I think automation is the hardest part of a small business. When you start your business you have this big picture in your head, I don’t think anyone, in the beginning, wants to remain a small company. Usually, when you get the idea to start your own business it’s either because you love what you do, or you love the idea of working for yourself. But once you have been running a business for quite a while you start to find out it is not as easy as you thought it would be. You don’t get all those vacations you thought you would be getting, you are not getting the time off you thought you would be getting, typically most business owners work 7 days a week.
Then it starts to sink in, maybe I shouldn’t hire 10 employees because my first hire was a bust. Or the group of people that I hired are ganging up on me and rooting against me. Maybe I should just quit? Maybe I should just work by myself or with my business partner forever. I’m here to tell you it does not have to be this difficult, I know I may sound like a broken record but systems are what make and or break a service business.
“If you automate your business you still have to work,
but when you leave it still works for you.”
Even if your employees make mistakes, they don’t become a big event.
I was just recently shown a CRM called “Pipedrive” for sales, DUDE it’s awesome. We also have customer factor for scheduling, we have Responsibid for customers getting direct quotes at midnight, we have an answering service for people to get questions answered when I am asleep, we have a clock in and clock outstations so we don’t have to manually keep up with employee hours, we have gusto for payroll so I am not staying up until midnight making sure my employees get paid.
The list goes on and on people if you have systems in place. your business will work for you, and you will not be working for your business. At the end of the day, this can be whatever you want it to be. If employees scare you and hiring scares you and collecting money scares you, there is a system for everything that can make your life so much easier.
Do you still bring checks to the bank like it’s 1930?
I imagine you have a machine to run your checks through at the office so that you don’t waste half of your day at the bank.
A lot of people when they think of automation, they think wow I can get everything to work for itself and I can just fly to Cancun and enjoy my profits while my robot workers take care of everything for me. It does not work like that, unfortunately……not in the service business anyways. You build more automation so that you have more free time to improve your company and not step away from your company. Your body likes to run off of a schedule, and so does your business. They say if you have trouble waking up early and want to start waking up earlier, you should go to bed earlier. It all starts with just DOING IT. The same thing with your business, if you want to start building some automation in your business, START TODAY. Nothing wrong with taking baby steps, and you most certainly don’t have to have it all together to start.
Trusting your employees is a great thing, but if they are having to worry about performing the job, greeting the customer, collecting the check, bid upsells, keep track of their hours, buy supplies. It just gets to be too much, and when your employees feel like they are running your business more than you are, that’s when people start to leave. Most employees do a great job if they know the scope of work they are doing. If nothing is automated and you fly by the seat of your pants, your company will not last very long, and will not have employees very long. The point I am trying to get across is, this is America ladies and gentlemen. We have so many opportunities to succeed but we don’t take them. There are SO MANY companies that do strictly what you need to do in your company. It is ok to hire multiple companies to make your business run smoother. Go back to the beginning of the article and write down some of those other CRMS, you can thank me later.
-By Austin Grubbs