Running a business can be hectic, and chances are, you didn’t dive off into the world of entrepreneurship to make your life more stressful.
Whether you’re running a full-service consulting firm, or juggling freelancing + full-time job, implementing some time-saving (and stress-reducing) automation into your business model can be a god-send.
So if you’re tired of feeling run ragged, burned out from endless client communications, or just about to pull the final strand of hair out over your dream biz turned nightmare, check out these three automation areas that are guaranteed to make entrepreneurial life a little more enjoyable:
What a waste! Imagine what else you could accomplish during those 6+ hours!!!
So much for electronic communications making our lives more efficient…
Good news: you don’t have to fall prey to the big black hole we call the inbox. By setting up a few working rules for your workday, you can turn e-mail into something that builds your business vs. something that takes away from it.
Here are a few e-mail management tips:
- Don’t check e-mail first thing in the morning; try mid-day or late afternoon. Save your morning hours for high-focus, preplanned activities.
- Remove e-notifications from your phone, or buy an extra phone – one for work, one for personal use. While many employees do it, checking e-mail after hours is NOT healthy.
- Schedule times during the day (or week) to check your inbox. I check my e-mail twice a week – Tuesday and Thursday – a schedule I’m quite fanatic about. You can also schedule your e-mail responses with the help of Boomerang.
- Set-up an automatic e-mail responder that will inform senders of your availability and when they can expect a response. Check out Tim Ferriss’ fabulous time saving e-mail responder drafts.
Entrepreneurs wear many hats, and “receptionist” doesn’t have to be one of them. Instead of spending your valuable working hours glued to your business phone, consider contracting a professional answering service to filter all your business-related calls.
Here’s a few recommended call services (with budgets as friendly as their receptionists):
Don’t think you can afford a professional answering service? Think again.
How does $39-$99/month sound? Quite affordable for a professional receptionist representing your brand!
Managing must-have marketing content for your brand – from blog posts to eblasts to social media – can be a full-time job in and of itself. If you’re feeling a little underwater on the digital strategy front, or embarrassed at your business’ lack thereof, have no fear – automation help in here!
By creating content ahead of time, and utilizing apps to schedule publishing for optimal times, you can almost let your online presence run itself (*almost).
Here’s a few of the content automation programs I’m a fan of:
- Hootsuite and Buffer: social media
- CoSchedule: all-in-one system (blog + social media)
- Google Alerts: content sourcing
- MadMimi: e-blasts
While I haven’t used it myself, Edgar is a hands-off option for social media management that I’ve heard good things about.