I love a bit of automation.

Whether it’s my lights, music, shopping or news, I’m on a mission to automate everything in my home. I can turn on my lamps, turn up The Darkness and order the essentials from Amazon all with the touch of a button.

But what about automation at work?

We're currently working on a data automation project for a client, and it’s something I’ve been implementing with our client communications in the form of our Project Tracker Tool.

Here are a few easy things to automate in your business today that could save you precious time tomorrow.

Accounting

According to a report by Xero, 37% of small business owners think accounting should be more automated.

We use Free Agent for all of our accounting needs, and it really works. We can put our invoices and expenses in, and Free Agent does all the work for us.

While paying an accountant could still be valuable for you, using something like Free Agent or Xero means their time is freed up from entering bills – automation allows them to focus on helping you run a better business.

Customer service

Automated customer service may sound a bit much, but it’s actually as simple as using FAQs on your website or installing a live chat bot on your landing pages.

But depending on the nature of your business, automated customer service may not be for you.

If you have a small group of clients it may be unnecessary, or if work with older people they may prefer to speak to a human.

Communication

This one is easy to automate – you might already be doing it.

If you have a contact form on your website which triggers an automatic email, that’s considered automation. Using a tool like Mailchimp can help you to build on this – as well as an email response to enquiries, why not give people the chance to sign up to your newsletter as they enquire.

This sign up could then trigger a chain of emails, all offering them insight into your service.

Our Project Tracker Tool is a cross between communication and customer service. When we start a new client project, an email is triggered letting the client know that they can access the tracker and keep an eye on how their project is doing.

Each time there’s an update or their project moves on to the next stage, they get an automated email letting them know – neat, eh?

We’re still at early stages with the tracker, but so far client feedback has been positive. Obviously if clients want updates over the phone or from us personally, we’re happy to provide those too – automation shouldn’t come over providing the best service for your client.

Social media

If you use Buffer or Edgar, you’re already automating your social media.

These tools are great for planning ahead and scheduling the right content on the right days, but don’t forget to watch your channels so you can stay reactive and communicate with others – that is the whole point of social media, after all.