Raise your hand if you regularly need more than 24 hours a day. And all the moms have both hands up… I know I could use another two or three hours today alone! Let’s face it, between running a business and raising kids, we need all the time we can squeeze out of the day.
I’m all about productivity hacks, time management techniques (like time blocking), and anything else I can find on Pinterest that promises to make our lives easier. But of all I’ve learned about how to be more productive as a work at home mom, business automation is hands down the best way to save time while making more money.
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What is Business Automation?
Business automation means that you use software or apps to have things in your business occur on your own, without you having to do them every time. One popular example of something being automated is an autoresponder series. If you have an email series set up for when someone signs up for your email list, then you already have part of your business automated!
Having things happen automatically can save you sooo much time and energy. Plus, as a mompreneur with tons of other responsibilities, having a program do things for you makes sure that they actually happen even if you don’t remember! It’s like that magical program button on your coffee maker. Put your coffee in the machine (don’t forget the water!), program the machine when to turn on, and you’ll have hot coffee waiting for you in the morning. (cue angelic music)
Here’s a list of my 10 favorite ways to use automation in my online business.
1. Email Marketing
If you are building an email list, then you need to have evergreen content automated. Period. New subscribers to your list need a minimum of five emails sent to them over the first week or so just to get to you know your business. If you’re just starting your email marketing, then start with automating that 5 email series and build from there.
2. Posting New Blog Posts to Social Media
There are several tools that allow you to automatically post your new blog posts to your social media accounts. There are both free and paid options available. If you work so hard on a new blog post and pin it like crazy but forget to put it on your FB page, then this is a great option for you.
3. Sending Emails to Leads
What happens when someone fills out the contact form on your website? Have you ever had the email about a new submission on your contact form sit in your spam folder for far too long before you realized it? Send an email to that new contact or lead as soon as they’ve filled out your form and you’ll never have to suffer from the regret of missing an opportunity again!
4. Appointment Bookings
Do you send emails or messages back and forth before finally settling on a time for a meeting with a client? Save yourself and your clients massive amounts of time by using an appointment setting tool. The other bonus feature is that you can have appointment reminders automated. It’s statistically proven that you’ll have less missed appointments when your clients get timely reminders beforehand! Bookafy is my appointment scheduling tool of choice, but Acuity and Calendy are two other popular options.
5. Sending Invoices
Do you manually send your clients invoices every month? Ever been up late on the last day of the month, wasting precious sleep time sending invoices? I know I did before I automated my invoicing! There are programs available that will send your retainer clients an invoice every month (or the time interval you set) without you having to do anything! You can also set up late payment reminders just in case your client doesn’t pay on time.
6. Sending Follow Up Emails to Past Clients
How do you follow up with past clients? Or does ending a project or program with you feel more like the end of a relationship or a break up? Automatically sending your clients follow up emails at the one month, three month, and six month marks can really help keep that connection alive. It’ll help you stay at the front of their minds for repeat business and for referrals. And having an automated a referral request email is also a great idea!
7. Sending Follow Up Emails to Past Leads
How do you follow up with past leads? (I know, the last point started off very similar, but I promise these are different!) Have you ever had someone interested in your service just ghost out on you? Sometimes people walk away from the sales conversation because they just aren’t at the point to buy yet. If you keep following up (in a non-crazy way) with your old leads, it’ll help make sure that you’re the one they turn when they are ready.
8. Using Canned Emails or Email Scripts
Do you send the same emails over and over again? Like the information you send to new clients or answers to questions you get all the time. Email scripts (otherwise known as canned emails) are a great way to save you time on those emails you send on repeat. Just because you feel like you could write them in your sleep doesn’t mean you have to write them every time!
9. Sending Welcome Packets to New Clients
Do you have information or a welcome packet that you send to new clients? If you don’t, you definitely should! They are a great way to make sure you start your working relationship off with clear expectations and boundaries. Save yourself the time and headache by automatically sending your welcome packet when a new client signs a contract.
10. Back Up Your Website
Okay, maybe this doesn’t save you a ton of time. But if you ever have something crazy happen to your site and you end up losing all of it, you’ll be happy you had a recently backed up version of your site. Updraft is my WordPress backup plugin of choice. The free version lets you create autobackups of your website and save it your Google Drive or other places.
The Best Business Automation Tool for Mompreneurs
For 6 of these 10 items, Dubsado is the best way to automate your business. Dubsado is a CRM and invoicing tool designed especially for service-based businesses. If you’re a creative, coach, or virtual assistant, Dubsado will allow you to save hours a week while taking your client experience to the next level.
Imagine being able to send emails, forms, invoices, and questionnaires to clients automatically. Think about not having to send another late payment reminder or waste another minute on sending an invoice to a client for the THIRD time. I know how frustrating that can be because I’ve been there!
If you’re ready to put the backend of your business on autopilot, check out my Busy Mama Business Automation package. I’ll have you up and running on Dubsado within a week!
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