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From Clate Mask, Infusionsoft for Small Business Trends:
These days, every small business owner is looking for ways to run faster, cheaper and leaner. In a recession, business owners know all too well that when margins get squeezed, it’s the business owner’s time and take-home pay that take the real hit. Spend more hours to earn less money? That’s not fun.
So in tough economic times, automating your small business is not a luxury; it becomes a necessity. Here are five important things in your business you should automate to put more money in your pocket—and increase your most valuable asset: your time.
1. Connect your website to your customer database using web forms
If your website has a form that visitors can fill out to get more information, subscribe to your newsletter, get a quote or contact you in some other way, make sure that web form: i) automatically dumps the visitor’s information into your database; and ii) automatically communicates to the visitor for you.
Most email marketing programs today will enable you to implement this type of web form. This kind of automation will save you 5–10 minutes of time that otherwise would have been spent keying in and communicating with that visitor. More important, it will ensure you don’t have leads slipping through the cracks between your website and your customer database.
2. Follow up with the leads you generate on your website
Once you’ve got the web form automatically putting leads into your customer database, make sure you follow up with ALL of the leads, not just the hot ones. Most of the leads you generate are not ready to buy from you right now. That’s a fact. By staying in touch with all prospects, you’ll be there when the time is right for them to buy.
The best way to accomplish this is with a good, …