How to be More Productive: 5 Things You Must Automate

How to be More Productive: Skyrocket Your Productivity NOW!Ever catch yourself pondering the answer to the question, “How to be more productive?” Or feeling burdened by your business and wondering what happened to the visions of freedom that inspired you to launch your business?

It takes a lot of work to run a small business.

You’re filling every role. One minute you’re strategizing about the future of your business. The next you’re uploading blog posts and editing videos.

Pretty soon your day is filled up to the last second and you have no time for yourself or your loved ones.

There is a way out! You CAN regain control of your business and your life.

How to Be More Productive as a Business Owner

Take a moment and let yourself fantasize about what it would feel like if the burdens of processing payments, organizing your finances, scheduling, customer support and social media were lifted from your shoulders.

Now I’m going to show you how to turn these fantasies into time-saving (even personal life-saving) realities.

1.  Processing Payments

You need to get paid, and the most common tool for payment processing is PayPal, which allows you to accept single payments or set up reoccurring billing.

Did you know you can create a PayPal button that will first take your clients to the payment page and then redirect them to another page—to a questionnaire or thank-you page?

What if a client doesn’t have a PayPal account (or doesn’t want to create one) or your business requires a more robust payment solution?

Go with the e-commerce merchant account options like 1ShoppingCart, shopify, x-cart, and cubecart, which allow you to accept debit/credit cards online.

This type of software takes automation and convenience to a whole new level, but it’s also a more costly solution.

2.  Organizing Finances

Here are the top 3 signs that you’re neglecting your company’s finances and need to optimize this part of your business.

You’re. . .

  • Inconsistent in terms of creating invoices. Sometimes you do them manually and sometimes you use software like PayPal.
  • Unclear about which invoices got paid and which didn’t.
  • Uncertain of how profitable (or not) you were last month.

Knowing where your money is going, where it is coming from, and having all the supporting documents in one place is critical.

Doing this work manually eats up enormous amounts of time.

When it’s not done, it weighs on you every day and can cause you serious problems.

Luckily, there are great inexpensive tools to automate most of our financials.

Check out FreshBooks, Outright or Xero, which each specialize in different types of services.

They’ll help you automate the process of tracking money that comes in and goes out.

An added bonus is that you’ll have your financial paperwork in one, easily accessible place and can send it off to your accountant when necessary.

3.  Scheduling

Automating the process of scheduling your meetings is also important.

You’re wasting time whenever you email back and forth with clients trying to come up with a day and time to meet. Besides, it’s not fun and it doesn’t make you look like a true professional. In fact, manual scheduling often leads to missed meetings and lost clients.

There are a plethora of great online schedulers to pick from. Many of them come with additional features like website integration, a “schedule-an-appointment” pop up and even payment processing.

Even if your scheduler doesn’t have a payment processing option, you can still automate the process by including a link to your scheduler on the “thank you” redirect page when they make a payment.

A truly hands-off process.

4.  Customer Support

Some aspects of customer support can easily be automated and save you a great deal of time.

I bet people often ask you the same questions.

Here’s what you can do if these questions are about. . . .

Also, if you’re writing the same messages over and over, create templates and use tools like Canned Responses (for Gmail) or Text Expander (for Mac).

5.  Social Media

No, I don’t suggest completely automating social media because actively and authentically building relationships with new and existing clients is crucial to turning them into raving fans.

However, the process of getting noticed can certainly be automated.

Come up with a list of updates, pop them into a spreadsheet like this one, schedule them in bulk using Hootsuite or Buffer and reuse them every 2-3 months.

For your Facebook updates you can use a schedule like this one:

  • Monday—eye-catching picture
  • Tuesday—your blog post
  • Wednesday—random question
  • Thursday—inspirational quote
  • Friday—cool tip

For Twitter, it won’t be much different:

  • Monday—one of the benefits you provide with your services and link to your services page
  • Tuesday—link to your blog post
  • Wednesday—random question
  • Thursday—inspirational quote
  • Friday—cool tip

Yes, this will require some prep work, but once that’s taken care of, you won’t need more than 10 minutes a day per social media platform.

As you can see, there ARE ways to moving from doing to managing even without hiring a team.

The time you save can be spent on what you love most and do best—making your clients happy—or even taking a well-deserved break.

 TAKE ACTION NOW TO INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY 

In the comments below let me know what process you are going to work on automating this week. Not sure how to do it? Drop me a line and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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10 comments

  1. So many new tools to try! I think I’m going to start with TexExpander for Mac. Thanks Natasha!

  2. Love the “canned responses” tip. I’ve already bookmarked that. Thanks!

  3. I love this article!!! And the social media scheduling sounds very familiar. :D It reminded me, in all the hubbub of being back up and running, I haven’t filled out my Hootsuite yet. On it right now!!!!

    • nvorompiova /

      Yes, I only share with my clients what works for me. Totally transparent there :).

  4. I have been meaning to try TextExpander, especially after seeing Chris Brogan use it so powerfully.. On my must-try list now:-) Thanks, Natasha.. Sharing this:-)

    • nvorompiova /

      Fabulous, Prerna! Let know about your experience once you start using it :). And thank you for sharing the article!

  5. Wow Natasha, Amazing stuff here! Bookmarking and sharing!

    I’ve been trawling the interwebs looking for a scheduling programme and your resource page for the different options is GOLD!

    BTW – For social media automation I have to say I love Tweetdeck and Buffer!

    • nvorompiova /

      So happy you have found the post useful, Ameena!! If you are on a lookout for any other types of resources, let me know :). And thank you for the tips!

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