I learned many things over the years working with my clients. One of the most valuable lessons I learned is the implementation of automation. Time is money, especially for entrepreneurs who handle multiple projects and responsibilities. Time is quality, especially for those of us who have families. There are many business related and development tasks to automate and many ways to automate those tasks however never compromise when it comes to quality as some things are best handled manually (examples: some services or personal support).
Which Tasks Can I Automate in My Business?
The opportunities are in tasks, functions or processes that either take up your time or are repetitive, however big or small. This includes any function that you would rather assign to someone else or that you may spend your energy on instead of working (example: email).
For example, if you:
- twitter every article: implement a script that works with the Twitter API to do this for you
- sell hosting accounts: there are solutions available that will automatically open a hosting account for the customer on the server after payment
- want a break from blogging: write a few articles and set them to publish on a schedule
- find yourself answering repetitive support or consulting questions: create a well documented FAQ or self help area on your site
- manually invoice: find online billing solutions that will manage reminders, late payments, invoicing, etc for you (I have used BillingOrchard.com for years
- have employees entering data over and over into a form: give them a way to apply it automatically or faster
These are just small examples but even the little tasks add up in 24 hours.
Look for the Bigger Task Automation Opportunities
Bigger tasks can include things such as overall management. For instance: I have a custom built private home page that contains my to-do list, invoicing, support, social networking, news, etc all powered by PHP and APIs designed to save me from having to visit several sites throughout the day. Everything is right there for me to see, reply, file, cross reference and search.
If you ever wished you had more time in the day task automation is a great place to start. List the elements of your day or even your week and find the opportunities. Next, build a plan that either assign these tasks to someone else or automated part or all of the process.
Automation is important when handling large projects or websites, especially when you are working alone but once implemented you will find that valuable extra time that we all need and deserve.
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