You may never know what results come from your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result. – Mohandas Kanamchand Ghandi
Welcome to Day 18 of the 20-Day Business Startup Challenge! Today we’re going to discover the top tools and resources to automate your new business.
Starting a new business can be a daunting task. As a solopreneur, you wear all the hats. Unfortunately, not all the hats will fit you.
Rather than force the fit, why not find others who are already wearing the hat? Other people or programs can take care of these responsibilities for you.
Why waste time on the jobs you hate or can’t do well? Get help from day 1 and have more time for the things where the hat fits.
There are many inexpensive and free tools available depending on your needs. Freelancers are available as well on a project basis for an affordable fee. It all boils down to the hats you need to fill.
*Quick note: This is the area where it’s easy to overspend. Be strategic about which options you choose, keeping costs down until you begin earning money.
There are various tools and freelancers available today to help automate your business. Here are a few ideas of who and what might be able to help:
eCommerce and Dropshipping
Shopify.com. Though it is possible to add e-commerce features to almost any website, a ton of people are choosing to go with this powerhouse instead. Shopify is the most popular eCommerce solution for people wanting an all-in-one option. Starting at $29/mo, they include everything you need to run an online store. They also have retail sales solutions if you have a physical shop.
Oberlo and AliExpress. When it comes to drop shipping, Oberlo and AliExpress are options to get you started. Oberlo is a program that acts as administration for your online store. You find products you like at AliExpress, then click the Oberlo button. Oberlo adds it to your Shopify website and makes sure pricing and details stay current. They also handle order fulfillment for your customers, all you do is approve the sale.
AliExpress is an online supplier of a variety of products. You can add any of their items to your website, for a markup, and your customers buy from you. AliExpress stores the inventory and ships the products for you. Prices are inexpensive, and the selection is enormous (clothing, beauty, home improvement, electronics, jewelry, and more).
PrintAura. If personalized t-shirts, canvas bags, mugs, or hats are your thing, PrintAura may be right for you. They allow you to design a product and offer it for sale. They also handle order fulfillment and shipping to your customer. Or you can buy a supply to sell at street fairs, events, or wherever.
For more options for your specific industry, search online for “your industry + drop shipping.” There are hundreds of options available today.
Social Media Automation
HootSuite. This program automates your social media. You add your posts to their website and set the schedule, they then post it for you. Their free version includes three social profiles (can be Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram), 2 RSS feeds (pulls your articles from your website), and analytics. They have paid versions with more options as well.
Buffer. Like HootSuite, Buffer also automates your posts. With their free version, you can have one account per social platform (often all that’s needed for startups) and ten posts/mo per account. Their paid products start at $10/mo and add more accounts, posts, analytics, RSS feeds, and more. They also have a browser extension and mobile apps to help capture and share interesting posts you find online.
MeetEdgar. Acts like the others but has a pretty cool feature to keep your old posts fresh.
With other services, you add posts, and they share it only once according to your schedule. With MeetEdgar, you add your articles, shares from other sights, interesting snippets, and more to a library. You then create a schedule of what type of content you want to be posted and when (my posts at 2p, quotes at 6p, etc.). MeetEdgar posts content from your library based on your schedule.
Everything in your library is posted, then posted again once they’ve gone through it all. This keeps your content evergreen. Old posts won’t be forgotten because they get re-posted regularly. MeetEdgar is currently $588/year.
For more about this, check out Day 14 – How to Setup Social Media
Other areas of your business can be automated as well. I’ve talked about these on previous days of the 20-Day Challenge. Here are the links to learn more:
When going it alone, automation tools will be your best friend. Rather than spending hours on time-consuming tasks, let these tools handle it while you work on your business.
Focus on being productive instead of busy. – Tim Ferris
What areas of your business can be automated? Which do you hate doing or are not strong doing? Choose the areas you want to automate. Once you register or hire what you need, let us know which companies you chose in the comments below.