Running your own business is busy, busy, busy. In fact, the word business derives from words related to busy and anxious. Luckily, you can subdue a bit of anxiety and reduce your own busy-ness just by automating some administrative tasks.
Staying on Top of Social Media
Spending too much time updating your social media profiles? Not ready to hire a social media manager? If so, you may want to automate some of the process with apps such as Hootsuite or Buffer. These apps allow you to schedule posts in advance. If you think of something neat to post or run into an article you want to share, you don’t have to set a reminder in your calendar. Instead, you can just add the information to the pending posts in your social media management app. With some apps, you can also view multiple platforms on a single dashboard and automatically generate new leads by holding social contests.
Monitoring Leads and Engaging Customers
Speaking of leads, staying on top of them can be time-consuming. To easily follow through with prospective clients, you may want client relationship management software. This software lets you keep notes on each client in one convenient spot, and it also lets you automate a number of sales processes such as follow-up reminders, contract renewals, or support functions. To give you an example, imagine you meet a prospective lead at a networking event. You enter the details into your CRM software, and the software automatically reminds you to give a follow-up call in a set number of days. That saves you time on setting reminders manually, and it helps to ensure you don’t lose the lead.
Similarly, if you haven’t worked with an existing client in a certain amount of time, the right CRM program can automatically send a marketing email inviting the client back to your company. In some cases, CRMs can also automatically track and generate key metrics such as customer acquisition costs and lifetime value.
Doing a project with people from outside your accounting firm? You may want to look into collaboration apps to automate some of the workflow. In particular, these apps can send out automated reminders to team members about looming deadlines or which goals have been met. If you add deadlines or objectives to the project, the app can automatically sync those details with your calendar so you don’t have to take the time to make notes in two places.
Paying Bills, Getting Paid
To save time, you may want to automate both invoicing and bill paying. You probably have a number of relatively consistent bills each month for expenses such as rent, utilities, internet, and so forth, and if you can automatically pay those bills, you can save time. For instance, the Royal Bank of Canada has an app that lets you pay your bills automatically through your bank account, and the app then syncs the details with your QuickBooks accounting software.
Similarly, there are a number of apps that can automate invoicing. Rather than typing out individual invoices every month, you give an invoicing program a few details and let it handle the rest of the process. There are also time management apps that can generate invoices based on the amount of billable hours you log for each client.
Running an accounting firm requires you to handle a huge range of tasks. To save some time without hiring extra help, try automating as much as possible. There are a whole host of apps and programs designed specifically for this purpose.