By: Ran Craycraft, Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Wildebeest
Q4 is shaping up to be incredibly busy for virtually all industries. Even though it's crunch time for exceeding quarterly and annual goals, it's critical to spend adequate time positioning your company for greatness in Q1. Successful leaders find ways to spend their valuable time on the things that matter most.
In order to spend the time you need on business-critical efforts, start by identifying the 10% of so of your job that only you have the ability and tools to do. Of the remaining 90%, categorize each task as "eliminate", "delegate", or "automate."
- Eliminate the efforts that are not showing a return on investment in your required timeframe.
- Delegate the tasks that others on your team have the ability to accomplish.
- Automate the operations that are monotonous or predictable.
For this streamlined post, I'm going to focus on technologies and products that can help you with the last one: Automation.
Most entrepreneurs and solopreneurs are already familiar with the Google Workplace suite so I won't spend much time exploring it. If you're not familiar, you should change that. Their email, groups, calendars, docs, slides, and sheets are central to many businesses' operations regardless of their size.
Slack has taken the workforce by storm over the last few years. The pandemic further solidified their dominance in the workplace as teams in every industry went remote. Slack now also has Slack Connect which allows multiple companies to communicate with one another in the same private channels without compromising security.
Airtable is another powerhouse of a utility that applies to every industry. Airtable can be used anywhere a spreadsheet can, but will give you more versatility. You can create a table for data, then customize limited views that each department in your company can access what they need to. Meanwhile, as they update their respective areas, the master data remains in sync for everyone else. You can also use Airtable as an input form to collect input from outside your company while keeping your consolidated data secure.
The last piece of automation software is the connective tissue that binds everything together.
Zapier is a tool you can use to sync one app with another. For example, any time a new transaction posts in your QuickBooks Online, you can add it to a spreadsheet, and then post a message for your team in Slack. Or each time you get a new subscriber on your Wix site, you can sync that contact with Mailchimp. The possibilities are limitless of what apps and data you can sync.
About the Author Ran Craycraft is Managing Partner of Wildebeest, a hands-on digital agency for creative brands ready to innovate and grow. He’s an industry veteran with 20-years of experience in interactive production. Prior to co-founding Wildebeest, Ran was Managing Director at North Kingdom, GM of Entertainment at AOL, and Producer at NBC Universal. Ran holds degrees from Syracuse University/Newhouse and the University of Cincinnati/DAAP.