5 automation tools for SMBs

By Sierra Powell

Do you need to automate some of your business’s most repetitive tasks? Have you considered using automation tools to do it? With the right tools, you can get more done in less time. From automation software for social media to tools that help you send out invoices, the right tech can completely change the way your business operates.

When you’re working with limited time and resources, it can be hard to keep up with everything that needs to get done. Fortunately, many automation tools are designed to help small businesses manage tasks more easily. Check out this list of five automation tools you can use to simplify your life as an SMB owner:

– Get Freshbooks to automate invoicing

In a small business, most founders end up doing all of their accounting on their own. However, there are many important tasks that they can automate with tools that help streamline accounting processes. Freshbooks is a great tool to keep track of invoices and keep your customers informed about when they will be paid.

When a client pays an invoice through Freshbooks, it will automatically record their payment in QuickBooks Online. This method is quite handy if you don’t want to spend time manually tracking payments from one system to another.

– Try an interactive voice response system to automate calls

Save money and time by employing an interactive voice response system (IVR). An IVR phone system is a computer-controlled telephone menu or voice tree that allows callers to access information or perform tasks by pressing buttons on their phone keypad, rather than speaking to an operator. There are two primary types of IVRs, toll-free and local. Toll-free IVRs are most often used for business purposes, while local ones are typically created for local businesses or government offices.

Many people choose not to make their IVRs listen but to require human input instead. This helps increase customer satisfaction since they know someone will be talking back to them instead of a machine.

– Use Grammarly to edit content

Grammarly is another tool that is instrumental to many brands’ marketing campaigns. By installing the Grammarly app on your computer and phone, you can avoid grammatical mistakes. This tool enables you to review your work in Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Buzzfeed, and more. It also offers a paid version with more advanced features.

– Get Buffer for ssocial media marketing

Social media automation tools are an important tool for small businesses. While posting regularly is a no-brainer, many small businesses still struggle with other essential elements of social media marketing. Marketing automation tools like Buffer can help free up your time so you can focus on more high-value activities such as strategic planning and customer engagement.

Without having to worry about how to schedule posts in advance, you can also use Buffer to schedule your social media posts for times when you’re offline or if your schedule changes at short notice. You should have a content calendar that includes automation tools to have consistent posts that don’t drive away any readers/followers from your website.

– Use Zapier for repetitive tasks

If you are sick of doing repetitive tasks manually, it might be time to automate them with Zapier. This app allows you to connect apps that do not have an interface for integration by creating zaps. It is a great tool for small businesses because it allows you to start automating tedious tasks that can save hours each week. You can find zaps on Zapier’s website or on their Facebook group where users share different integrations they have made.

– Try If This Then That (IFTTT) to automate processes

In marketing, automation is a way to decrease your workload by using if/then statements. When someone does something on your website, you can set it to IFTTT so that it automatically takes them to another page or triggers an email campaign, or otherwise delivers some kind of benefit. One example might be when someone signs up for your email list. Using IFTTT, you can then send them an email sequence with 5 to 10 articles in it that they can read over time.

Most small businesses don’t have the resources to hire in-house IT staff, so there’s a tendency to avoid making important technology upgrades and trying new tools. If you’re ready for a change in your business, consider these five tools to help you automate your workflow.


Sierra Powell graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a major in Mass Communications and a minor in Writing. She’s passionate about writing, reading, and learning. When she’s not writing, she loves to cook, sew, and go hiking with her dogs.

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