By Tegan Tedd
Business automation is fast becoming one of the most important tools for businesses of all sizes. With smaller teams and lower profitability, these services are even more so beneficial to small businesses.
Automation tools allow small businesses to achieve greater efficiency, improve customer satisfaction, reduce labour costs and altogether scale up -- benefits otherwise not possible without process automation.
From customer service to marketing to scheduling appointments, you can automate aspects of your business to achieve a greater profit margin and boost your growth. In this article you’ll find a few of the best automation tools that cater to the needs of small businesses and improve your overall success.
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One of the very best things about Zapier is that it really is just about as simple and straightforward automation in your business can get. If you're looking for a way to boost your productivity while saving both time and money, Zapier is the way to go.
Zapier allows you to set up thousands of different automated processes throughout your business so that you don't have to spend your time focusing on various repetitive manual tasks. From instantly posting content to your social media pages to automatically saving Gmail attachments to your Google Drive, being able to automate these simple yet repetitive tasks allows you to free up a great deal of your time and attention on other parts of your business.
When it comes to running a business, social media engagement is something that is simply too important for you to ignore. However, trying to manage all of the different elements of your social media independently can become exhausting. That's where automation services like Hootsuite come in.
Hootsuite is a service dedicated to social media that allows you to enhance your engagement across 35 global social media networks. From Facebook to LinkedIn to Instagram, Hootsuite provides you with the tools that you need to make sure that you are always optimising your social media to allow for optimal engagement.
It even allows you to pinpoint and connect with influencers within your market and automates many effective marketing strategies.
Communication is and always will be one of the most important elements of any business. Team communication is essential to complete tasks in a timely manner and ensure overall workplace efficiency, however, this can be difficult to achieve when you’re constantly dealing with an overflowing inbox.
Slack gives you the opportunity to streamline your communication methods between the people within your business and allows you to centralise your work through app integrations so you organise your work flows.
You can create workflows to automate routine actions and using their workflow builder, you can accomplish tasks quicker and with less effort through using triggers, messages and forms. Many businesses have found Slack to be such a useful and powerful tool for communication, that they have chosen to use it as an alternative to email entirely.
Snov.io is one of the most comprehensive platforms for scaling your business, engaging your leads, and streamlining your cold outreach campaigns. The all-in-one toolset offers email finder with multiple email search features, email verifier with 7-step email verification, and email tracker.
With its email drip campaigns, you can build and send complex email sequences with auto follow-up messages, triggers, and goals. Besides, the platform also provides integrations with Pipedrive and Zapier that allow seamless email export.
One of the best parts is that there is a forever-free plan that opens access to all tools (though, with some limits in credits, export, and integrations).
Marketing is something that has undergone a significant number of changes in the advent of the digital age. For one thing, digital marketing encompasses marketing across a variety of digital channels such as social media, mobile apps, email and search engines. It's fair to say keeping on top of this, can be overwhelming for small businesses. That's where Needls comes in.
The automation service has the ability to create, target and optimise your digital advertising. All you need to do is to upload the basic building blocks of your advertising and Needls takes care of the rest, like, creating custom campaigns.
Through using a combination of AI, performance data and expertise, they are able to create the perfect content to engage and grow your audience. It even includes features like social media reporting and analytics that allow you to keep track of your company's digital presence and outreach.
SalesAutopilot is an incredibly powerful automation tool simply because of how much you can do with it. It is essentially an all-in-one marketing, sales, and CRM solution. It provides many small businesses with a wide range of services and can do everything from monitoring customer feedback to automating email marketing.
If you're looking for a one-stop-shop for your marketing automation, SalesAutopilot is one of the best places to get started.
At first glance, ActiveCampaign might appear a lot like many other marketing automation platforms but it's actually so much more than that. Not only does it provide you with advanced email marketing features but it also features an enterprise standard CRM, all in a single package.
It allows you not only to market your business more efficiently but to manage and connect with your customers as well. Email automation is another tool available which lets you set up welcome series to automate your emails while sending more personalised, relevant messages.
Another way to enjoy the benefits of email automation is to use a form builder with this feature. Paperform is a form builder that lets you create beautiful online forms which can automatically send an email to responders, such as an order confirmation or receipt.
Content is something that has become more and more important in modern businesses and that means that you need to find a service that can make producing content a faster, more efficient process. Grammarly is one of the best platforms out there for just that.
Rather than having to spend your time checking and double-checking your content, Grammarly can automate the process of checking, editing, and proofreading your content every single time. Sure, there will still be things that you will need to do yourself but the increased efficiency that Grammarly provides allows you to produce high-quality content far quicker than would otherwise be possible.
Paid advertising is something that is becoming more simple to grasp and use for many businesses. However, using sites like Google for paid advertising can involve a lot of complexity that is likely to discourage many smaller businesses.
However, there are third-party services like WordStream that can help to make the process of getting started with paid advertising far more simple. Not only is WordStream a great platform in its own right but it also provides you with the kind of information and experience that will make diving into more complex platforms like Google Ads far easier in the future.
Calendly is an incredibly simple automation tool that can have a huge impact on your business as a whole. It provides you with all of the tools that you need to manage the scheduling in your business. It eliminates the need for constant emails to arrange appointments and meetings.
All you need to do is to set up your preferences in the platform and then you can embed a link in an invitation that you send out. The person receiving the invitation can then choose the time that suits them and that time appointment is automatically added to your calendar. This might seem like an incredibly simple automation service when compared to some of the other ones previously mentioned.
However, sometimes the best service is one that succeeds in doing one thing incredibly well and that's exactly what Calendly is. You'll no longer have to waste any time going back and forth trying to schedule an appointment and you can get on with far more important and useful tasks.
Being a small business often means that you are doing the marketing, accounts and operations all by yourself or with minimal employees. Time is a precious commodity and while running a small business, you have to make the most out of it.
These automation tools listed will help you achieve greater efficiency, organisation and will give you more time to do what's important -- running your business.