If you learn how to automate your business, you’ll be able to achieve more in less time, with fewer people! The key to this is understanding how to cut down the time and resources you’re currently wasting on manual tasks and turn them into smart business automations instead.
At Outsourcing Angel, we use a variety of automation tools like Zapier, IFTTT and Integromat, Project Management tools like Asana, SOP (Standard Operation Procedure) tools like systemHUB and CRM platforms like HubSpot to automate our business while we focus on profitable actions. Watch the video below or keep reading if you want to do the same for your business.
Does your business lack automations, systems and processes?
Our Systemise & Scale Up Program is designed for business owners who are in need of a team that can turn their business chaos into clarity.
Start by having a planning session with our Virtual Operations Manager and we’ll discover and implement the right automation tools and systems for you!
Common reasons why business automate their processes
Based on client feedback from our Systemise & Scale Up program, here are the most common reasons that businesses come to us for automation help:
- They are currently doing a lot of manual and admin work that could be automated
- Their business grew too quickly without proper transition and change management
- Important client information is getting missed due to human error
- There are no SOPs and every department is operating using their own procedures and processes
- They want a better project management tool that allows them to keep track of their projects, clients and company growth
To put it simply, these businesses feel like it’s an absolute nightmare trying to figure out how to streamline and automate their day-to-day when they’re already drowning in work. They know they have a problem, but they don’t have the time and the expertise to fix it.
Benefits of automating your business processes
Automation can either come in the form of digital tools that require some IT knowledge to implement, or by simply creating procedures and task management systems into your business.
With the right automations in place, your business should be able to run itself without your constant involvement and the key benefits of this include:
- Improved operational efficiency: Thanks to the better use of your company resources and assets this means that work is done faster and more effectively.
- Improved company morale: When your employees are more productive and can focus on their strengths, they’ll find more fulfillment and enjoyment out of their work.
- Reduced human error: With rules and triggers set in place, let the robots do the work and reduce your margin for human errror
- Consistently deliver results for our customers:
Identify further opportunities for streamlining and improvements:
By having more time to analyse and oversee your company flow and client journey, it gives you the opportunity to see more opportunities for streamlining processes….soon your business could even run without you being there!
Do you want your business to run itself without your constant involvement?
It’s time to introduce business automations and SOPs to your business with our Systemise & Scale Up program
Top automation tools to automate your business
Regardless of your business size, there are tools that have been designed to help every business. Let’s look at the common tools that we use and recommend at Outsourcing Angel:
Zapier is a tool that allows businesses to integrate services to one another. That way, systems like accounting software and lead management tools can automatically exchange information with little to no human intervention. The tool performs what they call “zaps,” which are automated tasks between two systems. One example of a useful task that Zapier can perform for you is having a lead submission on Typeform or Google Forms automatically added as a subscriber to your Mailchimp account.
At Outsourcing Angel, we love using Zapier to automate our sales process. Not only is the lead added to our CRM system, it also triggers the rest of our sales workflow:
- They’re booked in for a Discovery Call via Calendly
- Our team is notified in Slack that we have a new lead
- And a sales proposal is automatically created for our Sales Manager… and so on…
You can see that the administrative parts of sales get done as soon as possible. With over 3,000 integrations possible in Zapier, business owners can now let their digital systems talk to each other even when you’re out doing other more important work.
IFTTT is another automation tool that lets you script actions, meaning you get a program to take care of a task between two services for you. In this way, it’s very similar to Zapier with a few unique selling points. For instance, Zapier’s tasks are more for business-related tasks. IFTTT, on the other hand, would be best in personal use settings, like playing music in your home, controlling smart home devices, posting to social media, and so on.
So how does a home automation app automate a business? Both personal and business affairs will always overlap. So a business owner also needs to automate the home if he or she wants to automate the business. Albeit, less time cleaning the house or sifting through music will mean a more productive space to achieve more in your business.
Integromat is another integration software that syncs two or more connecting tasks across multiple systems. It thrives mostly on connecting cloud-based services like emails, business suites, communications tools, and more. Overall, Integromat is a tad bit more versatile than Zapier, but it’s also more technical as some connections might require coding via an API.
Integromat can also take care of many business activities for you automatically. We like how it connects cloud-based sales and lead generation tools with communications channels. That way, you get notifications when you have new business prospects and ensure that you respond to them in the soonest time possible.
Another way to automate your business aside from app integrations is to use it in your people systems. More particularly, one aspect that you want to automate is your project management process. Project management has a lot of moving parts that can eat up several hours of your week— sending reminders to staff, giving instructions, getting updates, and so on. With a good project management tool like Asana, you’re able to delegate many of those tasks to technology.
Another way to automate your business aside from automation apps is by using Project Management platforms like Asana.
At Outsourcing Angel, we use Asana in so many ways.
- First, we have different channels for different departments. For example, we have one for Marketing and one for Operations.
- Within these channels we have different projects. For example, in our Marketing Channel we have projects for:
- Social Media
- Website & SEO
- And even one for Ad-hoc Tasks
- Inside these channels are different tasks that allow you to:
- Assign to a staff member
- Add a due date
- Select whether its high, medium or low priority
- And add notes, attachments and collaborators
- If there are repetitive tasks such as “Design a social media image”, we can create Task Templates so you just need to replicate the template and change out a few details.
- And every time a task has been updated, any collaborators are notified via email and given task reminders
This makes assigning tasks as well as keeping track of projects, really easy and simple for all staff members.
Other project management platforms that we also recommend are ClickUp, Monday and Trello.
ClickUp is also a project management tool, but it does more than that. What makes ClickUp so powerful is the many automated tasks you can do when managing cadence projects and campaigns. Some automations include:
- Changing assignees
- Creating new tasks when another task gets completed
- Assigning to team members once a new project gets created
- And more
ClickUp can also help a company measure deliverables and goals over the long-term. This feature ensures that your company maintains its momentum towards a decided set of objectives, and doesn’t get sidetracked by the busyness of work or life. You can also build internal and external knowledge bases that save a manager or business owner time from having to explain operational workflows to staff or automate the client onboarding process.
HubSpot is a really great all-in-one CRM platform with plenty of integrations and great automations. It’s our platform of choice for our sales and customer service team here at Outsourcing Angel because it allows us to connect with prospects and move them up a funnel that can turn them into long-term customers.
We use Hubspot to automate our customer journey in the following ways:
- Hubspot creates a customer profiles based on:
- The information our leads have entered using our website form
- Which source they came from – whether that be organic, social media, ads
- Hubspot helps us track our sales pipeline by:
- Adding a client to our on-boarding automation with access to our client hub and an on-boarding call when their status changes from prospect to client
- Sending reminders for follow-up emails
- Scheduling appointments and meeting reminders
- And it also helps us manage our relationship with our clients by:
- Allowing us to enter a customer service ticket for any issues or problems raised
- Allowing our team to enter important dates and information and send reminders to the team so we can arrange things like surprise birthday and anniversary gifts
Our sales, operations and marketing team also use Hubspot’s dashboards to see how we’re performing as a company so there’s more cross-department transparency.
HubSpot does a lot of things. It automatically scrapes the internet for lead information, pushes people through a sales funnel, creates chat bots, and so much more. In Outsourcing Angel, we like to use HubSpot for a myriad of purposes. We use it’s dashboards to track our key performance metrics, the sales pipeline to generate and qualify leads, and automatically update customer profiles and conversations. With HubSpot being another cloud-based solution, anyone in the sales and marketing team can log in and use the service at any point.
The next tool on our business automation list is Google Drive— one of the digital age’s most robust systems for business suite. Google Drive is somewhat like Microsoft Word except online. It allows you to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, forms, and many other business-related assets.
Google Drive streamlines document creation, sharing, and collaboration. One case scenario would be how marketing teams can use Google Drive to create marketing copy text and have managers and/or other experts comment on them for faster turnover. Spreadsheets are another great document to have if you want to outsource data gathering, analysis, and computation to a Virtual Assistant and have the data readily available anytime you need it. We like to use Google Drive to share writeups, project plans, marketing data, and a host of other data with our team for faster and more autonomous business operations.
When training a team to operate independently, business owners and executives should polish one aspect of business operations— systems and processes documentation. An SOP or operations manual provides your team with a guide that will outline parts of the business that you want to run like clockwork even when you aren’t around.
SOPs are written instructions that describe how to perform a task or activity. In order for them to be used effectively and easily followed by anyone, they need to be:
- Efficient, to the point
- Organised by departments and channels
- Cover different areas such as operations, marketing, business development, finance and more…
Having SOPs provides your team with a manual and guide to assure that all team members are meeting the same expectations when it comes to:
- Tone of voice
- Quality of work
It also eliminates a lot of wasted time on answering questions and untangling messes later down the line when your business has grown exponentially.
We first started using SystemHub in Outsourcing Angel to document all of our systems and processes including:
- Operations and more
Now, we essentially have a “Bible” to guide every aspect of team operations so that everyone knows what to do to keep the company running smoothly. This is something that we could easily help you and your team to set-up within the business too.
Have you ever wished that every lead got to interact with you? Well, having a tool like VideoAsk makes that somewhat possible. If you wanted to speak to hundreds of prospects, it would probably take you hundreds of hours to do it manually. But a tool like VideoAsk turns your website into a highly-engaging chat with you in video format.
At Outsourcing Angel, we started using this tool to let people see our founder and CEO, Linh, off the bat. Through VideoAsk, we’ve been able to “multiply” Linh and bring a more personalized approach to our client relationship building process. You might be able to do the same with a tool like VideoAsk as well.
How efficient is your business?
With our Systemise & Scale Up program our goal is to make your business so ultra-efficient that it gets results without your constant involvement.
Our 6-step Systemise & Scale Up process
At Outsourcing Angel, we’ve spent over 10 years perfecting a 6-step system that allows businesses to run like clockwork, regardless of industry, size, or market. This process involves our Virtual Operations Officer and a dedicated team of Virtual Assistants taking a deep dive into your business to identify areas to optimise, streamline and automate your systems and processes in 90 days.
Step 1: Discovery Call
The first step you can take towards automating your business is having a Discovery Call with our Outsourcing Consultant, Heidi. It’s important in this call that we get a good understanding of how your business operates by learning about your:
- Biggest business challenges
- Key income streams/channels
- Business goals
- End-to-end customer journey
- Organisational chart
- Current business model
This step allows us to see what we’re working and identify the gaps.
Step 2: Workshop
Once we an overview of your business, in step 2 you’ll attend a workshop with our Virtual Operations Manager to identify your top 3-5 processes to systemise and next steps. This will allow us to create the following for your business:
- Define your core business fundamentals
- Automation Audit Report
- Identify suitable automation tools
- Create training materials for your team
- Create a change management plan
We want to make the process as simple and streamlined for you as possible.
Step 3: Implement
It’s time to implement the necessary tools to automate and streamline your top 3-5 processes!
- Implement and integrate your tools to connect and react to your prospects’ actions and behaviors
- Turn your undocumented processes into automated systems
- Create dashboards so that everyone is on the same page
Step 4: Resource allocation
With the right tools in place, the last missing puzzle piece for your business is optimal resource allocation. We’ll help you shift your resources for optimal performance by:
- Identifying where a Virtual Assistant can assist e.g Documentation and Admin VA, Project Manager, VA that builds the operations, strategies, documentations, processes
- Create the perfect VA Job Description
We screen and check our pool of top–level Virtual Assistants
- You interview the top candidates we feel works best for your organisation
Step 5: Onboarding
We’ll make sure your VA is properly introduced to your business and work seamlessly with you in your preferred style. This involves:
- Facilitated VA onboarding
- Supervised training
- Culture integration
- Daily check-in routine with your VA and you
Step 6: Review and repeat
Once you’ve gotten the hang of things, we’ll keep your VA motivated and delivering results for the long-term by:
- Managing, motivating and inspiring peak performance
- VA Performance Reviews
- Bonuses and incentives
- Monthly Pulse Check meetings
- Quarterly Focus meetings
I’m ready to automate my business
If you’re serious about taking your business to the next level, let’s talk about how Systemise & Scale Up can help you
Remember to have a change management plan!
Now before you run off and change the way you operate your business ASAP, its important to create a culture of change first. Your employees need to understand that the purpose of automating business processes is to make their work easier so that they’re more likely to adopt the changes and move away from their traditional processes.
Some staff members may be resistant to change, but in order for your business to grow, you’ll need all hands on deck to make the change happen!
Let us help you change your business for the better
Get started on our Systemise & Scale Up program and take the necessary steps to automate and organise your business.
The longer you leave it, the more complicated it’ll get!