So many times I am asked should I automate or should I delegate this task. What makes me sad is how many entrepreneurs continue to do tasks over and over that could easily be automated. Worse even is tasks which are delegated yet could easily be accomplished with automation. Money (and time) are being wasted that could easily be spent in other areas to grow your business.
When speaking with my clients I always tell them the easiest answer to the question, should I automate or delegate is the simple automate over delegate test.
The Automate over Delegate test
- Is it repetitive?
- Is there a current software system that could handle the task?
- Can the process be easily documented?
- Is this something only a person should handle?
Is it repetitive …
The first thing to ask yourself is, “is this task repetitive?” Do you do the exact same steps over and over each time? A prime example of a repetitive process is your client on-boarding. In all likelihood, each client is provided a contract or proposal as part of the first step. We have automated this step by creating a checklist of the types of clauses a contract could contain and save each clause as a document. Each of the clauses needed is simply added to the contract template. As I am speaking with the client I check each of the boxes that apply and give the checklist to my assistant. She creates the contracts without having to type each clause in every time. I don’t have to think of what to include or pull old contracts anymore. It has saved us a ton of time!
Is there a current software system that could handle the task?
It is amazing how many software programs are available for just about any task out there. My favourite automation I found was for password management. Before I started using a password management program, I was constantly attempting to remember my passwords. Worse even, the number of my clients who use the same password for everything is scary. Having all your passwords stored in one location is priceless.
Can this process be easily documented?
When a process can be easily documented, there is usually a way to automate it as well. One of my favourite examples is Gmail. I absolutely love canned responses and it is a tool I use quite frequently for any emails that I would send the same response over and over. I have canned responses for initial inquiries, for client appointment confirmations and so much more.
Is this something only a person should handle?
There are some things that just should not be automated. These are the things only a person should handle. For example, parts of your sales process will mean a face to face or an in-person telephone conversation. Although they could be automated they really need that personal touch.
What have you automated in your business? Did it pass my automate or delegate test? Be sure to comment below.