Okay, so maybe a week in Disney with a 5-year old is not what you would call "rest and relaxation." But I did get to spend the week totally focused on family fun.
How was I able to spend a week away, with total confidence that my business was still operating efficiently and earning me income? By automating.
The 5 Areas to Automate in Your Business:
If you want to be able to take vacations (or go to lunch, or take the kids to school, or sleep) and still have money coming in, you need to automate your sales process. To do this, you need to have an online shopping cart.
Your shopping cart will:
- Give you a link to put on your web pages for people to click and purchase your products
- Collect payment information from customers
- Communicate with your merchant account so that you receive payments
- Keep records for you
Don't think you have to be around to deliver your products when they are purchased. If you automate the product fulfillment process, clients can purchase something and have it delivered to them before you even realize the sale was made!
Digital products can be emailed instantly with the help of an online shopping cart. Your cart can also send emails to your fulfillment house, so that physical products are shipped directly to the customers.
Consistent communication is vital to growing and sustaining a successful business, so your communication cannot stop when you go away.
Thank you emails, product information, and follow-up notes can all be set up as autoresponders in your shopping cart or other autoresponder system. When someone purchases a product for the first time, you can have an email go out to them automatically. You might want to set it up so that another email is sent the next day, asking if they received their product and giving them more helpful information. These automatic messages give your client feelings of confidence and trust in your company.
Wondering how you could possibly automate customer service? Well, it's true that a human being is best to help out a client when they have an issue. But if you don't have someone on your team who can fill this role when you are away, the next best thing is to have an automated system that temporarily helps out until you return.
When a client sends a message to your dedicated customer service email address, they will get back an automated message telling them that you are away, and sending them to a Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Of course, you tell them that if they still have an issue after reading that page, you will be happy to help them when you get back to work.
Imagine how great your clients will feel, knowing that you have a system set up to help them even when you aren't around.
Your marketing should never stop. If you take a break from marketing while you are on vacation, you may come back to a business that has no new customers. Keep the marketing momentum going by pre-setting up weekly newsletters and email promotions.
Once you set these things up, business runs smoother and tasks get done a lot faster. It just takes a little preparation.
Now go enjoy your vacation!