Truthfully we all hate doing the tedious tasks that could just easily be fixed or made easier by a fancy software…
But, more likely than not 99% of us are jumping into automation software WAAAAAY too quickly.
Let’s preface this article for a sec, software is great and we are not saying you shouldn’t use it to make your life easier. After all who wants to spend more time on the minute tasks that could be automated by a machine?
We do though believe that automation software is best suited for the business processes that we have already done the hard work of optimizing from the manual process. Think of the hard manual process as a way to better understand how the job is done on a granular level. Often times we are so focused on just getting the work done that if we took a step back to understand what we doing and why then we would be able to make adjustments and decrease the amount of time doing the work. If you’re lucky you’ll find a smoother process for yourself that doesn’t rely on software at all. #savethatmoney
Ok moving into the reasoning for this article in the first place.
Me: “Let me see the email you’re planning to send.”
(Shows me his cold email.)
Me: “What’s your response rate on this email?”
Jason: “Not sure. That’s why we need email automation.”
Me: “Gotcha. I recommend Gmail.”
Jason: “But Gmail won’t send automated follow-ups.”
Find 100 prospects.
Send two emails to each prospect.
Call them three times.
IF you get 5% of people to meet with you
AND you have 15% conversation to close rate
THEN we can chat about email automation tools.
It’s easy to get seduced by tech.
Keep the start simple.
NOTE: If you or someone you know relates to this story above share it. We all love sharing stories, don’t we?
Your Likely Running Your Business With Automation But Completely Unprepared Todo So
Trust us when we say that It’s not just you that’s doing this wrong. So many of us are constantly searching for the latest and the greatest tool’s that can further automate your business.
But, what should be doing is increasing efficiently of the current process over trying to find the next tool or full automation to use.
Stop wasting your money and focus on how to make your process more efficient and effective using what you’ve already got.
By always thinking automation first without taking the time to optimize how a business process works create a BIGGER MESS.
Spending more of your money to automate crap, just brings you MORE crap at a faster pace.
Start Making Your Business Processes Efficient:
We get it; when someone talks about optimization your mind immediately goes “lets build and automation”…
Automation’s are helpful in all but, what about your actual process. Before you invest in your fancy new software that will “fix your problems.”
Like that happens…
First, you should be looking into the FREE methods you can use to optimize your business processes further.
What we do when we decide to optimize a specific section of our business is we take a look at our current process. Often, we resort to just writing it out on a whiteboard. Then, we start adding the numbers that matter to get an Idea of how optimized it is already.
Many times, just by writing out your current process, you’ll find parts of it that could be changed and reworked. When you see what part’s of the process you’d like to change then WRITE IT OUT AND FOLLOW THROUGH WITH THE CHANGES.
After you’ve written it out, give yourself some goals to hit before you decide to make any more changes to the process. Sometimes the methods that you think are inefficient rally just needed more time and data.
What We’d Starting With When Optimizing Business Processes:
Before anything here, recognize that every business is different and each one will have places that REQUIRE your attention. These processes of your business are the ones we’ve felt had the most significant impact on the small businesses we’ve worked with.
1. The Sales Outreach Process
Most of us HATE sales, some of us though were born for it. By understanding the fact that you and your sales peeps are likely missing out on sales opportunities. Just because of how you do your outreach via. Email, social, call, letter, etc.. So we recommend taking some time at least two times a month to look into how your team performs their outreach.
Whats their outreach process?
- Do they spend time getting to know each possible customer before outreach or are they just playing a numbers game?
- Do they follow a copy regardless of who they are talking to? if so, why?
- How have the possible customers responded to how they did their outreach? Was it good or bad?
- How many people wanted to move forward after 100+ outreach attempts?
Spending some time looking at how you and your team first speak to your possible customers could easily 5x the amount of business you’re currently getting.
2. The QUALITY Of Your Customer Service
Something so many business owners and employees neglect are the quality of their customer’s service. This in many ways (especially with today’s THERE FOREVER reviews online) can hurt your business. We always recommend taking a deeper look into the whole process of how you handle your customer’s questions and issues, so you can make your customers experience AMAZING every time.
DID YOU KNOW: One of the best ways your business can get more business is from your past customers and their referrals.
Does that make you think a little more about how you treated your last customer?
What we recommend looking into your customer service process. Often you’ll find many inconsistencies in the way you and your team connect and build a relationship with your customer. Taking some time to look deeper into how both you and your team do this can provide some REALLY valuable insights.
- Some Questions Recommend Asking Yourself During The Process:
- How long does it take for questions to get answered by you or your team?
- What is the time frame for you to send a customer a refund, and how easy is the process?
- How Do you manage GREAT reviews, and also the bad ones?
- Who keeps in contact with your customers to increase the Life Time Value of your customers?
- How do your customers react to your customer service experience?
3. The Quality & Consistency Of Your Community Outreach
Are you confused on this one?
Most business neglect the amount of community outreach they do. After all, you wouldn’t immediately think about how much community service you do as a relatable metric to how many more business opportunities you’ve gained or new clients you’ve acquired. At least for now, since community engagement is an AMAZING way for your to further connect and market your business and add some extra personality to who is apart of your business and what you stand for.
Now, if you are trying to think of the ways you can connect with your community (if you’re not already doing it) some of the best places are FREE!
If we had to choose only three methods for community outreach, we would have to decide.
Social Media Outreach: this process may seem complicated and hard to do if you are not used to doing it. But, Organic Social Media Marketing is a very straightforward process that takes some effort on your part. Better yet it doesn’t even cost anything to you besides say your time.
This is one of the best ways to do your outreach if you are on a tight budget or want to engage in a new way with your local community. If you’ve never done Organic Social Marketing, you should check out our post on how to do just that!
Go To Networking Events: This isn’t for everyone, but this is an excellent way for you to connect with your target customer. If you are new in a field or have just started your business going to networking events can be a compelling platform to launch your business off of.
If you have never been to a networking event, just understand that people want to connect with you as a person first and then as a business.
So, when your there, enjoy it, have a great time, and be yourself, no one likes a fake. Doing this often with help build the foundations of your local network with these people. If they are not your direct customer, you can likely find them by building rapport with the people you know at these events.
Volunteer In The Community: With all of the needs in the community is surprising how few companies take time to volunteer in their local community. Often when you go to these events, you’ll find people that work at larger companies that are there for a similar purpose as you. But, just remember this type of community outreach is different but can at the very least bring some warmness in your hearts.
We recommend looking into local NFPs that are focused on a message that correlates in some way with your business values. Starting there can lead to building connections with influential people in your community.
If you are ever looking to start throwing your money at new automation, you came across. Please think again and take a step back, not every process needs to or SHOULD be automated. If you go through some of the methods listed above and find you still need to automate parts of your business, then you can feel confident that you are choosing at the right time. We hope this has been able to help you along your journey as a business owner and marketer.