For a sole proprietor the day to day running of a business can become overwhelming. There is always something that needs to be done, and no time left to do it! The same is true of smaller businesses, and we're here to talk about how automation tools can help make things easier and more productive.

What do we mean by automation? We're not talking machinery here, but software packages and apps. The actual level of automation to be achieved will be defined by the business you are running, but there is one area that is always made easier by using an automization tool, and that's communication.

Communication is essential to the smoot running of every business and stands at the centre of creating customer loyalty.

Let's talk about areas of communication that can be simplified and enhanced by business tools. 

Tools for Sole Proprietors

The communication needs of small businesses and sole proprietorships is roughly the same, with latter being focused on communication with customers and suppliers. Here's a scenario we've all been through. Let's say you have an ad that is getting some responses. You need to check your inbox and messages constantly to see what is happening, construct replies and so on.

With an automation tool such as the entire process of arranging meetings can be made much easier. This can be meetings with your team or with clients, with suppliers and potential employees. Where the tool adds value is in providing a meeting notification in a timely fashion to all who are involved, hence removing the possibility of no-shows.

Say you run a salon providing cosmetic treatments, or a hairdresser. Part of your working day will be taken up checking appointments and planning ahead. As a sole proprietor you are possibly still doing this using a manual system such as a diary, or you may use an app on your smartphone. 

An automation system such as takes this one further. It includes a cloud-based calendar. On that calendar you update your available slots at the beginning of the week. Your clients are then able to pick a slot that is open and convenient to them. This is then removed from the available slots. You get a notification, and the customer gets a reminder close to the appointment.

There are a few obvious benefits to such an automated booking system: it eliminates the possibility of slots being double booked, reduces the likelihood of no-shows as the customer is reminded, and also saves you time. By putting the onus on the customer to find the time to book, you are free to keep up with more important areas of your business.

This booking system can be used in various industries: guest houses, restaurants, gyms, hairdressers, driving instructors and private tutors to name but a few. We believe that is a great tool that you should take a look at and it's available as a free version.

Why Planning is Vital

In a smaller business it is essential that you use such a tool in the areas where automization works best and as we've seen, planning and communication are two main areas that can be simplified by using such a tool. Planning ahead is vital to any business, but for a sole trader or smaller business it is even more so. 

You need to be aware at all times of your future schedule and also of any downtime that you might have. You can then do your best to optimize and use that downtime. Where a tool such as wins is that it allows you to cut out some of the repetitive routines that you go through on a daily basis and use that time to better effect. Let's now look at some of the other areas of a business that can be automated.

What Else Can Be Automized?

There is a lot of talk about the future of automation in the workplace and much of it centres around telephony and communication in general. However, we see a future in which purchasing stock may also be automated. For example, in our salon scenario, when an accounting tool notices stock running low it can automatically reorder. Also useful is an automated email follow-up that entices a customer to remain loyal.

One fact about that gives it a head start over other booking and scheduling packages is that it also includes a video calling function. This is important when discussing with clients who want to ask questions and is more personal than a simple email or message. Let's finish by running through some of the benefits of automation for the small business owner or sole proprietor.

The Benefits of Automation

Automation in the workplace is very much a benefit for the smaller business, so here's a recap of what a tool such as can do for a sole proprietor:

  • Remove the need for a manual booking system as it is put in the hands of the customer on a cloud-based calendar.
  • Free up time spent planning as the system creates a notification and allows you to see at a glance what your schedule looks like.
  • Enables video calling
  • Removes the chance of double booking and reduces no-show appointments.

There is much more to this clever and free scheduling and communication tool than the benefits listed above, and we recommend you read up further the extra features that come with the tool. 

Once your customers get used to the idea that they can book any time they want you will begin to see the full benefit of using such a software tool.

For sole traders and smaller outfits that are growing there is no doubt that any automation that frees up time is welcome, and scores highly in this area. Check it out and see what you think and give it a go - after all it will cost you nothing to try it out and you will start to see the benefits in no time at all.