Based in Indianapolis, I am a wife, mom to 2 sweet girls, and an avid home decorator.  A true believer in grace, relationships and beautiful weddings, my mission is to create a life I love to live every single day. From bridal tips to business to weddings - this blog is designed to educate brides and encourage other busy mamas (and businesswomen) to make a living from their dream without giving up what matters most.

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How to automate your small business

Create a schedule that works for you!

How to automate your small business

There are only so many hours in a day, and chances are if you’re new to the entrepreneur world, you’re wearing a lot of different hats in your business, trying to keep up with multiple tasks and projects at the same time. 

While I don’t necessarily consider myself a very tech-savvy person, I’ve spent a lot of time trying to find the right tools and systems that would allow my business to continue working for me without me being in it all the time. If there is one thing I’ve learned over the past years of building my business and creating a seamless client experience, it’s that automation is key.

 

How to automate your small business

 

At Tara Nicole Weddings, we try to automate as much as we can in our business. At the end of the day, we want to be able to spend our time wisely so our primary focus and attention can be given to our clients. 

Automating your business doesn’t have to be hard. First, you need to write out the exact steps you take in the correct order to achieve each task and document them. For example, if you need to teach someone how to do social media for you, your workflows might look something like this: 

  • Brainstorm ideas
  • Write 5 captions
  • Pick stock images or create graphics in Canva
  • Research relevant and high-performing hashtags
  • Schedule posts for the week

Your workflow can be as simple or detailed as it needs to be. The important thing is that it makes sense to you and everyone involved (your team and clients) in your business. The point I’m trying to make here is that without writing down all the details in a documented workflow, it’s almost impossible to craft an efficient system and automate in the areas to get you more time back in your day. Check out this blog post to learn more about how to get started with workflows.

Before I dive into how I actually use automation in my business, here are a few questions for you to think about: 

  1. What are the repeated tasks you do regularly?
  2. What is taking you a lot of time AND brain space that can be automated? 
  3. Which things do you find tedious in the work you do? 

By answering these questions, hopefully, it gives you some ideas to start implementing automation in your business. Now, I’m going to share 3 ways to automate your business so you can truly work productively and efficiently. 

1. Automate your booking process

One of the most common concerns I hear from business owners about automating a client workflow is that, by doing so, you will lose the personal touch and make a bad impression on your clients.

While canned emails and templates can feel impersonal depending on how you use them, I personally believe they can actually add up to provide a better client experience. When someone inquires about your services, they are typically looking for a fast response. Your job is to make your prospective clients feel as comfortable as possible and get them the information they need before booking a call with you. And let’s be real, we can’t always maintain inbox zero. This is where automation comes in handy.

I use 17Hats as my Client Relationship Management tool. This is used to automate my leads, which means I am responding right away when a new lead comes in. It also serves as a place to store my invoices, contracts, and questionnaires. I truly can’t imagine running my business without it. 

Here is my lead workflow:

  • The lead fills in the contact form on my website.
  • After the submission of the form, it will trigger a workflow to start in 17Hats. Then it moves my lead seamlessly into the correct pipeline that I previously set up. 
  • An automated email goes out with a Package and Pricing Guide that is specific to the package they selected.
  • This email also includes a link to book a call with me so they can schedule a time if they’re ready to learn more about my services.
  • I get a notification I got a new lead and scheduled appointment.

You see, it really doesn’t have to be complicated. And you can honestly apply the same framework for your client onboarding process to send out your invoices and contract automatically once you get an official YES!

2. Automate your social media posts

Posting consistently to social media can be really time-consuming. As a wedding planner, I do my best to curate a social media feed that reflects my brand and vision so there is no disconnect between my work and my online presence. I love using Planoly. It’s designed for scheduling Instagram posts and it allows me to see my grid as I plan out my content. Like I said, making sure things are visually appealing is a very important factor in my business. I love that I can see what my feed would look like with the images laid out side-by-side.

3. Automate your Pinterest pins

Last but certainly not least, you can automate your Pinterest pins. If you haven’t leveraged the power of Pinterest for growing your business and gaining more website traffic, start NOW! Several of my current clients actually found me from Pinterest! I love using Tailwind to automate my Pinterest pins. It helps me save SO MUCH time and ensures my content is working for me even while I’m away! 

While I could go on and on about all the ways you can automate your business, these are my top 3, and by far most profitable, automated workflows! I would love for you to leave a comment below if you’re going to use any of these tips and tools to automate your business to save you HOURS each week. Of course, if you have any questions, let me know! Don’t forget to check out my previous blog post where I talked about all things workflows and why you need them in your business.

 

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@TARANICOLEWEDDINGS