Episode 50 | Avoid Automation Messes
On our expert segment today we are going to be talking to Austin Openshaw. Austin has devoted the last seven years to helping small businesses grow. He believes that taking any business and making it run smoother and more efficient brings the most satisfaction.
“Efficiency is a great secret that can drop us right into our ideal life path, but it is a hard one to practice and something that takes constant maintenance and work.”
Small Business Strategist
What systems do you know and love to help your business run smoother?
Tools of the business can get really overwhelming really quickly.
There are some key buckets you really need to tackle.
Let’s start with the basics (e-mail, calendar, file storing). The perfect solution is G Suite including Google, Gmail, Google calendar, and Google Drive. The G Suite can be very beneficial to a small business because you only have to pay for what you need. Often we only have to pay for file storing and is usually the most cost-efficient option. As you grow you can add additional e-mails, users, and more.
Next, you need a system to track the work you need to do for your business. There are many great project management tools to help with this. When you just starting out Trello may be a good option. As you begin adding more clients and team members you can upgrade to a more professional project management tool such as Asana or Teamwork.
Quickbooks, Zero, and Freshbooks help you to track your income, expenses, and taxes. Quickbooks Online is the go-to for many people.
There are also great tools for Team Communication like Slack which is a free tool. You can also communicate with your team within Asana and Teamwork.
Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts are all great tools for online meetings.
Last you are going to want a CRM (Contact Relationship Management) to store all the details you know about your clients. Austin has personal experience and highly suggests using Keep by Infusionsoft. It is very streamlined and easy, so it helps it not to be too overwhelming.
He highly suggests focusing on those 6 categories. You can start off for free with many of these tools and then upgrade as your income and needs grow.
All of this becomes really powerful when you have these tools working together and communicating together.
Check out Zapier and that can help you implement this.
Start small. Pick out only what you need to get started. You can add more as you start growing.
Making sure all your systems are communicating is most important, so you are not duplicating work.
Just because the tool is working for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. Figure out what works best for you and stick with it. Find tools that are cheap and easy.