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Automate some of your small business practices

As a small business you are likely aware that you often have a lot of different tasks pulling at you, and you are only one person who can't do it all. Something that is very useful for small business owners is to automate some of their small business practices in order to lessen the burden on them. What are some of the things that small businesses can automate to save time and gain efficiencies? Here are a few suggestions:

New lead follow up- Did you know that it takes between five and twelve contacts with a sales representative before the average person is ready to commit to a purchase? Most small businesses stop following up leads after about the third contact. If you want to gain more customers, then following up on new leads is a must. Consider setting up an automated series of email communications that can be sent out on whatever schedule you want, in order to follow up with every single new lead you get. This will increase your sales without increasing your workload. In order to do this the best way, you may want to invest in some marketing automation software that will customize the message being sent based on the behaviors of the prospect. For example, what are their interests, what reports did they download? Which l inks did they click? Which emails have they opened?

Use several follow up mediums- When doing your new lead follow up, it can be helpful to try a variety of mediums. Consider incorporating direct mail, voice messages, social media, fax or text messages in any sequence. This will give the prospect options for which way they want to respond. They will likely respond using their favorite medium.

New Customer Follow Up- Automation can really help you to follow up with each customer that you have, in order to continue the relationship and hopefully get repeat sales. Follow up with them on their purchases through an automated system, and in doing so you will increase your word of mouth referrals. It is amazing what an email saying something like, "We hope you were pleased with the product and service, if there is any problem we have not addressed, feel free to give us a call at...." Can do. It makes customers feel valued, and like they are being taken seriously. This makes them tell their friends.

Collections- Automate your collections. A few weeks before a credit card expires, have your automation software send out a message that says,"Your credit card is about to expire" as this will make life easier for the customer and will encourage them to update their card information. When sending out automated collections notices, be pleasant in the first few communications, giving customers the benefit of the doubt, such as, "We know life gets busy, and sometimes we forget to pay the bills..." so this way they will not feel attacked, rather understood.

As you can see, automating some processes can make a big difference in the amount of work you have to do to get the results you want.

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