If you run an online business, you’ll most likely understand that automating your processes and procedures will help to scale your business faster. This is because there are a lot of moving parts in an online business, and if you don’t have a system in place to automate some of your tasks, then you’ll be struggling to complete them.
In this post, I want to share with you how you can put your online business on autopilot using workflow automation.
What Exactly is Workflow Automation?
Workflow automation, as the name implies, is the process of creating a system that automates all the repetitive tasks, procedures, and processes in your business.
When you have workflow automation in place for your online business, you’ll achieve your goals faster. That way, you can improve your efficiency and focus on growing your business.
Why You Should Create a Workflow Automation for an Online Business
In case you’re wondering if creating workflow automation is the right thing to do, here are some benefits you stand to gain by implementing an automated system for your online business.
1. It enhances communication within your team
For an online business owner, chances are that your team works remotely. What this means is that you need an effective communication system to get things done.
With workflow automation, you can filter the information that you send to your employees so that they can get only relevant information, and also respond in real time.
2. It increases your team’s productivity
Chances are that there are repetitive tasks in your business. By automating these tasks, you’ll become more productive and achieve more in less time. Take, for instance, if you run an agency, you can automate the process of finding and doing outreach to qualified leads you want to work with.
So instead of spending about four hours a day on this task, you can reduce it to say one hour a day. The remaining three hours can be spent on other productive tasks that move the needle for your business.
3. It makes your team more efficient
If you want your team members to be more efficient, then having workflow automation in place will help you greatly.
The reason is simple. While humans are prone to errors and risks, machines and software have minimal and negligible risks. That way, you can be sure of getting things done the right way, while your employees focus on things that require human engagement.
How to Create a Successful Workflow Automation for Your Online Business
Now that you know why having workflow automation in place is a good idea, here are the steps you can take to create one for your online business.
1. Outline your goals for creating a workflow
What exactly do you want to achieve for your business when you create workflow automation? This is the first step toward achieving success with this process.
When you have specific goals in mind, it becomes much easier to create an automation that matches and helps you achieve those faster. Take, for instance, if your goal is to enhance communication in your team, then you should outline exactly how you want to achieve that with automation.
By outlining your goals, you’ll have a long-term strategy in place for your online business.
2. Identify repetitive tasks
Repetitive tasks are usually the culprits when automating your workflow. So you need to identify what these repetitive tasks are, how much of your time it takes to complete them, and the number of work hours you’ll save by automating them.
Take for instance, if you own an affiliate marketing website. One of the things that matters to you is getting more eyeballs to your blog. And to make this happen, you have to engage in some repetitive tasks such as: posting your content on social media, repurposing your content into other formats such as video, republishing your content on syndication platforms such as Medium, and reaching out to other relevant website owners to link to you.
By identifying these repetitive tasks, you can know exactly what to automate and what you shouldn’t.
3. Use technology to execute these tasks
Workflow automation will be impossible without technology. So the next step in the process is to find the tools and software you can use to automate repetitive tasks with little or no human input.
Take the case of a blogger, for example—one of the repetitive tasks you do is to reach out to relevant website owners to link to you. While it’s possible to get the list of websites that might be interested in linking to your content manually, it’s usually time-consuming and always prone to errors.
Instead, you can use SEO tools such as Ahrefs and SEMrush to automate this process. That way, you can find more websites in less time, and focus instead on creating personalized outreach emails.
Show your employees how it works
There’s a limit to the number of tasks you can complete in a day, even with automation. This is why you need to show your employees how everything works, as soon as you’ve figured it out on your own.
One of the ways to show employees how things work is to record your process using screen recording software such as Loom. Once done, you can upload the links to a team collaboration software such as Google spreadsheet, SweetProcess, Clickup, and so on.
Alternatively, if it’s something you can explain with written content, you can easily do so via Google Docs, and share access to your team members. That way, they can execute these tasks, even in your absence.
An effective way to grow your online business and make your team more productive is to automate some of the repetitive tasks. In this post, you’ve learned the steps you can take to make that happen using workflow automation.