I'm sure you've had moments where you've went to bed at night worried you were going to forget to do something you needed to do the next day for a client, or follow up with a lead. I mean if you weren't doing that, then I'd second guess if you were really a small business owner.
One of the terms you will hear a lot when researching is "Marketing Automation". It's been around for quite some time and has been made popular by companies like Keap (formerly Infusionsoft), Hubspot, ActiveCampaign and many others.
What I'm wanting to expand on is a term I feel is more fitting..."Business Automation".
You see, while you can automate a lot of tasks related to marketing, you're leaving missed opportunities on the table if you don't look at automating those redundant and mind numbing tasks in your other business operations as well.
Hence where Business Automation comes in.
What is Business Automation: Business Automation is utilizing a software to strategically repeat tasks of events in your business based on certain triggers or milestones that you would previously have to manually do.
What are some things you can automate in your business?
- Fulfillment Tasks
- Call Back Reminders
- Weekly Reports
- Team Meetings
- Financial Reports
When you look at this list and think about marketing, you probably assume some items like sales and call back reminders may fall under marketing automation- and you're right.
But, what I have found to be the differentiating factor is what a tool like Keap can do for me that will take stress off my day and make my life easier.
5 WAYS TO GROW WITH AUTOMATION
1. Organize Your Followup:
You're busy...I know! Think about how may times you had the best intentions to follow up with a prospect or client and then you forgot. You became busy, distracted, and it slipped your mind. When you ran into them at the grocery store and talked, you promised you would get in touch about setting up a meeting...then you went through the drive thru on the way home and your refreshing Iced Capp from Tim Hortons blew your mind (thought gone).
You said you were going to send them some times to meet when you got back to your desk. Guess what? You didn't remember until about 1:00 AM when you were laying in bed trying to fall asleep.
Using a tool like Keap with their mobile app, you can bring up that prospects contact record on your phone and with a few taps, you can send them an email with a link to book into your calendar for a meeting.
All this before you even start your car.
Fact: The sooner you take action on a promise with a prospect after you promise it to them, the higher the chances are that they will do what you asked them to do.
2. Automate Your Calendar
Think back to the last time you played phone tag or email tag with a prospect trying to set up an appointment. You know what I mean. By the time you get a response that they are available at 1:00 tomorrow, your 1:00 time slot has been booked with something else. Frustrating eh!
With Keap, you get an integrated appointment calendar system that connects with your google calendar or office 365 calendar. It allows you to easily send out a link with real-time availability so prospects can pick a time that works right for them. Easy Peezy, Lemon Squeezy!
Fact: When a prospect picks the time that is right for them, they are more likely to show up.
3. Financial Followup
I'd love to know how much time is wasted each year by small business owners following up on sent quotes and invoices only to go on a wild goose chase to get paid.
What if when you sent a quote, you could have a follow up message go out the next day if the prospect didn't open it. If 3 days later they still didn't open it, you get a notice to call them.
The same is true with an invoice. Following up automatically on those invoices not paid X days after being sent without you having to worry about it.
Back to quotes...maybe a prospect opens and views the quote and doesn't take any further action. You could automatically send them some case studies by email 2 hours after opening it. Building that confidence in your business and brand.
This is all possible with Keap automation as well. It's why I love it!
You're probably like many small business owners- always looking at ways to grow your small business with different advertising methods, promotions and hacks. But, finding time to do that is difficult. With Keap, you can find the time to focus on revenue-generating tasks instead of repeating the same time consuming tasks over... and over... and over... and over again.
4. Timely To-Dos
I know there are many processes in your business. There are also many things that prospect and clients can do that need to have tasks completed internally.
Imagine a client purchases a product or service on your website. Then you need to receive that order by email, and then task another team member to go and set up the service, maybe even call the client to confirm verbally, not to mention a slew of many other tasks.
Now think about this- what if they purchased that product or service and all those tasks were automatically created? The client received a confirmation text message, a thank you card was being mailed out to them, or even a nice yummy box of brownies if they are a new client. Your administrative person is tasked to create a file for them, their invoice is automatically added into quickbooks.
All this happening while you're dreaming of that new boat you want!
Business Automation never sleeps! We are in a 24/7 business world now.
5. Data Organization
OMG! This is the one that is so powerful for me. Especially if you have multiple team members in your business. Your prospects and clients have information about them, their name, email, phone, address, purchase history, activity notes and many other important pieces of data.
Having a centralized place that all client information can live and will allow you and your team to make informed business decisions- it's crucial!
Not only that, those data points can determine the direction of other automations. For example, if you have local and non-local clients. Maybe when they purchase a service, then a task to a different team members needs to fire for the non-local. Having that defined in Keap will make sure the right task is completed.
Marketing Automation to me is defined as "The Right Message Getting To The Right Person At The Right Time.
Business Automation to me is defined as "The Right Action Is Taken By Right Person At The Right Time.
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