The Small Business Association (SBA) estimates that more than 627,000 new businesses are created every single year. While this is great news for consumers as this gives them more opportunities to find the exact products and services they’re looking for, this also means that there are hundreds of thousands of new entrepreneurs trying to figure out just how to make their business ideas a success.
Part of achieving this success involves automating as many processes as possible, ultimately saving you and your growing company time as you work extremely hard to create a name for yourself. But which processes should you focus on automating first? There are four.
Your Data Backup
Though you may have the best of intentions with regard to manually backing up your data, starting a business can be chaotic at times. This means that it can be extremely easy to forget this incredibly important task, putting all of your hard work, client data, and proprietary information at risk.
Instead of leaving this process to fate, set up or create a system that will back up all of your files automatically. How often should you be backing up? Best business practice recommends daily backups, but, at a minimum, never go more than a week without saving your data.
Timesheets, Attendance & Payroll
Even if you only have a few employees in the beginning, tallying up their hours worked and how much pay is due to each one can take a decent amount of time—time that could be better spent handling other tasks that require more of your brain power. One way to automate these particular processes is to put some online tools into use; such as an attendance software that will keep tally for you.
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Not only does this save you time when figuring out the numbers by hand, but it also makes it easier to work with employees that may be travelling or stationed around the globe because they can enter their hours worked right on their mobile devices. Plus, you’ll likely have fewer mistakes because everything is computer generated.
Incoming Email Responses
As a new startup, you spend a lot of time reaching out to potential clients, trying to get them interested in your products and services. However, all of your efforts can instantly go out the window if they contact you and get a delayed response (or, worse yet, no response at all). That’s why you should always set up automatic responses to all of your incoming emails.
Even if all it says is, “Hey! Thanks for the communication. We’re working hard today, so we’ll get back with you as soon as we can!” at least the person knows that their email has been received. Also, you don’t have to stop what you’re doing to type up a similar response, especially if their correspondence is one that is going to take some time to check out, such as if they’re questioning the progress of their order.
Before becoming a business owner, the only one who likely cared about your schedule was you. But once you enter the world of startups, giving others access to your daily calendar can help them schedule meetings with you during your open times or see when you’re not available to handle any issues that arise. It also enables you to set reoccurring meetings automatically.
Though a number of different scheduling options exist, some of the best scheduler apps and tools on the market right now include Assistant.to, Boomerang Calendar, Calendly, and FreeBusy. All of these options are absolutely free, with some offering the ability to create a premium account for less than $20 per month.