As a small business owner, the more hours you devote to the minutiae of email, managing employees, and business admin, the fewer hours you’ll have to devote to the growth of your business and bottom line. Thankfully, there are a bunch of apps and on-demand services out there that can help.

To help you cut down on those necessary but time-consuming tasks that keep your business afloat, we put together a list of five areas that you can and should automate in your business right now.

Cut down on necessary but time-consuming tasks and automate these 5 #smallbiz tasks now. Click To Tweet

Automate Payroll

Payroll is a huge chore. Adding new employees to the system takes time, collecting and filing the required paper forms is laborious, and submitting payroll or tax documents by deadline can be stressful. Put your payroll on autopilot with an online service like ZenPayroll. Invite your employees by email, and ZenPayroll takes care of the rest.


Automate Bookkeeping

Bookkeeping. It takes time, it’s stressful, and bookkeeping errors are expensive to rectify. So it’s no surprise that bookkeeping is a task that most business owners loathe. Use an online bookkeeping service like Bench and outsource the task.

Unlike do-it-yourself bookkeeping software, Bench connects you with a dedicated bookkeeping team and does your bookkeeping for you. Their software syncs transactions, and your bookkeeper reconciles your monthly statements to create income statements and balance sheets every month. Having an online bookkeeping service take care of the books should give you a big chunk of time back each month, not to mention peace of mind.


Automate the Storage of Receipts and Documents

If you’re drowning in paperwork, it’s time to bring your business into the future. Use online cloud storage providers like Dropbox, Evernote, or OneDrive to upload, file, and store documents and business receipts. If you have a lot of paper to scan and store online, speed up the process with Evernote’s ScanSnap Evernote Edition Scanner. Alternatively, outsource the job entirely with Shoeboxed’s Magic Envelope: mail your receipts off, and Shoeboxed will file them online for you.

While you’re at it, why not make other parts of your business paperless? Check out our guide to going paperless on the Bench blog.


Automate Employee Training

Many hands make light work, especially when in a busy business. But getting a new employee up to speed often calls for a huge time investment. Use a tool like Trainual to compile your business’s processes into an online training manual. That way, next time you bring a new employee on board, you can have them go through the training modules in Trainual. You can track their progress and test their knowledge without stepping away from the other parts of your business for too long.


Automate Competitor Research

Knowing what your competitors are up to is helpful when it comes to staying ahead in your industry. Use Google Alerts to get real-time notifications whenever your competition appears in the news. You can also use BuzzSumo to identify the top content of your competitors’ websites.

Using these tools won’t make your small business run itself, but they’ll definitely give you some precious breathing room while you make your next big move and grow your business.


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