How to get started with automation with 3 easy stepsKris Thain
Okay so you love the idea of saving time and increasing earning potential with automation BUT you’ve no idea where to start.
Is it even worth bothering to automate? After all you could carry on doing it yourself or just outsource the work.
What if it all goes wrong?
We are small business owners – just like you – and we had to start from scratch and find out how to get started.
No one said learning to automate is easy, it can be technical and takes time to learn but when you start to offload tasks and automate them the rewards are instant.
If you want to free up some time so you can nurture your clients or just have more free time, you have to start somewhere.
Here’s three easy steps to get you started:
- List all of your workflows. Sort them in order of importance. For example which process has the most impact on your services.
- Now look at which workflow isn’t performing well and has bottlenecks. This workflow should be at the top of your list.
- List who is involved in each workflow and involve them in this process. They may have suggestions you haven’t thought of.
Map your workflows either with pen and paper in a list format, or use software like Creately.com to create a visual flowchart. You need to list and order the steps in your workflow. For example the individual steps you take to go from A to B, so with client onboarding it might look something like this:
- You agree to take on a new client
- They have to then send you all relevant details (name, company name, address, email address, etc)
- You then send them your contract and the details of the service you’ve agreed on providing them with
- They then have to sign and return the contract electronically
- You then file this somewhere on your computer and perhaps you also print it out to keep in a physical file
- You set up an initial Zoom call to go through the finer details of the service with them
- You go back and forth a few times with them trying to agree on a date and time
- You send them a questionnaire they have to fill in prior to the call
- They might have to get in touch to reschedule the call
- Again, back and forth you go trying to agree on a new time
- The day before the call you send them a quick reminder by email so that they don’t forget to turn up
- You also need to remind them to send back the questionnaire which is required for the call
- You have the call, and finally, they are onboarded. Phew!
You’re probably already short on time and thinking “this is taking too long I know my workflows” and yes you probably do. BUT, we can guarantee that when you start automating there will be something you have forgotten that could end up costing you more money when the automation has to be changed.
At the end of this process not only will you have fully mapped out workflows, you’ll have business bible, something new team members can refer to if you’re ever off sick. It can even be used as a training guide. Clients who have mapped out their workflows have found this to be a really worthwhile process.
Now that you know your workflows in detail you’re ready to take the next step and that’s build your automated workflows. 95% of the example workflow above can be automated, it’s only the stuff that needs personal interaction that you leave alone.
If you need help mapping out your workflows, want to learn how to use Zapier to automate yourself or just want us to do it for you contact us here.