5 Business automations to set up before you go on holiday
Working over 40 hours a week is the norm, especially when starting up a new enterprise, with around 81% of business owners working overtime. Many new business owners are so overworked that they find it hard to take time off. Almost one in ten small business owners in the UK haven’t taken a holiday in the last 5 years.
As there is parallel growth in understanding wellbeing in the business world and user-friendly automation technology, taking a break from business has never been more manageable. Prevent stagnation and a loss of momentum by automating processes to keep your business ticking over the summer and beyond.
What simple processes could you start automating?
Email marketing: Keep your sales pipeline running
Setting up an automated email response is a familiar pre-holiday step, yet automating emails has much more potential. In fact, statistics show that, on average, businesses make $42 for every dollar they spend on email marketing.
Abandoned cart emails are some of the most successful email marketing campaigns, with 45% of these emails being opened, 21% of recipients clicking through, and 50% of those clicking through to making a purchase.
These touch points with potential clients could keep your business profitable when you’re away from the office.
Lead generation: Automated business development
While a personal approach to lead generation is necessary at the inception of any new business, it’s not the only way. To reach a wider audience, implement a hands-off approach; automated outbound marketing complements inbound marketing for continued lead generation.
Outbound marketing is designed to attract potential clients using traditional methods, such as trade shows, seminar series or cold calling. Inbound marketing, on the other hand, relies on potential clients finding your content online (such as social media posts or blogs) so brand awareness spreads organically.
Outbound marketing automation includes developing an email marketing strategy or creating lead generation funnels. Leads are introduced to the business by emailing potential clients with a carefully-curated campaign. A campaign of this nature is generally longer than inbound campaigns because they usually need between 8 and 12 touch points before they result in significant action.
Content batching: Maintain your marketing efforts away from the desk
Content batching is creating social media posts, blog posts, video content, creative assets and other materials and scheduling them in advance over a period of time. Success comes from consistency and reinforcing an organisation’s message regularly, so it’s essential that your content and social media strategies don’t have any timeouts.
And while preparing and scheduling monthly content is helpful any time of year, it’s especially important during the summer break.
For the business sector, customers usually have other priorities during the summer break. However, they are still present on social media. That means potential customers can be more accessible during this period. It’s possible to make an impression during this time. In fact, research has found that “rainy summer weekends saw a substantial rise in social media engagement with post interaction increasing by 90%”.
Content engagement during the holiday season warms up leads until they are ready to buy.
Customer support: Be there when your ideal client needs you
Many business owners and employees are guilty of checking their email out of the office. The temptation to sign in can be fueled by worrying about whether potential leads are getting their questions answered or if they’re directed to the right place. Bots can fulfil this role.
Technology has developed such that automated chats can extend beyond websites. Social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have auto-response capabilities. This could be as simple as an out-of-office message or responses to a set of commonly asked questions. For Facebook, automatic messages are set up through Creator Studio. For Instagram, an external app is needed, such as Mobilemonkey.
Keeping customers informed creates the positive experience needed to build a loyal customer base.
Advertising: Hands-off management
Digital advertising has grown in popularity, with a compound annual growth rate of 9% projected between 2020 and 2026. This is partly fueled by the democratisation of paid advertising as campaigns can be run for less than £5 a day, an amount accessible to small businesses and large corporations alike. One key development is that campaigns for platforms like Facebook and Google can be set up and left to run without any intervention for a few weeks.
Google has multiple solutions for businesses wanting to take advantage of paid advertising. Google Ads allows businesses to promote their offerings in search results and on non-search websites, mobile apps and videos. It uses a bidding system to determine what advertisement is shown. Google Adsense is how website owners monetise their websites through selling advertising space, all organised through Google. Businesses can choose the websites they advertise on to ensure they get in front of the right audience.
Facebook has automated capabilities in-house. By selecting the ‘Facebook Automated Ads’ section, a campaign with various versions can be set up. Facebook also has a Smart Audience tool, calculating the characteristics of the audience a business is targeting automatically.
Advertising can expand a business’s reach with limited oversight after setting up.
This is just a snapshot of the technology available to make holidays possible and enjoyable for even the busiest founders, with automation making stepping away from the business easier and easier for when you return.
Consider what emails your current subscribers could benefit from. Use emails to reach out to new leads. Prepare your marketing content beforehand, especially for social media. Answer FAQs in the direct messages of your social media accounts. Try setting an advertising campaign to run while you’re away.
Automation empowers a better work-life balance. Take advantage of these developments. What measures will you put in place before your next holiday?