Small business ownership is an amazing experience and without automation it can wear you out. How can you grow your small business when you wear so many hats and save time? One strategy is to automate growth. The more you can hand off to an automation tool or another professional to do, the less you get stuck in that early growth stage. Here are five top strategies to grow your small business without doing everything yourself.

Gardener growing with small business automation

#1: Turn Clients Into Ambassadors

be authentic. flywheel marketing. referral discounts. bonuses. word of mouth.

Your business might struggle to scale until you figure out one thing: how to turn your current clients into ambassadors for your brand. You can do this several ways, and it’s important that it be authentic. That’s because sales don’t work when they’re not done by people who believe in what you’re offering, or they’re not connecting with the ideal clients who are just waiting to buy what you’re selling. How do you turn clients into brand ambassadors?

Some businesses do it with flywheel marketing or referral discounts, where current clients can mention to friends and family that a discount is available to new clients or a promotion is running if they’re referred. You can also reward your current clients for those referrals by giving them a bonus or discount as well. If your small business is offering something really compelling, you might even find that clients recommend you by word of mouth without any motivation. Best way to turn clients into ambassadors? Be amazing when you serve the clients you’ve got.

#2: Passive Sale Automation

explain services on your website. sell products online. start a blog.

If you have a small business, chances are you already know what product or service you’re offering, and you’re used to pitching it. Make sure that you explain your offerings on your website, in simple terms on any social media accounts, and anywhere you advertise. That makes it easy for you to create a passive sales channel. This is especially true if you have more than one revenue stream for your business.

Run a fitness coaching service but also sell merch? List everything on your website, and everything you do to boost your business will drive customers to where they can see your offerings without you explaining every offering to them. Also, if you run a blog, podcast, or host public events, people can find your website after the fact to connect with what you sell without you having to meet every individual personally. It all boils down to – how can you help your small business with automation so you can delight your customers in other ways.

#3: Use Automation Software Tools

automate business support services. use a CRM. automate invoicing and billing. use services that save time.

Everything from email marketing to bookkeeping can be done with small business automation. Client relationship management tools and new automation tools for business processes that used to give us all headaches are now the norm. It can be overwhelming to choose which tasks to automate. Think about it this way: write down which tasks you don’t want to do, and those you are doing but take up a lot of your time.

Just getting started and need some a quick list of automation tools?

  1. Quickbooks for your P/L and book keeping
  2. Paychex or Gusto for payroll
  3. Hubspot or Yottled for a CRM
  4. Mailchimp for marketing automation

Those are the tasks you should look for an automation tool for. Just make sure you’re signing up for a service that doesn’t require more time to input information into the tool or give directions than it saves you. Your goal is to grow your small business with automation so you can do higher level items.

#4: Partnerships & Networks

form partnerships. network with colleagues.

According to Act.com, partnerships should be high on your list for business growth strategies. While partnerships aren’t automated, they can be a synergistic foundation for referrals, multiplied publicity and more. Think about other businesses and support organizations in your industry that have similar goals as you. Maybe they have different clients they serve, but your mission is aligned. Reach out and explore partnership opportunities or just stay in touch.

#5: Create a Growth Automation Plan

create a growth plan. dedicate time to grow your business. set deadlines.

It’s not automation per se, but creating a growth plan for your business can make it feel like your business is running and growing on autopilot. That’s because you’ve taken the time up front to decide what order you will pursue different growth initiatives. Make sure that whatever plan you develop to grow your business, you dedicate enough time to complete the plan, and you set measurable goals and deadlines so you know if you’re on track. Dropbox recommends using SMART goals for this process: