When and How to Automate Your Business

robotThis guest post was brought to you by WePay, the easiest way to accept payments online.

I hate to speak for every business owner on the planet, but I imagine at least the majority of owners dream about having a fully automated business. That way they can focus on the fun stuff – the passion that got you into business in the first place – instead of trying to collect on a past due invoice or spend the day drumming up business on social media. Wouldn’t that be ideal?

Of course, this isn’t always possible. As a business owner you wear at least ten hats – all of them different and few of them matching. However, with so many news programs, apps, and services out there, there’s bound to be something to help you streamline your company.

For example, do you keep a giant calendar on your desk? Probably not, seeing as how Google Calendar has made a desk calendar practically obsolete. Gmail even notices when there’s a date in an email and asks if you’d like to automatically add it to the calendar so even more steps are removed. Don’t you feel sorry for business owners years ago who had to write out appointments by hand?

While whittling down tasks to manually do every day, consider if you know them well enough before you completely take them out of your hands. While it may be nice to have extra time to do other business related tasks, you may be in for a spot of trouble if something goes wrong.

When you are ready to start implementing automation into your business, check out the following services we love and use every day!

Automation Tools for Small Business

Not sure which services to use? There is a ton out there, with everything from payments to marketing and even saving information safely. Here are some we know to be trustworthy and very helpful in freeing up your time for bigger and better things.

Hootsuite: If you have an online store, you most likely have a social media presence. If so, you know how frustrating it can be when you forget to tweet a blog post or cool link you found because you were busy doing something else.

Hootsuite lets you schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and several other services throughout the day. They continue to grow, too, as they recently announced a stream for Reddit.

Invoices: Tired of dealing with invoices all day? Sick of writing them by hand or constantly checking if you actually sent one out to that client from last week? Invoices can definitely slow you down as they are as annoying as they are essential to business.

Get an account at WePay to change invoices from a headache to a breeze. You can do all the above plus collect money through the site which can make your financial issues non-existent.

Accounting: Speaking of accounting, keeping track of how much money you’ve made and how much you’ve spent can be one of the most time-consuming tasks you encounter as a business owner. If you’re not careful it can keep you occupied to the detriment of actually selling things.

Instead of doing it yourself, grab an account at Outright. These companies automate your accounting and also give you tons of reports for you to look over. These reports can give you a great idea how your company is really doing, while simultaneously keeping you in compliance with the tax man.

Data Backup: You’ve got the external hard drive to back up all your vital info, and it’s worked well so far. So why should you consider getting an automated service? Because you literally have no idea when something can get wrong.

Mozy and Carbonite are two services that run in the background while you work. You can set them to back up your stuff as often as you want, from once a week to every hour. We’ve all felt the sting of a crashed computer losing our stuff, so put up as many guards against it as you can!

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