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There’s an app for everything to manage your inbox, marketing, HR and business operations. We’ve got all the tips for the right automation to significantly impact on our business success and mental wellbeing.

There’s an app for everything to manage your inbox, marketing, HR and business operations. We’ve got all the tips on How To Make Automation Work For Business.

Whether small, medium or corporate, all businesses need to complete the same tasks – the only difference being the number of people to complete them. The right automation can significantly impact on our business success and mental wellbeing.

 

Automation uses technology to control and monitor the production and delivery of goods and services with the aim to repeatedly achieve the same results. Automation works in our favour by simplifying our day while making our lifestyle and job more efficient. The results save on labour, energy and materials with an increase in quality, accuracy and precision. From making coffee to paying bills, steering ships or operating machinery, automation has been present in our life since the 1700s to infiltrate almost every hour of modern life. For small to medium businesses, challenges specifically revolve around processes, time management, scalability and skill sets; all challenges automation can solve.

 

In our previous article How Small Business Can Compete In A Big Business World, we noted while we’re a small business, this doesn’t mean we have to think small. It comes to a matter of

  • thinking strategically
  • being efficient
  • using our unique selling points
  • offering great service
  • creating community
  • innovating, and
  • using technology to our advantage

 

There have been dramatic advances in technology across the last few decades to disrupt the economy. As the costs of a bricks and mortar business reaches astronomical heights, businesses can still reach customers around the world with an electronic device, the internet, a website, cloud based systems and social media. Technology drives business at a cost-effective price.

 

From remembering passwords to handling our accounts, workforce and payments, organising business, managing time, scheduling social media, sending out newsletters and special offers or storing files, every task now has an app to automate business and streamline processes. Automation allows for an accessible and affordable pool of skills while freeing up time to focus on what matters most to every business owner: their product and customer relationships.

 

The sooner we embrace automation and incorporate into our business culture, the sooner business will become more efficient, reducing operating costs and improving scalability. Here’s why.

Reduce Operating Costs

Automation is an investment. When you understand your business and the processes to run it, you’ll also be able to evaluate gauge which systems are the best for the ultimate rewards. Automation reduces operating costs for scalability, errors, time, training and turnaround times.

 

Processes Are Scalable

As the latest buzzword, “Scalable” allows business to be balanced, changed and proportioned.
By implementing automated processes, replicated tasks allows for success to translate to saving time, frustration and money.

Sending 100 marketing emails from your private email account might be offer a personal touch, but it is incredibly time consuming. eMarketing systems like MailChimpHubspot and Active Campaign sets up a template and uploads a database for those 100 emails to be easily and efficiently sent.

 

Be Efficient & Effective

Software as a Service SaaS allows users to connect to and use cloud-based apps online. Online software is available at the click of a mouse to accomplish tasks faster and more effectively, from

  • managing accounts on Xero and MYOB
  • managing clients on Salesforce
  • managing your calendar, documents and files with Google
  • streamlining team communications for projects with Slack or
  • scheduling and tracking social media with Hootsuite or Buffer

automation is making us bigger, better, faster and stronger in business.

Save Time

Every business owner wants to focus on the fun side of business: building customer relationships and creating new ideas to improve your product and service, and expand. But the heavy tasks of managing customers and handling paperwork and admin ends up chewing into valuable time. Through automation, the clunky repetitive processes and tasks can redirect our attention to what matters most.

  • Asana helps with managing large scale projects by assigning and tracking tasks
  • Toggl gauges your time so you learn where your time is most spent
  • Evernote stores notes, lists and images
  • Lastpass stores and manages all your passwords
  • Dropbox & Google Drive stores, manages and allows for your files and documents to be shared

We’re in a world of too much distraction, too much noise and far too much work. So we’ve got all the tips looking into ways to be more productive – and make business work.

In a utopian world, all the cogs in the factory of life turn nicely together where we’re working Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm – or maybe to 12noon on Fridays if we’re lucky. The reality is everyone is busy. We’re working longer hours where we’re plugged in from the moment we wake up until the screen falls on our face when we fall asleep. These hacks will get us productive in no time.

Healthy Mind…

Being productive isn’t about suddenly being disciplined or organised and perfect. It’s about working smarter – not harder. And this all starts with our health. To push our body through the stresses of the day, we need to look after ourselves first and so build our energy for our mental and physical wellbeing. Focus on our health first and we can take care of business. We’re not a robot (unfortunately). We’re human bodies with complex minds that require purpose and enjoy achieving.

  • Eat breakfast every day – even if only smoothies
  • Take it outside: walk barefoot in mud, frolic in the sunshine, skip in the rain
  • Perform one random act of kindness per day – no matter how insignificant.
  • Ditch the guilt: know when to say no. It’s ok to not say yes all the time.
  • Remove the boundaries around time: the less pressure we put on ourselves, the better
  • Ditch your notifications. Unsubscribe. Unfollow.
  • Celebrate the milestones: we work too hard not to appreciate our achievements and the moments that matter


It’s All About Attitude

Productivity isn’t about suddenly being disciplined, organised or perfect. Productivity is about working more efficiently. In 1896, Vilfredo Pareto devised the 80/20 Pareto’s Principle as “the law of the vital few and the trivial of many”. He developed the theory in the context of economics but found it extended naturally to other areas of life. This means:

  • 20% of our activities account for 80% of our results
  • 20% of our products and services account for 80% of our profit
  • 20% of our customers account for 80% of our sales

What are the most valuable tasks that you can complete, to account for your best results?
Answer this, and you’ve got the answer to life, the universe and everything.


Manage Time

The truth is we’re not actually that busy. We prioritise our time for the tasks that matter – whether for our business, family or wellbeing. It’s one of the most precious commodities in business – even more so than cashflow, sales, profit and our employees. Today, more than ever, time means money.

  • Have a power hour: start with critical emails and critical jobs and power through
  • Limit meetings: keep meetings only to the most significant (preferably 6-8 maximum).
    Make sure there’s an agenda to address points to keep it flowing, and have someone take notes for distribution once it ends.
  • Have one day a week meeting-free
  • Set daily goals and a timetable
  • Schedule your email time into your calendar
  • Set weekly check-ins to monitor the progress of your goals
  • Know exactly where your time is going: online time manager toggl will show you what you really get up to

 

Scale & Automate

In business, we need to find the most sustainable ways for growth. Automation is the answer – especially when it comes to time-consuming processes.

  • Set up and use templates
  • Know when to delegate and when to outsource: trust in the people you’ve surrounded yourself with
  • Streamline accounting with online cloud programs like XeroMYOB and Quickbooks Online
  • Communicate efficiently by cutting back on emails with messaging systems like Slack
  • Project manage online: if lists are good enough for Sir Richard Branson, they’re good enough for us. Asana takes lists that step further as a wonderful online project manager to make working with teams and completing tasks a dream
  • Zapier Asana with your calendar to automate meeting project deadlines
  • Schedule your social media: reduce the task from 30 minutes per day to 90 minutes a week with great schedulers like Hootsuite or Buffer


Morale To The Story?

Even though these are great tips, there is actually no such thing as hacking productivity: it’s about how and when you work best. For all the “productivity hacks” out there, you won’t really know what works until you make it work for you. If waking up at 4.30am every week day is your answer to managing your time, or you find your power hour is at 10pm, then make it so: just make it work for you without all the guilt, tags and strings attached.

The immense responsibilities of running a business can’t be achieved when you neglect your health, mismanage your time and run around doing everything while achieving nothing. Finding exactly where you spend your time is the first move in making your business work. Once you know which top 20% of your tasks account for 80% of your results, invest your time there: where you’ll have the answer to life, the universe and everything.

We’re in a world of too much distraction, too much noise and far too much work. So we’ve got all the tips looking into ways to be more productive – and make business work.

In a utopian world, all the cogs in the factory of life turn nicely together where we’re working Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm – or maybe to 12noon on Fridays if we’re lucky. The reality is everyone is busy. We’re working longer hours where we’re plugged in from the moment we wake up until the screen falls on our face when we fall asleep. These hacks will get us productive in no time.

Healthy Mind…

Being productive isn’t about suddenly being disciplined or organised and perfect. It’s about working smarter – not harder. And this all starts with our health. To push our body through the stresses of the day, we need to look after ourselves first and so build our energy for our mental and physical wellbeing. Focus on our health first and we can take care of business. We’re not a robot (unfortunately). We’re human bodies with complex minds that require purpose and enjoy achieving.

  • Eat breakfast every day – even if only smoothies
  • Take it outside: walk barefoot in mud, frolic in the sunshine, skip in the rain
  • Perform one random act of kindness per day – no matter how insignificant.
  • Ditch the guilt: know when to say no. It’s ok to not say yes all the time.
  • Remove the boundaries around time: the less pressure we put on ourselves, the better
  • Ditch your notifications. Unsubscribe. Unfollow.
  • Celebrate the milestones: we work too hard not to appreciate our achievements and the moments that matter


It’s All About Attitude

Productivity isn’t about suddenly being disciplined, organised or perfect. Productivity is about working more efficiently. In 1896, Vilfredo Pareto devised the 80/20 Pareto’s Principle as “the law of the vital few and the trivial of many”. He developed the theory in the context of economics but found it extended naturally to other areas of life. This means:

  • 20% of our activities account for 80% of our results
  • 20% of our products and services account for 80% of our profit
  • 20% of our customers account for 80% of our sales

What are the most valuable tasks that you can complete, to account for your best results?
Answer this, and you’ve got the answer to life, the universe and everything.


Manage Time

The truth is we’re not actually that busy. We prioritise our time for the tasks that matter – whether for our business, family or wellbeing. It’s one of the most precious commodities in business – even more so than cashflow, sales, profit and our employees. Today, more than ever, time means money.

  • Have a power hour: start with critical emails and critical jobs and power through
  • Limit meetings: keep meetings only to the most significant (preferably 6-8 maximum).
    Make sure there’s an agenda to address points to keep it flowing, and have someone take notes for distribution once it ends.
  • Have one day a week meeting-free
  • Set daily goals and a timetable
  • Schedule your email time into your calendar
  • Set weekly check-ins to monitor the progress of your goals
  • Know exactly where your time is going: online time manager toggl will show you what you really get up to

 

Scale & Automate

In business, we need to find the most sustainable ways for growth. Automation is the answer – especially when it comes to time-consuming processes.

  • Set up and use templates
  • Know when to delegate and when to outsource: trust in the people you’ve surrounded yourself with
  • Streamline accounting with online cloud programs like XeroMYOB and Quickbooks Online
  • Communicate efficiently by cutting back on emails with messaging systems like Slack
  • Project manage online: if lists are good enough for Sir Richard Branson, they’re good enough for us. Asana takes lists that step further as a wonderful online project manager to make working with teams and completing tasks a dream
  • Zapier Asana with your calendar to automate meeting project deadlines
  • Schedule your social media: reduce the task from 30 minutes per day to 90 minutes a week with great schedulers like Hootsuite or Buffer


Morale To The Story?

Even though these are great tips, there is actually no such thing as hacking productivity: it’s about how and when you work best. For all the “productivity hacks” out there, you won’t really know what works until you make it work for you. If waking up at 4.30am every week day is your answer to managing your time, or you find your power hour is at 10pm, then make it so: just make it work for you without all the guilt, tags and strings attached.

The immense responsibilities of running a business can’t be achieved when you neglect your health, mismanage your time and run around doing everything while achieving nothing. Finding exactly where you spend your time is the first move in making your business work. Once you know which top 20% of your tasks account for 80% of your results, invest your time there: where you’ll have the answer to life, the universe and everything.

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