When you first start building your business, you might find it manageable to do a lot of the work yourself and to save costs by not purchasing software or platforms which you’d only use for specific things a few times a month – if that. And that is totally fine, and probably the smart thing to do – until you have your product or service nailed down, and the customer experience mapped out. Then it’s time to scale your business.
And to scale, you need to automate.
I’m going to talk through the absolute necessities for automating portions of your business in this article.
These are things that will allow you to buy back your time, giving you that ability to take a step back from the operational side of your business and focus on your next big step.
And as Founder or CEO, that is exactly where you should be spending a good chunk of your time.
So here are the top 5 places where you should be automating your business operations.
Scaling Your Business – Top 5 Tips
You’ll notice that the first three are all email sequences. Email is the easiest and most effective way to communicate your brand, your offer and your overall business to your potential customers. If there is ONE thing you choose to automate, let it be this.
Scaling Your Business – Tip #1: An Automated Opt-in Sequence
So the first thing you want to do is to create an automated email opt-in sequence.
An opt-in sequence is based around your opt-in item, or your lead magnet. A lead magnet is essentially a free item of value given to someone in exchange for their email address. For product-based businesses, these tend to be discounts. For service-based businesses, these tend to be e-books, guidebooks, access to a course or a webinar. And for software businesses, these are typically free trial periods.
So once you have your opt-in, you will definitely want to automate fulfilling the customer’s request. The last thing you want to be doing is manually sending out the lead magnet or discount code.
Ok, so this first tip is easy, right? Hopefully you already do that, if you have a lead magnet. And if you don’t have a lead magnet, you should 100% get one in place. More on that another day.
Scaling Your Business – Tip #2: An Automated Email Welcome Sequence
The second thing you want to do is put together an automated email welcome sequence. This is typically a sequence of 3 to 5 emails that any new subscriber would receive.
Personally, I deploy 3 emails, 24 hours apart. You might choose to do 5 emails, 48 hours apart. Some businesses do welcome sequences that are weeks and months long. Choose what works for you.
You should use your welcome sequence to literally welcome people into your business. Showcase your personality, your brand, your values, your products and services. Let them get to know you and your business or brand.
And remember, done is better than perfect. Get 3 emails in a sequence, move on to automate the next thing, and then come back to this and add to it later, if you’d like to make it a longer sequence or want to make changes to the emails.
Scaling Your Business – Tip #3: An Automated Email Sales Sequence
The third thing you want to do is put together an automated email sales sequence.
This sequence can be updated and swapped out every time you have a new product or service you’d like to push, or you can have a general one, particularly if you run a product-based business.
The sequence should consist of approximately 3 emails, and should be triggered at the end of your welcome sequence, ideally with a gap of a few days or even a week or two.
In this sequence, you’ll showcase your absolute best products and services, throw in some testimonials if you can, and really demonstrate the value of your offering. Make sure you provide quick links back to your website for easy purchase or more information.
The aim here is that after receiving your valuable lead magnet, then getting to know you, your potential customer might be ready to make a purchase, and you don’t want to miss that opportunity.
If they don’t purchase, don’t despair! Perhaps they need to get to know you a bit more, particularly if your business sells high value products or services, or items that are not purchased frequently.
Top tip: Monitor how many emails it usually takes (between the opt-in, welcome sequence, sales sequence and newsletters) before potential customers are – on average – ready to buy from you. Then try to have that number of interactions with your potential customers in your welcome sequence and sales sequence (i.e. add more emails to the sequences so you can automate those interactions).
Scaling Your Business – Tip #4: Automating Admin Work
We’re more than halfway there!
The fourth area you’ll need to automate is not an email sequence. In this tip, you’re going to start automating portions of your business that require you to spend a lot of time going back and forth with clients/customers or potential clients/customers. If you’re a service business, getting a calendar booking app on your website is a great way to avoid the 3-4 email exchange that takes place when setting up a discovery call with a potential client. Same thing goes for coaches and other “meeting” based businesses. I personally use Paperbell to schedule my coaching sessions and my workshops. I absolutely love it and highly recommend it for coaching and consulting businesses.
Scaling Your Business – Tip #5: Automating Lead Generation
Lastly, but very importantly, you should deeply consider using paid social to drive leads to your social media pages. The great thing about doing this is that it continues to run in the background, and over time, you’ll know how much revenue you can expect to make based on the amount you spend on paid social.
For example, once you’ve tested this a few times, you’ll figure out your conversion rate on your lead magnet page, and then your sales page. So when new potential customers are brought into your ecosystem through paid social ads, you’ll know what percentage of them will opt into your lead magnet, and after that, what percentage of those will move forward with a purchase at the end of your welcome and sales sequences.
You can even set up your lead magnet to have its own sales sequence for an item that is more closely related to the lead magnet.
The idea here is that once you know how well you can convert potential customers into paying customers, the only thing that you need is more customers, and paid social is a great way to get them.
Scaling Your Business: A Summary
In conclusion, the only way to scale your business is to start looking at what you can automate within it. Manual processes and interactions will always be a bottleneck to scaling, so those are areas you want to focus on first.
Scaling your business is an incredible way to buy back your time. Don’t be afraid to invest in it, as you’ll be able to spend more time building and growing your business strategically with the time you’ll have bought back!
As always, good luck, I believe you can do this, and I’m always around if there’s anything you’d like some help with.
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