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Five must-have business automation protocols for 2019

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Automation protocols in business are what allows for small businesses and startups to compete with larger businesses with more bandwidth. Automation also provides a solution for a problem that entrepreneurs commonly face: a lack of time.

By automating repetitive tasks and streamlining processes, entrepreneurs can open up more time to help scale and grow their business while focusing on high-value tasks. Here are five must-have business automation protocols for 2019.

Phone management

For a small business, it’s important to find a balance between communicating with customers and setting boundaries that help with efficiency and self-care. One of the best ways to do this is to have an inbound call-center or automated switchboard to handle calls. This ensures that customers who are looking for basic information about hours or availability will get it quickly. Additionally, it will help ensure that no calls are missed if someone is busy.

Having an automated switchboard or inbound call center (see www.ameridial.com for more details) can also help ensure that phone calls are directed to the right person in a small business with multiple employees. This helps improve the overall customer experience, as they are able to get the answers they need without transfers, messages, and confusion.

Email marketing

Email marketing continues to be one of the most successful ways to build a sales funnel that converts leads into customers. While it takes time to set up on the front end, once it’s launched, an email marketing automation will continuously capture leads and build a rapport.

One of the best ways to use an email marketing automation is to encourage people to share their email address through a free offering, commonly referred to as an opt-in or lead magnet. Once the lead magnet is downloaded, the email address is automatically added to the funnel for processing.

Social media marketing

Imagine being able to sit down for a couple of hours a month and knowing that you will have continuous engagement with your customer base over the next few weeks without detracting from other tasks. Social media marketing automation platforms– such as Buffer and Hootsuite– make this possible. Rather than battling with social media algorithms and trying to curate content between meetings, having a platform in place allows for a one-stop-shop for scheduling and analytics.

Having a social media marketing tool in place also helps with future scalability and growth. For an entrepreneur working alone, this could mean outsourcing to a virtual assistant who will ensure that the queue is always loaded and customer inquiries are getting addressed.

Accounting

Accounting for a small business or entrepreneur can be a time-consuming task. By automating this process, entrepreneurs can ensure that they’re ready come tax season without spending hours upon hours stressing.

Investing in a program like Xero or Freshbooks will help small businesses and entrepreneurs automate invoicing and payments, minimizing the workload while improving cash flow. Both of these results have immense value in the world of small business management.

Hiring and recruiting

There are a lot of different tools that are changing how hiring and recruiting looks in the business world, many of which are related to machine learning and automation. While hiring was once an arduous task, it’s getting easier through automation.

Using smart technology, small businesses can pre-screen applications and have them sent to one central location, rather than having an overloaded (and overwhelming) email inbox. Additionally, metrics can be set to assess which resumes have the features the business is looking for and which should be set aside. There’s also technology in place that can automate the employee onboarding and training process, cutting back on mountains of paperwork.

The two most valuable resources in a business are the people and time. By having automation in place, the work gets easier for the people, and they have more time to do what matters.

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