How To Set Your Small Business Up For Success When You Don’t Have A Big Team

Small business owners are constantly being pulled in a thousand different directions, and in small communities like ours, it seems like every person wants to speak to the owner. By the end of the week, you have worked tirelessly to help your customers, but there is still a laundry list of things that need to be done. 

If you are operating as a one-person show or have a small team of employees, it’s time to start thinking about what you can automate and what you should delegate. Below is a general overview of what this could look like for your small business.

Tasks Every Small Business Should Automate

The easiest way to gain back some of your time is to start automating tasks. This allows you to focus on more important things on a daily basis, while knowing that certain elements of your business are running on their own. Truly, task automation requires more time upfront to set up, but in the long run it will save you countless hours during the week. 

Besides the added time management, automated software tools also collect data from your customers. This information is vital to your business and understanding what is working and not working for your customers.

Below are a few areas where automation is essential for a small business owner.

Social Media

Social media is one of the most effective ways to reach your customers and grow your brand. 

A well-maintained social media account helps your business by:

  • Allowing your brand to be discovered by more people. 
  • Encouraging engagement and communication with your community. 
  • Building trust and relationships with potential and existing customers.
  • Gaining customer loyalty.
  • Strengthening your brand position in the market.
  • Acquiring new customers.

A few ways that you can use social media automation is by scheduling your posts, setting up automatic replies to general inquiries, and republishing popular content. 

There are many tools on the market that can help you automate your social media content like Hootsuite, Tailwind and HubSpot, to name a few. If you are strictly using Facebook and/or Instagram, then the Meta Business Suite has everything you need to automate your social media–and it’s free.

Email & SMS Marketing

Now you can schedule email campaigns and text alerts about sales, special events and anything else that you have going on weeks in advance. Automating this task is essential to staying in front of your customers and helping them to stay informed about your business. 

Some point-of-sale systems, like Shopify, already have built-in email marketing tools you can utilize for free, so make sure to check your system before paying for another service. Other brands on the market, like ConvertKit or Klaviyo, are great resources as well.


Accounting software, like QuickBooks®, has been a game changer for small business owners. Now, you can link your bank and point-of-sale system to your software and your transactions automatically appear. This removes the tedious task of inputting each transaction one-by-one, and makes reconciling your books a breeze. 

*If your bank is unable to link to your accounting software, you can easily upload your monthly statements at the end of the month and the software is able to generate the information that way. 

Your accounting software also has the capability to easily generate checks for your employees, calculate your sales tax information and generate all reports necessary for tax season.

Bill Payments

If you’re spending too much time sitting down every month to pay bills, it’s time to start automating those payments. Automatic bill payments can be set up through your bank or through the company you are paying. 

This is also a good time to start scanning or taking pictures of your receipts and organizing them on your computer. This alleviates a lot of filing and unnecessary paperwork. Just don’t forget to back up your files!


Automatic invoicing is another great tool that you can use in your accounting software. You can pre-schedule monthly invoices for recurring payments to your customers and have them sent straight to their email.

Sales Funnel

Sales are the lifeblood of your business and the goal is to keep making sales, even when you’re sleeping. The best way to do this is by automating your sales funnel. Take a stranger to your business and turn them into a loyal customer all by building a thoughtful sales funnel that converts. 

You can check out this in-depth article on How to Build an Automated Sales Funnel to learn more.

Scheduling Software

If your business requires meetings with your clients, then you need to be using a scheduling software tool to automate setting up those appointments. Software, like Calendly, sends your availability to your client, and then they select the time and date that also work for them. It’s as easy as that.  

This also sends the client an email or text confirming the appointment, as well as sends an appointment to both of your calendars.

Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is a great way to improve your small business practices. You can make changes to the products and services that you offer based on the feedback your customers provide. 

Taking the time to poll each customer individually does not make sense for your busy schedule. Luckily, there are many customer feedback tools available to you. Hubspot put together a list of some of the top customer feedback tools on the market.

Supplement With Freelancers When Needed

If you need help in a specific area or for a specific project, hiring a freelancer might be just what you need. These individuals specialize in their fields and can prove to be an asset to your small business. And Boone County is home to many freelancers, if you need help finding one in your area contact us and we will connect you. 

Here are a few reasons why hiring a freelancer could work for your small business:

  • Cost savings
  • Specialized talent
  • High-quality work
  • Faster deliverables
  • Larger talent pool
  • No long-term commitment
  • Schedule flexibility
  • Short-term deadlines
  • Fresh perspective

Areas to consider outsourcing

In order to use your time as a small business owner wisely, you should consider outsourcing any task that you don’t like to do and/or don’t have time to do but is essential for your business. 

While some of these areas listed above are opportunities for automation, if you don’t have the capacity to tackle those tasks, hiring a freelancer to do so makes sense. 

These areas include:

  • Social media
  • Marketing
  • Accounting/Bookkeeping
  • Website design & maintenance
  • Virtual Assistant
  • Anything else that would free your time

Utilize and Encourage Your Small Team

If you already have a small team of employees in place, it’s time to start utilizing their strengths and encouraging them to learn new skills. Determine the areas in your business that you need help with then sit down with each employee to see if they have the knowledge or capability to fulfill that task. 

You might be surprised at the talents hidden right in front of you. Or maybe they don’t have the skill but want to learn it. Investing in your employees and their skills not only creates a strong sense of loyalty for your business but also helps build out the talents of your team.

Bottom Line

As a small business owner, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the never-ending list of things to do. Taking the time to set up automated systems for your business will alleviate a lot of stress down the road. But that doesn’t mean you have to do it all yourself. Finding the right people to do tasks that you don’t have time for is an investment in your business. After all, as a small business owner, you are either paying for things with your time or your money, so it’s critical to identify the best ways to use both.

If you are a Boone County business and would like help with anything discussed in this article, reach out to our office to set up an appointment.