As a business operator, you don’t have much free time, especially not for repetitive, low-leverage tasks. The only way to successfully grow your business is by building systems, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and entire operational infrastructures. 

Most of the time, it looks something like this: You identify a bottleneck, build a system, and then delegate to an employee or virtual assistant (VA). But what if you could achieve operational efficiency without having to build complex SOPs, or rely on humans to keep certain parts of the business running? 

With business automation, you can instantly maximize your productivity by turning certain processes on autopilot. And once fully automated, you’ll buy back several hours each week, save yourself from recurring frustrations, and most importantly, increase your bottom line. 

Business automation is nothing new. But with advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and software products, it’s never been easier to automate your business and unlock new levels of growth. Whether you’re new to automation, or looking to further increase your operational efficiency with the help of an automation agency, we put together a list of the 27 most common things that business owners can (and should) automate to help them save time and make more money. We’ll also break down how to use AI automation in your business

Each automation is broken down into one of six categories: 

With 14+ years of experience in nearly every B2B industry, we’ve built automations for each of these problem areas. And today, we’re sharing them with you. But first…

Why You Need to Automate Your Business

Automation is a buzzword in the business world. Most people barely scratch the surface of what’s possible, setting up a few Zapier workflows to handle basic, low-level tasks in their organization. But with the right toolset and focused approach, a fully automated business can yield some, or in many cases, all of these benefits: 

Individually, all of these components can benefit your business. But when you increase efficiency, save money & time, scale faster, and improve your customer experience, all at the same time with automations, your business will achieve new levels of growth that you never imagined. 

Now, onto the automations you need to add to your business today. 

Client & Customer Success 

Client & customer success is one of the most critical elements of running a successful business. Without strong relationships, your business will be capped at a certain yearly revenue, and will eventually fail if not managed properly. 

1. Client Onboarding

Onboarding a new client is the first official step of any new business relationship. The road ahead is filled with dozens of deliverables, meetings, and reports, but none of that can happen until onboarding is complete. Many companies overlook the onboarding process, which is a mistake. It takes them hours to figure out what kind of access they need, which dashboards to set up, and establish reliable communication channels. 

But with an onboarding automation, this process can happen in a matter of minutes, without any human input needed from your team. Your new clients will be fully integrated into your system shortly after signing the contract, so you can get to work immediately. It may seem trivial, but such an efficient first step will make a positive first impression and set the tone for a fruitful, long-term business relationship.

Case Study: {onboarding flow case study}

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Customer relationship management (CRM) is one of the most critical elements of a B2B company. Without clients, you have no business. But most CRM tools aren’t regularly updated, too complex, or some combination of both. Out-of-the-box solutions like HubSpot, Pipedrive, and Salesforce force you to conform to their tool, rather than those tools adjusting to fit your business. 

We’ve built custom CRM tools with Make & AirTable, and created automated systems to send follow-up emails, book calls, track leads, and store entire outbound lead generation campaigns in a centralized database. We’ve even helped a cold email agency automate their entire cold email management process with an AI-powered appointment setter.

Use Case: A Free, Custom CRM that Scales With Your Business

3. Client Feedback

As your business grows, you’ll collect more feedback from your clients. And in order to continue growing, you must act on this feedback to improve your offer, services, retention, results, and overall client satisfaction. Most companies collect feedback with monthly meetings or basic forms. But these are manually sent out by executive assistants (EAs) and often fall to the bottom of the to-do list. 

Instead, put your client feedback system on autopilot with a custom automation. Collect feedback without having to set a reminder by sending in-depth surveys or feedback forms. Take it a step further by running the feedback forms through a custom AI model, so that it can quickly summarize the feedback and give you actionable insights on how to improve the customer experience. 

4. Contract Management and Renewals

Contracts and subscription renewals are integral to your business. But they tend to feel like red tape, and slow things down, delaying meaningful work to help both parties grow. Automating the contract management processes can simplify the creation, distribution, and tracking of contracts. 

By setting up automated reminders for contract renewals, you can avoid missed opportunities and proactively engage with clients to secure renewals. Additionally, automated contract management systems can streamline the approval process, reducing administrative burden and improving efficiency.

Operational Efficiency

Every single minute that is spent on repetitive, low-leverage tasks in your business costs you money. Your goal should be to achieve the highest level of operational efficiency so that you can focus on growth, not deliverability. By optimizing and automating various operational processes, you can streamline workflows, reduce costs, and improve productivity. Here’s where to start:

5. Project Management

Managing projects efficiently helps you meet deadlines, allocate resources effectively, and deliver high-quality results, all while managing internal & client-facing relations. The truth is, most project managers (PMs) can be replaced with custom automations. 

At Ops Kings, we’ve built fully-automated solutions that assign tasks, track progress, prevent missed deadlines, and coordinate communications between team members. 

6. Resource Management

There are a finite amount of resources available at any given time in your business: employees, equipment, materials, cashflow, and several others. In order to take on new clients, you must effectively manage & allocate these resources in order to achieve operational efficiency. 

If not, you risk hitting operational capacity far too early, causing your growth to slow. By automating resource management, you can use custom AI models to optimize resource allocation, track availability, and minimize conflicts or bottlenecks. More so than humans, these machine learning models will ensure that the right resources are assigned to the right tasks at the right time, maximizing efficiency and productivity.

7. Delivery Optimization

Whether you ship freight, manage logistics, or offer a digital service, a large portion of B2B relationships are tied up in deliverables. And while you require the knowledge & expertise of your employees to produce the deliverables themselves, you don’t need to spend hours on the delivery or presentation itself. 

Implementing automated order management systems can streamline order processing, inventory management, and shipping logistics. By automating these processes, you can minimize errors, reduce order fulfillment time, and enhance overall customer experience.

8. Time Tracking and Management

In the early stages of growth, you’ll likely employ a handful of contractors, freelancers, and agencies to support your team. But with dozens of employees to manage, you’ll quickly realize how difficult it is to track time, manage one-off projects, and collect invoices from each of these vendors. And rather than spending time searching through your inbox or chasing down a contractor for their work, you can automate the entire process. 

Automate time tracking and certain management processes to help monitor and analyze how time is allocated across various tasks and projects. With time tracking tools, you can accurately measure employee productivity, identify time-wasting activities, and make data-driven decisions to optimize resource allocation and improve overall efficiency.

Financial Management

Financial management is a critical aspect of running a successful business. Effective management of your finances can help you make informed decisions, maintain healthy cash flow, and drive profitability. In this section, we will explore key areas in financial management that can be automated to streamline processes and improve overall financial control.

9. Billing and Invoicing

Automating the billing and invoicing process can save time, reduce errors, and improve cash flow. With automated billing software, you can generate and send invoices to clients or customers in a timely manner. Automation can also enable features such as recurring billing, payment reminders, and online payment options, ensuring prompt payment and reducing the need for manual follow-ups.

10. Reporting and Analytics

Accurate financial reporting and analysis are crucial for monitoring the financial health of your business. Automating financial reporting processes can help you generate real-time reports, track key performance indicators, and gain insights into your business’s financial performance. By implementing financial analytics tools, you can make data-driven decisions, identify trends, and uncover opportunities for growth.

11. Expense Management

Managing expenses efficiently is essential for controlling costs and maximizing profitability. Automating expense management processes can simplify expense tracking, streamline approval workflows, and eliminate manual data entry. With expense management software, you can easily capture expenses, categorize them, and generate reports for better expense control and analysis.

12. Budgeting and Forecasting

Creating and managing budgets is crucial for financial planning and resource allocation. Automating budgeting and forecasting processes can streamline the creation of budgets, facilitate collaboration among team members, and enable real-time tracking of budget performance. By automating these processes, you can ensure better accuracy, agility, and visibility into your financial plans.

13. Financial Compliance

Compliance with financial regulations and standards is essential for avoiding penalties and maintaining the integrity of your business. Automating financial compliance processes can help you stay on top of regulatory requirements, ensure accurate record-keeping, and minimize the risk of non-compliance. With automated compliance management systems, you can automate tasks such as data validation, reporting, and audit trails, enhancing overall financial control and risk management.

Marketing & Communications

Marketing and communication are two key elements to business growth. But many of these tasks are repetitive, meaning they should be automated. Here’s how:

14. Marketing Automation

Automations can streamline your lead generation, nurture leads, and improve overall outbound efforts. Marketing automation tools allow you to automate email marketing, social media posting, lead scoring, and segmentation. By setting up automated workflows and triggers, you can deliver personalized and targeted content to your audience, saving time and resources while maximizing engagement and conversion rates. And with a custom ChatGPT model, you can train AI to mimic your brand’s human voice & style, so you can book calls without spending time creating marketing content and sales assets. 

Case Study: We Grew a Real Estate Company from $80K/month to $600K/month with Automated PDF Proposals

15. Outbound Lead Generation

Aside from a short list of “dream clients,” most B2B companies spend too much time manually finding and contacting prospects. With automated lead generation tools, you can gather leads from various sources, generate cold scripts, auto-optimize send times, track responses, and even manage follow-ups. With this time-intensive task in the capable hands of automations, you can infinitely scale your outbound efforts without hiring additional employees. 

Case Study: We Built Automated Upwork Lead Generation System that Closes $6,000+ Deals on Autopilot

16. Inbound Content Marketing

Content marketing plays a crucial role in attracting and engaging your target audience. Automating your content marketing efforts can help you streamline content creation, distribution, and measurement. With automated content management systems, you can schedule and publish content across various channels, track engagement metrics, and analyze the performance of your content marketing campaigns. Automation enables you to deliver relevant and timely content to your audience while saving time and effort.

17. Social Media Management

Social media platforms are powerful tools for connecting with your audience and building brand awareness. Automating your social media management can streamline the process of scheduling and posting content, managing multiple social media accounts, and monitoring engagement. With social media automation tools, you can plan and schedule posts in advance, track performance metrics, and engage with your audience more efficiently.

18. Customer Communication

Effective communication with your customers is essential for building strong relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction. Automating customer communication processes can help you deliver personalized messages, send automated follow-ups, and provide timely support. You can set up automated email sequences, spintax messages, chatbots, and customer support ticketing systems, enhancing the overall customer experience and driving customer loyalty.

Compliance & Quality Control

Compliance and quality control are simple, repeatable processes. If you, as the CEO or Founder of your company, spend time on this, you are unable to contribute to growth. And because they’re repeatable, automation can easily replace a human tasked with quality control. Plus, it’ll be consistent every single time, mitigating risk and maintaining your high standards. 

19. Compliance Management

Staying compliant with industry regulations, legal requirements, and internal policies is an unfortunate, yet necessary part of operating a business in any industry. Automating compliance management processes can help you streamline compliance monitoring, documentation, and reporting. With automated compliance management systems, you can set up alerts and notifications for upcoming deadlines, automate compliance audits, and maintain a comprehensive record of compliance activities, ensuring that your business remains compliant and minimizes the risk of penalties or legal issues.

20. Risk Assessment and Mitigation

 Identifying and mitigating risks is essential for business continuity and long-term success. Automating risk assessment processes can help you identify potential risks, assess their impact, and develop effective mitigation strategies. With automated risk assessment tools, you can streamline risk identification, automate risk scoring, and track risk mitigation actions. By automating these processes, you can proactively manage risks, reduce the likelihood of incidents, and protect your business.

21. Quality Assurance Systems

Automating quality assurance systems can help you streamline quality control processes, ensure consistency, and minimize errors. Because quality assurance is such a monotonous task, humans tend to get bored performing it. And as a result, the quality decreases with their lack of interest. Automations don’t have this issue. 

With automated quality control tools, you can set up standardized workflows, automate quality checks, track non-conformities, and generate reports. By implementing automated quality assurance systems, you can enhance product or service quality, improve customer satisfaction, and drive continuous improvement.

22. Document Control

Managing and controlling documents effectively is essential for compliance and quality control. Automating document management processes can help you centralize document storage, automate version control, and ensure document accessibility and security. With document management software, you can streamline document creation, review, approval, and distribution processes. Automation eliminates the need for manual document handling, reduces the risk of errors, and improves document traceability and compliance.

23. Training and Certification

Keeping your employees trained and certified is crucial for maintaining compliance and ensuring competent performance. Automating training and certification processes can help you streamline employee training, track certification requirements, and automate renewal notifications. With training management software, you can assign and track training modules, generate training reports, and ensure that your employees are up-to-date with the necessary certifications.

Information & Database Management

Information & database management is a fundamental aspect of running a successful business. Efficiently managing and organizing information can improve productivity, collaboration, and decision-making. 

24. Document Management and Storage

Your business depends on certain documents, whether they’re used for SOPs, compliance, or legal contracts. And it’s critical that individuals within your organization can easily access, collaborate, and share these when necessary. Instead of manually sharing files with individuals via Google Drive or another cloud storage solution, a custom document management and storage process can help you organize and store documents in a centralized system. 

You can automate document version control, set access permissions, and enable collaborative editing. Automation streamlines document retrieval, reduces the risk of data loss, and improves overall document management efficiency.

25. Competitor Research

It’s difficult to grow a business, especially when your competitors are trying to outgrow you. So how do you keep an eye on them without spending hours each day analyzing their strategy? 

With automated tools, you can track competitor activities, monitor pricing trends, and receive alerts on relevant market developments. Automation saves time and provides valuable insights for informed decision-making and strategic planning.

Case Study: Automated Competitor Analysis & Content Creation for a Digital Media Company

26. Data Management and Analytics

Data is the guiding element of most business decisions. But without an in-house team or expensive analytics agency, most of your data is useless. By building a few custom dashboards, you can automate data management and analytics to help you collect, organize, and analyze data more efficiently, even without much experience in data analysis. With the help of AI & machine learning, you can make decisions that will directly impact your bottom line and improve your business intelligence over the next few quarters. 

27. Information Security

Protecting sensitive information is crucial for maintaining the trust of your customers and stakeholders. Automating information security processes can help you ensure data privacy, detect security breaches, and respond promptly to threats. You can set up access controls, monitor network activities, and implement threat detection and response mechanisms. Automation enhances information security, reduces vulnerabilities, and safeguards your business’s reputation.

Ready to put your business on autopilot?

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