Automation is a fact of life in the modern business world. This is not only restricted to large corporations, as many small companies are incorporating automation into their everyday workflows, too. Everything from lead capturing and customer service, to routine daily office tasks benefit from automation. Small business automation is increasing so that entrepreneurs can spend more time on big-picture thinking and the more important things that grow a business.
Running your business from the cloud is simple now, with hundreds of ways available and more being invented all the time. This article created by our team at Trafft, contains a list of the 25 best automation tools for small businesses that can not only save time but increase growth.
25 Best Small Business Automation Tools
This automation tool is simple and easy to use. It is actually about as straightforward as automation tools get and allows businesses to save vast amounts of time and money. It does this by automating simple, everyday actions and communications between different vital applications.
For example, it can automate the saving of attachments between Gmail and Google Drive, or automatically tweet your blog posts as you make them. All these integrated functions can increase your reach and effectiveness without much extra effort on your part.
Pardot is a brilliant marketing tool that helps to automate interactions between businesses and potential clients. Easily differentiate potential clients and current clients with great targeted grouping tools. Once these groups are made, Pardot then makes it simple to communicate with each group in a streamlined and effective way, making conversion more likely.
You can also set up trigger-based workflows using the fantastic email automation functions built into the application.
Amelia is a world-class, popular, and trusted appointment booking application. Create streamlined booking systems that make time for every client and meeting. Along with Amelia’s excellent booking systems are the fantastic tools it has built in to manage event attendance, communication, and organization of meetings and events.
This world-renowned application is simple to learn and requires no special training. Its powerful features make Amelia an essential application for most businesses.
This application is actually similar to Zapier in its functionality, but with some differences. IFTTT allows you to create some basic synchronization and automation between different apps. The main difference is that the free version of the software offered by IFTTT is leagues ahead of the free version of Zapier. The downside is that you can only run one account at any one time.
However, automation with IFTTT happens instantly, while Zapier is always delayed by around fifteen minutes or so.
5) Constant Contact
This beginner-friendly software may seem entry-level, but it is deceptively powerful and capable with some great features.
Build automated emails with a brilliant drag-and-drop interface, or use preset templates to make the job even faster. As an example, you can create single welcome emails, messages that are targeted to specific people, or a series of automated emails that help nurture and develop your customer base.
Money-related tasks can be tedious and use up huge amounts of time. Thankfully, these are also often the jobs that can be automated most easily. For businesses specializing in online retail, or brick and mortar stores that are moving online, these tasks can be automated using tools such as QuickBooks.
QuickBooks is a brilliant and powerful tool that is streamlined with an interface that makes everything easy. It allows users to automate huge sections of their accounting jobs, allowing businesses to stay on top of their accounts.
It integrates seamlessly with over 150 APIs. Combine that with a full-featured mobile version and every feature you need to automate your money matters, and it’s easy to see why QuickBooks is already the top choice for a large portion of the market.
This great automation tool allows users to streamline the process of procurement and purchases. It also helps automate the entire process of creating and sending out purchase requisitions for approval. Create a workflow that suits your business best and automate it easily.
PurchaseControl helps users maintain organization no matter how large a scale their business ends up expanding to. No more time needs to be spent on repetitive tasks!
Hootsuite is specially designed to help businesses maintain a presence on social media without having to have a staff member be present constantly. It automates this for you. It is built to help streamline a company’s presence across more than 35 social media platforms, including Facebook and LinkedIn.
It automates social media marketing strategies and analyzes their effectiveness for future use. The free plan that is available is a great introduction to Hootsuite’s brilliant toolset.
The powerful and effective toolbox that is built into Sendinblue allows users to automate entire marketing strategies. This means audience engagement, lead generation, and marketing campaigns.
These tools include integrated functions that allow you to communicate with clients and customers via SMS, email, ads, landing pages, and more. These messages are targeted and are sure to help increase campaign effectiveness and lead conversion.
As we have mentioned above, social media presence is an increasingly necessary tool for any business to have. It is a great way of connecting to customers and clients directly and learning about their needs and habits. But it can be difficult to maintain a constant social media presence when there is so much else that needs doing when running a business.
Buffer automates much of this process. This includes posting, publishing, and creating social media campaigns. Make sure that posts are posted at exactly the right time of day to maximize audience reach.
11) Optin Monster
This great automation tool works well with other marketing plan automation software. It is designed to help capture subscribers and funnel them to the right places. They allow users to create great landing pages, lightboxes, and popups, ensuring a steady flow of customers. They have a great ChatBox feature, too, which allows the automation of social media campaigns.
This tool is also great for making good use of existing traffic. It reduces the rate of drop-off, ensuring that customers stay on your page throughout a transaction, without being navigated away.
12) Deluxe Payroll
Every business, big and small, must deal with payroll. For companies with more than one or two employees, the challenge of handling payroll only grows with each employee. Thankfully, this is one of those jobs that is relatively simple to automate, given the correct tools.
Deluxe Payroll easily connects businesses with dedicated payroll specialists to help guide them through the process of working out payroll. It will also make sure that you are following all the necessary rules with regard to taxes and regulations. It’s a great time-saver.
Here’s another fantastic option for the automation of sales and marketing. Hatchbuck has a host of brilliant tools at its disposal. Automate emails, contact management, and lead capture are all included in a simple interface.
It is a highly rated platform compared favorably with the top-tier alternatives in the industry. It is specifically aimed at small-scale self-made businesses.
There are a huge number of elements to consider when setting up an online retail store from store design, inventory management, and payments, to logistics, shipping, and customer support – the list of challenges is long. Thankfully, platforms such as Shopify can help to take this burden and make it a little lighter.
Ranking consistently at the top of lists of retail platforms, Shopify has an established track record of hosting thousands of successful online stores. Its secret is having integrated tools for everything a business could need, from payment pages to shipping policies, and templates for beautiful shop designs. There are also no third parties required – a big boost for shopping security.
As the old saying goes, “time is money”. It is vital for many businesses to track and record how much time they spend on a job, however, this can also take a huge amount of time to do, especially when a business gets larger. Harvest is designed to automate this process, and even produce invoices when required.
It has automated reminders so that you never miss a deadline, and lets you know when to send out an invoice or track a payment.
This great application uses real-time data to produce educational sales and marketing solutions for businesses. It tracks active marketing strategies to focus on what is working and what isn’t. This allows businesses to target specific areas, thus optimizing marketing plans.
Use this brilliant all-in-one software to create workflows and campaigns that zero in on the most effective markets and target audiences.
This excellent customer service application allows for the automation of large chunks of customer service work. As a business grows its customer base, the customer service needs will ultimately grow with it. Thankfully, many customer service inquiries are routine and can be automated with ease, thanks to applications such as Zendesk.
Zendesk will organize all customer queries, recognizing which ones can be solved easily and streamlining the process. It has board integration for many different types of communication, including chat services, email, telephone, and even an amazing AI chatbot. All of this will help free up customer service staff.
This software benefits from a rich variety of tools aimed at assisting with marketing automation and customer relations. While it is similar in many ways to other options on this list, it is one of the few that is optimized for the use of businesses of all sizes. This makes it perfect for growing businesses that don’t want to have to change systems as they gain more customers.
This feature-rich CRM is famous for its excellent design. It is an all-around great software solution that is capable of handling any issues with regard to marketing campaigns, email campaigns, and more.
These rich features, combined with its open and honest company culture, have given this company and software a great reputation in the business and is subsequently one of the most respected and reliable options out there.
Working in a similar way to Google Analytics, Kissmetrics allows users to easily track their user data and optimize their marketing approach. The main difference between this and Google Analytics, however, is that it lets the user track individual users using cookies.
This lets you narrow down your focus even further, allowing for tailored approaches to lead generation and customer experiences, and making the automation of these things even easier.
Calendly makes it easy to set an appointment with customers and clients. Instead of needing to send emails back and forth to agree on meeting times, Calendly allows users to send optional timeslots for the client or customer to choose from.
Once a time and date are chosen, a Google calendar invite is automatically sent to both of you. This digital assistant makes scheduling a breeze!
FAQs are helpful for all businesses, but not everything can be communicated that way. Tawk allows users to create an automated chatbox that can answer user questions in a personal way for you. This encourages and welcomes direct communication between the business and the customer, making the experience more personally tailored.
Monitor site visitors in real time and create customized shortcut responses for the chatbox. This is a great free way to make a more personal impact on customers without taking up extra time.
23) Infusionsoft by Keap
This renowned automation software is already a major player in the industry, with over 25,000 customers under its belt. Having started in 2001, Infusionsoft has a well-developed and powerful ecosystem of integrated third-party applications and consultants.
Due to its relative age and the time it has had to expand and grow, the user interface is not the easiest at first glance. However, it does not take long to get the hang of it, and the benefits are huge if you put that little bit of effort in. It has recently had a redesign, so there has never been a better time to jump on board with Infusionsoft.
Mailchimp is a reliable and widely-used automation application. Focusing mainly on email marketing, it has a great streamlined system for gathering addresses for mailing lists and utilizing them in the most effective ways possible. Collect customers based on all kinds of criteria, including behavior, preferences, and previous sales.
The great APIs that are available with Mailchimp make automating email campaigns of all kinds a simple, hassle-free, and fluid process.
Drip is a highly trusted and reliable automation tool that has already been in widespread use across the industry for years. The main difference between Drip and all the other options on this list is its focus on eCommerce businesses.
Drip combines a powerful email automation tool with a workflow and analytics platform, creating a multipurpose, highly optimized piece of automation software. The fantastic analytics dashboard helps businesses visualize exactly what impact their existing marketing and communication strategies are having, and therefore come up with solutions on how to improve them.
factoHR is one of the leading names that provides a unified platform to handle all the hire-to-retire operations using automated and cloud-based technology. Using this software, HR professionals can get rid of all the recurring processes and can better focus on the crucial tasks.
Every business is in need of such software for better and efficient workforce management. Moreover, the wonders of this automated tool do not end yet as it comes with several modules like payroll, recruitment, onboarding, performance, attendance, ESS (Employee Self Service), and many more that makes the job of HR more streamlined and seamless.
It’s simple and intuitive interface benefits both the HR managers and the employees to conduct their daily tasks and helps to save their considerable time and efforts to utilize in other critical jobs to bring more success for your business.
Scribe is a how-to-guide automation and knowledge transfer tool. It’s both a browser extension and desktop application that allows you to automatically create documentation just by completing a process on your computer.
Simply click “Record” and execute. Scribe will automatically create a guide with step-by-step instructions and corresponding screenshots. Once complete, you’re able to modify or add text, upload new screenshots, modify existing images, and more.
Create and share best practices in seconds. By offering these guides to new hires, teammates, or even customers, you can successfully streamline your processes for stronger, smarter marketing.
MobileMonkey is the easiest way to build very complicated and sophisticated chatbots for web chat, Instagram, Messenger and SMS.
It allows users to reach more customers in Instagram, SMS, web chat & Facebook Messenger with chatbot marketing, customer support and automation tools for digital agencies, direct-to-consumer businesses, and creators. It includes lots of different features that allow you to build drip campaigns, run chat blasts, and measure audience analytics.
Small Business Automation is the Future – Start Now!
In any business, time is one of the most important assets available. This is especially true for small businesses and startups in their first few years of life. Often, these companies are made of only a handful of employees, sometimes with merely one or two people. This means that any opportunities to save time must be grabbed with both hands. Many routine and repetitive tasks can already be automated, and every year new tools are being developed that can speed up the automation process of an increasing number of tasks.
Activities such as basic customer engagement through social media, marketing tasks, essential customer support, and even creating entire workflows can already be automated. Taking the pressure of these jobs off your staff will free them up to focus on other aspects of the company. You might be amazed at just how much time is saved!
When considering which of these automation tools to employ, however, it is first important that you consider the type of business you are running. What are the specific aspects of your work that you think would benefit most from automation? Which would be the easiest to automate? These are all questions you should consider when looking through the options we have compiled. None of these applications is a one-size-fits-all solution. While there are similarities between each, they all do something slightly different.
With this in mind, we hope that our list of the 25 best small business automation tools will help you on your road to efficiency through automation!
If you enjoyed reading this article about small business automation, you should read these as well:
- The Top Business Scheduling Software You Should Consider Using
- The Best Appointment Scheduling Software for Your Business
- The Best Medical Scheduling Software to Use for Your Clinic