Automation Thought Starters

At Empire Virtual Support, we probably say the word automation at least 7 times a day. It’s a buzzword, and with good reason. But for most, it’s an overwhelming prospect, that one of our clients recently described as ‘vomit inducing’. Here are a few thought starters to get you going, if you haven’t already.

  1. Value, value, value! 

Automation is not expensive but is so incredibly valuable. Programs like Zapier and Make start from free and with a minimal upgrade of a few hundred dollars a year, offer robust automation. How many billable hours is the investment? Barely a handful. How much time and money could it save you – so much! With a really user-friendly framework, they really are a missed opportunity if you aren’t using them in your business.

  1. If you only automate one thing…

…it should be your Leads and Sale process. (Hopefully) sales are a frequent occurrence in your business, following a beautiful systematic process! Yet, it is not just having a CRM. This is about mapping out what happens each time you get an enquiry, a discovery call, a contract issued, a purchase, or press go on onboarding. Look at who does what, when, how, and what documents or resources they are using. Map it out and you will without a doubt find opportunities to automate through existing and new tech. 

  1. Tags are your friend!

Automation can be structured and approached in a million ways, but in its simplest form, ‘tags’ are the perfect starting point and can act as the trigger for so many things. Not only CRMs use tags, but tools for task management, inbox management, file management…the list goes on. Tags can act as the foundation for ‘if something is tagged X, do this’. In our business, once a prospect is tagged ‘Client Active’, no less than 46 automations are triggered across our tech stack! That’s a lot of time saved and a much slicker onboarding process for our lovely new client.

  1. Go native!

Not ready for a 3rd party tool? Review your current tech stack and investigate native automation and integrations. These are constantly being developed and improved by established and new Apps alike. They are such an underused feature, and anyone can get value out of them. 

But remember…

…automation is not infallible. There are 2 key things to consider:

  1. Automation cannot fix a broken process. 

You need to map your process, refine it as necessary, and only then should you optimise through automation. If you try to automate a dodgy process, you are only going to amplify the issues. Get the basics right if you want to access the true benefits of automation.

  1. Automation is not set and forget. 

It is still part of a business process that needs to be maintained and reviewed, for two reasons:

  • Things can go wrong in automation. They can break either from us humans changing something in the process or because tech sometimes just goes wrong! 
  • Your automations should be agile and altered to suit your changing business operations. This might be adoption of new apps or simply identifying something that could be done better! Remember our onboarding process with the 46 automations? That started with simply 1 automation and we have built and refined it over time. 

To sum up, automation is front-loaded, but, undoubtedly will make your life easier whilst saving you time and money.  

Need help with processes and automation? Get in touch today

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