Entrepreneurship has traditionally been thought of as a 24/7 calling. Tim Ferris's 4 Hour Work Week helped change all that. And yet, we find ourselves somewhere between—not able to get by on 4 hours, but not willing to miss out on the fun of life either.
This balancing act requires that we maximize our efficiency during the hours we work. That's where automation comes in. Automating perfunctory tasks lets us focus our attention where we're most needed, and avoid burning out on repetitive tasks. So let's get to it, here are 4 tools that will help you squeeze out all the fun you can during these final weeks of summer.
- Buffer: Social Media Bufferhelps you automate your social media, allowing you to schedule posts far in advance. With the exception of Snapchat and Instagram, you can send your content to almost all of the major social networks with a couple of clicks.
- MailChimp: Email MailChimphelps you automate your email campaigns easily. Going to be out on a business trip? Or even better, a vacation? No problem, schedule your email campaigns weeks or months in advance. After each campaign, you can generate reports and get real-time analytics to help you make better decisions moving forward, like when to target certain segments within your audience. Building great looking email templates with MailChimp requires no knowledge of HTML, just drag and drop.MailChimp’s pricing scales to your list size, and you can use it as a simple email provider—or an advanced tool replete with A/B testing and segmenting.
- Bookly: Bookkeeping No one starts a business to become a bookkeeper. In fact, according to a TD Bank survey which polled over 500 U.S. small business owners, bookkeeping was by far the most hated task by entrepreneurs with the next task falling a whopping 24 percent behind. Enter the online bookkeeping service Bookly.In a matter of minutes you can sync up your small business accounts with Bookly’s software. Once you do, a team of accountants will take care of your needs remotely. Bookly is 100 percent U.S. based and all data is read-only (meaning accountants do not have access to your money.)
Unlike traditional accounting solutions, Bookly provides financials in real-time. Anytime you want to see your financial data, just sign into the Bookly dashboard. It’s 2017, why pay for DIY software solutions like Quickbooks, or expensive (and slow) traditional accounting firms, when you can have all of your accounting automated and available at your fingertips instantly.
Not sure online bookkeeping is right for you? Schedule an online appointment where an accountant will show you through the process. After the demo, you’ll get a free 30-day credit to try Bookly with no risk.
- SEO Moz: Content Marketing SEO, or search engine optimization is a field of marketing that aims to rank products, websites, and articles at the top of search results. In this game of cat and mouse, Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools are 2 staples every marketer must have in their armory. However, anyone who uses them regularly will tell you that the good comes with the bad.Let’s put it this way, the builder of a maze isn’t going to give you the key to solving it—he wants you to work for it. Same goes for Google. They’re not going to present their data in a way that intentionally allows you to try and game the search engine.
That’s where SEO Moz comes in. It doesn’t let you “game” the system per say, but it does present data in a format geared towards the SEO marketer. It automates keyword research, gives you scores on your websites, and gives you suggestions on what you can be doing to help improve your rankings.
If you feel like you already have all you can use with Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools, consider a free trial with SEO Moz and then make your decision.
Bio: Austin Miller heads up the marketing at Bookly. Bookly provides online bookkeeping starting at $99/mo. When he’s not writing about business, he’s busy running his own, a soy wax candle shop.