Business automation is transforming the way companies operate, allowing them to do more with less and scale in ways never before possible.
In theory, this means business size doesn’t matter so much and automation can actually give the advantage to smaller brands that are often able to react to new trends faster than their larger rivals.
Today I’ve got a selection of some of the best business automation tools designed with smaller businesses in mind.
#1 is Zapier
Zapier is a simple automation platform that every business can use to save time and money while boosting productivity. This is about as straightforward as automation comes, allowing you to create automated actions between essential applications used by businesses in every industry.
Want to automatically save attachments in Gmail to Google Drive? Or how about Tweeting all of your blog posts to Twitter as soon as you hit the publish button? Perhaps you want to save all new Google Docs files to OneDrive and then back them up in Dropbox.
With Zapier you can set up thousands of automations like these to cut out repetitive manual tasks, allowing you to spend your time on more profitable actions.
#2: Hootsuite or Buffer
Social media is a business essential but it’s a major pain to run and manage campaigns across multiple platforms. Luckily, platforms like Hootsuite and Buffer make it easy to automate as much of your social media marketing efforts as you need to.
It’s amazing how much content modern businesses need to produce, even the smallest of enterprises in the most niche of sectors. All of those emails, blog posts and social antics have got to come from somewhere and the last thing you want is your marketing efforts to be held back by dodgy spelling.
Grammarly won’t make your writing foolproof but it does a surprisingly good job of saving you from those basic spelling and grammar mistakes (there vs their, etc.) that can leave people questioning the competence of your business.
Calendly is another simple automation tool that every business can make use of. Essentially, it cuts out the back-and-forth emails for arranging meetings, phone calls and other appointments.
You simply set your availability preferences in Calendly for the next meeting and embed a link in your email invitation. The recipient then chooses which time suits them and the event is automatically added to your calendar – done.
While Google is making automation easier, there’s still a certain level of complexity that’s going to put a lot of small businesses off. I’m confident this won’t be the case for too much longer but there’s still space for third-party platforms like WordStream that simplify paid advertising for people who don’t want to get bogged down in complex settings.
The 20-minute working week feature will get you up and running with campaigns and basic management without breaking a sweat and you’ll gradually outgrow this feature as you become more used to advertising with Google Ads.
This is a great tool for getting to grips with PPC and the whole idea of delving into Google Ads settings will seem a lot more approachable after you’ve been using WordStream for a while.
Get yourself started with the platforms we’ve discussed today and let me know what you think. By the time you’ve made the most of them, there’ll be a new suite of tools ready for you to take the next jump.
Justine Smith is a Graphic Designer for Excelerate America, the fun, smart service for businesses looking to level up. Do you know of any cool small biz automation tools? Share them with Justine by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.