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Small team? Here's how to use automation to do more.

Automation inspiration

3 min read

Small team? Here's how to use automation to do more.

By Nick Moore · May 15, 2020
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If you run a small business, you're probably trying to tackle a huge amount of tasks with a lean team. But nowadays, a smaller team doesn't mean you have to settle with getting less done. If you use automation, you can streamline processes across all of your departments. That efficiency means you run just as effectively with fewer people.

Make important hand-offs seamless

If you're working with a small team, you may not have separate departments discretely handling essential interactions with customers and clients. Instead, you might manually pass the baton—or that document to sign—to whichever team member has a few minutes to spare.

These kinds of off-the-cuff processes can inevitably lead to lost documents and unhappy clients. Zapier can integrate numerous account management systems, allowing you to make this core set of operational processes nearly hands-off.

If you have a workflow that saves you time, Zapier now allows you to easily share it with coworkers, colleagues, clients, or customers. Learn how you can easily create a link that will let them enable a new copy of your Zap in their own Zapier account. All the steps will be there—they'll just need to connect their own apps and confirm set-up. None of your private information is shared.

DocuSign is one of the best ways to securely send, receive, and sign important digital documents. When your customer completes those documents, you don't want to find out tomorrow or, knowing the state of your inbox, days later.

Zapier integrates DocuSign with Slack and CRMs like Pipedrive so that no matter how you keep up with things, new DocuSign actions are always front of mind.

Signed documents aren't the only important parts of these transactions. Zapier integrates with cloud storage tools like Google Drive and Dropbox so that when customers send you attachments, you can automatically add them to your file management systems.

Make management easier

Your business succeeds based on the everyday decisions you and your employees make. Ideally, you're regularly providing feedback to your employees and giving them the guidance they need to make good business decisions.

If you're running a small business, however, there are probably barely enough hours in the day to get everything done, let alone find time to let your employees know what's working and what's not.

Use these automated workflows to do some of the management for you. Remind your team about regular check-ins in a team chat app like Slack. Or save important messages from your employees as tasks on your to-do list so you don't forget to follow up on them later.

Automate accounting tasks

Accounting tasks are essential to keep revenue flowing, but many small businesses might not have the resources to have a separate accounting team to keep up with the day-to-day finance tasks. And asking time-strapped team members to pitch in on repetitive manual data entry might be a hard sell.

You can create automatic workflows to take care of some of the most common manual tasks with invoice and payment software like QuickBooks, FreshBooks, and Stripe.

You can even integrate your invoicing software directly with a CRM or spreadsheet software to keep track of deals as they evolve. Once your sales team turns an in progress deal into a done deal, Zapier can move cards in your CRM, create an invoice, add sales data to Google Sheets, and more.

Take the repetitiveness out of recruiting

Most people likely spend hours every week on manual, repetitive tasks. These tasks are crucial to your business, but they can become invisible. You might not realize, for instance, how much time a recruiter is actually spending on the data entry that supports their main work.

By using automation to pass important information between the systems they use every day, you can take a lot of the repetition out of recruiting tasks and keep your team focused on the most crucial part—filling roles.

Use Zapier to make your business processes work for you

Most people don't pick a career to create processes. You likely started or joined a business to make people's lives better or to share a product or service you think is valuable. But the longer you run a business, the more you discover that keeping it operating means maintaining the processes behind the products.

By adding in a little automation, you can help your business run smoother with less effort, even with a tiny team.

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Nick Moore picture

Nick Moore

Nick Moore is a content manager at Animalz, a fully remote content marketing agency. He's written extensively about automation, compliance, and software development. His goal is to make technology more accessible and useful via content.


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