally.
There should be a system where you open a Google Form saved on your mobile, allocate the work, choose the employee to whom you want to give the work, set up the deadline, select the priority level and on submission of which the work should be automatically assigned to him/her. Instead of you, your system should remind them about work and get the performance score of each and every employee.
The task delegation system will make your life very easy and will triple your team’s productivity as well.
Now, this is only for those business owners who are having some physical products in their business, such as manufacturers, traders or people who are into e-commerce or construction.
I had a student from textile manufacturing. He tried multiple complicated software to track his inventory real time, but could not implement any software in his business. Whenever he got a new order from a client, he used to ask his employee to check the availability of the raw material required from the go-down. It has been many times that an employee had missed out on the material which was already available. And they ended up ordering the same material from the vendor again and again, wasting lakhs of rupees on material which was just lying in their go-downs.
So, if you're a business owner, having some physical products, it's crucial for you to have an inventory management system. It will cut short the cost and wastage, and you will not be wasting your money on something which is already lying. You'll be able to utilise your cash flow in an efficient manner, where you have the minimum stock and you're able to turn it around to create maximum profits for your business.
Now, how many of you are dependent on referrals from your client? A lot of people are not seeking out the referrals actively. They're passively sitting, waiting for somebody to give them the referral. And even, few business owners are going out asking their clients to give them the referrals, still they are not getting the results. You know why?
Because whenever they deliver a product or a service to the client, they forget to take the official feedback. When you take the feedback, you get to know whether the client is happy with your service or not, and if they're not happy, you need to call them and ask what went wrong and how you can improve your product/service. They can be your biggest source of information to help you optimise your business.
And if their feedback is good, then you or your teammate can call them and ask to share three, four referrals from their network. Happy customers will be more than happy to share, but before that, it's important for you to differentiate between the satisfied and unsatisfied customers. And that you can do by using a feedback form, which you can easily create on Google Form.
You can share it with the clients and if the clients are happy, you can ask for referrals and you can even ask for ratings, reviews or testimonials as well.
Now, if you start doing this, your customers will appreciate it and understand that you value their opinion, and this will differentiate you from the crowd and put you into the 10% of smart business owners’ category who are actually focusing on the satisfaction of the client rather than just making a sale.
People who do not analyse what they're doing, they're never able to scale. For example, if you're not analysing how your team is performing, then there is no way you can increase their productivity. If you're not analysing the top 10 products that you're selling, or how your sales team is performing, then it's very hard or even impossible for you to increase your sales.
So, business analysis is something which gives you a complete picture of your efforts and the results that you are getting. And if you're able to analyse it, you can channelize your actions in such a way that you get maximum results with the least amount of effort.
Now, do you know using Google Sheets, you can create any business analysis report in just two minutes without any formula and coding? Using a tool in Google Sheets called Pivot Table, you can create any kind of report. There is an advanced tool given by Google called Google Data Studio where you can have advanced data analysis dashboards as well, which will send an automated report to you over email, sharing with you the status of each and every department which you are getting.
(Google Data Studio)
But remember, it all starts with data collection. And if you want to have the right data collected from your customers, from your employees, then you need to leave excel and go on cloud. The best technology for you to automate your business is Google applications. They are scalable, flexible, affordable, and every business owner and their employees are comfortable using the same.
So, if you want to automate your business, you can join my next Business Automation Masterclass to systemise your business and take it to the next level.
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