You’ve probably learned from first hand experience just how much work goes into
running your online business. For a lot of folks, owning an online business has
become a little like a full time babysitting job. The point behind leaving your day
job to start your online business was so that you would have more time to spend with
family, friends, and maybe even do a few other things you like to do with your
At least, that was the impression you got from talking with others who were doing
the online business thing. They always seemed to brag about how much free time they
had to do the things they wanted to do.
But, for some reason your online business has become a daily chore. You are probably
even wondering why it works for everyone else, but you are not able to unleash
yourself from the monster you’ve created. The reason is really pretty simple. If you
do not automate the key aspects of your online business, then you will become a
slave to it. But, before you can reach this point, you must realize that the point
of having a computer was to get the computer to do the bulk of the heavy lifting for
When you can accept that idea and work towards that end, then you will finally make
some waves. If that sounds more like why you started your own online business, then
I want to share with you some key points that will help you to start putting the
bulk of your online business on autopilot sooner than later.
There’s no need to do the work that a robot or machine can do. After all, we are
smarter than robots and machines and we shouldn’t be expending brain energy on
tedious tasks if we can get a machine to do them for us. For example, there are
probably some tasks in your business that you may find yourself repeating over and
over again. Especially in the SEO business, if you have multiple tasks that need
carried out on a daily basis, say account creation, proxy gathering or scraping
there is software available such as Ubot (along with
various tutorials) that can help you build your own custom “bots” that will carry
out these tasks for you regularly. This will free up extra time to use your awesome
brain on more important issues. Another options is learning how to use macros to automate tasks.
In the old days of offline marketing, you had to go pound the pavement to generate
your own leads. It was a lot of work for one person to have to do. It often did not
leave much time to do other aspects of your business, because you were always in
need of having to go out to grab new clients to ensure that you were maintaining a
consistent sales record from one week to the next. Today, with the advent of
computer software, website development, and the Internet itself, you can set one or
more websites up to grab leads for you.
In other words, this is a “set it and forget it” type of process. From getting names
on your mailing list to grabbing emails of people who want to hear more about your
product or service, all of these tasks are things you can and should be automating.
Want leads on a consistent basis? Try offering a free guide on your site in exchange
for an email address. This is a great way to build up your mailing list, which
you’ll need to explode your growth and revenue.
Product and Sales Automation
What makes a traditional brick and mortar retail
store different from an online store is that you do not need anyone to man the
register. With all of the various ecommerce platforms available that handle your
shopping cart, payment gateway, order status and product delivery, there is little
excuse to have it any other way.
The same thing exists for various methods of product delivery. There are software
options that auto generate shipping labels for your products, if for some reason you
are doing the shipping yourself. Better yet, you can more efficiently use services
that turn your product delivery responsibilities directly over to a drop shipper for
you, once again unleashing you from your desk.
Putting Traffic Generation on Autopilot
There are a number of ways a person can use a computer to generate traffic. One way
is to develop a huge content base over a large amount of time. The only problem with
this approach is that it is slow and very time consuming, but if you stick to it and
produce high quality content on a regular basis you will eventually develop a core
readership that will keep coming back to your site over and over again. Of course
this assumes they will know about your new content every time (through an email
newsletter or RSS feed).
Automating Relationship Building
With the use of auto
responder software, the whole process of regularly making contact with your
customers and subscribers can be done automatically. Anytime a new client signs up
for your email list, your auto responder is set up ahead of time to spit out emails
to these clients in regular intervals, based on how you set the auto responder
parameters. You can set up a whole month’s worth of emails in one sit down and then
not worry about it for the remainder of the month.
With automatic email sequences, your customers are remembering that you and your
business exists. All you have to do is set it up initially and let it go to work for
you. In this capacity your business is living to serve you, not the other way
Putting Market Research On Autopilot
Every business has to do market research if it wants to survive. Fortunately, the
Internet makes doing market research so much easier than it used to be. Sure, you
can pay a company to send you regular reports on your particular market niche. But,
you could just as easily set up your autoresponder with targeted email surveys that
solicit responses from customers who have signed up to your list. Again, since this
is part of your autoresponder’s task, all this can be set up by you ahead of time.
You can ask your client to visit your website to try a new offer, fill out a survey,
or participate in some other process by which you obtain market analysis. The sky is
truly the limit.
Now that you have a better idea of how you can put your online business on
autopilot, the next step is to start implementing some of these ideas to free up
more of your time. With more time to do other things, you can begin thinking about
how to better monetize and expand your business, or perhaps even set up another
online business that practically runs itself for you. Real success in the business
world is learning to do something efficiently that makes money for you and then
repeating the process.
M.Bonds enjoys writing about small business topics for the startup entrepreneur and
is a fanatic of getting things done efficiently. He resides in NYC where he runs a
small consultancy firm for local businesses.
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