7 Time-Consuming Business Tasks That Can Be Automated

14 November 2017

When running a business, especially an SME, you’ll often find yourself performing a bit of a balancing act to keep everything running smoothly. In addition to your daily duties, those small administrative tasks can become a bit of a time drain. We’re all well aware that time is money, so you can end up spending a lot of your day completing tasks that can just as easily be automated.

Leveraging technology can significantly free up your to-do list so you can focus on the more important challenges your job entails. In this article, we’ll present seven time-consuming tasks that can be automated using a variety of web-based tools.   

Social networking

Increasing your presence on social media so you stay visible to followers can take up a lot of time. Unless you have a dedicated social media team, the endless posts, pictures and enriching content eats up valuable minutes very quickly and needs constant attention.

Tools such as Hootsuite, Buffer and AgoraPulse enable you to schedule and automate your social media posts in advance without the need to manually update every couple of hours. As well as Hootsuite, TweetDeck is another tool that allows you to sync multiple social accounts, letting you view them all on one helpful interface.

There are also tools that offer analytics to show how well your posts perform, how many people are engaging and your audience’s location.

time saving apps

Customer support and data collection

Much like social media, active customer support is very important. It shows you’re reliable, care about feedback, and keeps you in touch with those you value the most. But obviously, it can be a hugely time-consuming task.

Tools such as Freshdesk automate customer feedback and support, and use a ticketing system so you don’t get snowed under replying to emails. Additionally, consider a help desk system within your customer service team – this lets you route emails to specific people, who can employ their knowledge to answer questions better and faster.

Also, instead of spending all that time researching your customers, use online forms to collect data on them instead. Feature them on your website and tailor the questions in a way to help you better understand your customers.  

Invoice creation

Making sure everything stays on the books is a necessary safe-guard, but manually entering data is a huge use of time. Tools and services such as Outright or FreshBooks store receipts, payment information and more. Services such as QuickBooks are a little more robust, offering real-time payment status so you know when invoices have been paid, whilst handling multiple currencies, and conducting HMRC self-assessments.   

Paying bills

Setting up a service that lets you streamline payment of bills is well worth considering. Platforms such as Bill.com can allow you to manage all your payments in one handy place, meaning one less thing to worry about.

Integrated with your bank (who can offer similar services, too), there’s no need for any more dull manual entry or missing bills.

time saving apps

Proofreading 

If you’re looking to give your business that appearance of authenticity, good grammar and spelling goes a long way. But we can’t all be walking dictionaries. You might not be able to afford a dedicated copywriter or proofreader at this point, but luckily, apps such as Grammarly help to correct grammar errors, incorrect spelling and poor vocabulary.

Instead of painstakingly poring over text, upload your document to your app of choice, or download a browser extension for real-time, automatic proofreading. 

Email marketing

Much like customer support, email marketing is invaluable when it comes to nurturing those all-important relationships with your customer base. Although you already have all your customer email IDs, automating your email marketing campaigns has several advantages over manually sending emails to everyone in your contact lists.

As well as providing you with templates that instantly save time, many email automation services, such as MailChimp, provide you with analytics that allow you to track click-through rates, people who have unsubscribed and those who have interacted with your emails. 

time saving apps

Computer Back-Ups 

Something everyone has neglected to do at some point or another, it’s tempting to just keep putting off backing up your computer. But when you find you’ve lost an important file, or some of your data’s inexplicably been corrupted, you’ll wish you’d have done it sooner.

If you start scheduling your computer back-ups automatically with tools such as Carbonite, you’ll never forget to do it, all your files and data will stay safe and it’ll let you focus on your other duties without interruptions. Even storing data and files in the cloud will help with this, and you’ll be glad you did if something unforeseen happens.  

Have you enjoyed this article? Don’t forget to check out the rest of the Gazprom Energy blog and newsfeed for more of the latest articles and features. Alternatively, to find out about our range of business energy services, visit the homepage or call us today on 0845 230 0011. 

The views, opinions and positions expressed within this article are those of our third-party content providers alone and do not represent those of Gazprom Energy. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. Gazprom Energy accepts no liability for any errors, omissions or representations.


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