Automating your business sounds really exciting, doesn’t it?
But for many business owners this is nothing more than a pipe dream. They really don’t know what to do or where to start to create the automation that sounds so wonderful.
Part of running an efficient and organized business is making full use of the technology and resources available to you. It’s great to set up systems and processes and have them work for you, but in order to fully automate your business you also need to know which technologies are going to work best to support you in that.
Over the years I have worked with many different automation tools (either in my own business or for my clients) that have helped to support an online solo business owner.
Put simply, automation tools allow systems and processes to run smoothly and will ensure that:
- important steps are not missed;
- save time; and
- increase a business’and/or team members’ productivity.
Which, in turn, generates more revenues!
So today I’d like to share my top five favorite business automation tools with you. All of these tools I use in my own business today – and they’re a huge timesaver as well as creating a more streamlined and automated business for me.
1. 1ShoppingCart — this is my shopping cart, autoresponder, broadcast, and database management systems all rolled into ONE system. I especially like this service because everything is done in one place which really does make for a more streamlined business. It is possible to use one service for your shopping cart activities (i.e. product sales) and another service for your autoresponder/broadcast (i.e. sending out your newsletter) but the danger with this is that you are running two different databases and at some point it will become cumbersome and may even start to become unmanageable. An example I see a lot is using Aweber for list management, and then using Paypal to accept payments.
2. TimeTrade — this is probably my favorite find and is such a huge timesaver for me; I’m so grateful to one of my clients for putting me onto this service. It’s a system whereby you can get your clients to self-schedule their appointments with you, avoiding the back and forth of emails that happens when you’re trying to arrangement appointments and, of course, the time spent doing this. You simply give your clients/colleagues the special link that’s generated by TimeTrade and they are able to see your availability (which you have pre-determined) and therefore schedule accordingly with you. It works with both Outlook and Google calendars.
3. TeamWork — I love this project management platform. It’s easy to use, intuitive, and very cost effective. There are two ways in which I use TeamWork:
i) I’m part of a virtual team for a seven-figure business and marketing coach, so we use TeamWork to stay on track with all of our projects, communicate with one another, and plan out our launches and marketing campaigns.
ii) I also use TeamWork with my private clients and set up “client-only areas” for them. This means we can share important planning files with one another, stay on track with our projects, and see at-a-glance how they are progressing in their program.
4. “Sharing” WordPress Posts — if you have a WordPress blog and post regularly, there is an option called “Sharing”. If you add your social medial profiles to this, any time you post a new blog post, it will automatically be posted to your social networks.
5. Instant Teleseminar – I love this service for running all of my workshops (both free & paid). Not only is it a teleconference line, but I am also able to show slides and create an interactive experience. The automation piece comes because, as soon as your training is over, your replay page is produced automatically! You don’t have to mess about downloading the audio, uploading it to your replay page, or any other “replay page” scenarios.
Where are you struggling to automate and streamline your business? Post in the comments below, or share on my Facebook page. I’d love to help you.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure some of these links are affiliate links which means I’ll earn a small commission should you decide to register for the service.
(c) 2016 Tracey Lawton Training & Consulting LLC