Businesses, whether large or small, often struggle with processes and operations – especially in their implementation. As businesses grow, so do daily functions, and many struggle to keep things running smoothly while still continuing to grow. While this may sound challenging initially, we have learned just how beneficial automation is for long-term and short-term success.
A perfect example of this our ongoing work with a skin care clinic to automate their business, and help them sustain their growth. Prior to our services being engaged in March 2016, this clinic had a few systems in place.
However, none of them were integrated and that made it hard for them to keep up with their rising growth. They continued to receive order notifications at an unprecedented amount… but all of their order notifications went straight to their email inbox. While an inbox is great for email, it is not really an efficient system for tracking order fulfillment.
But the skin care clinic kept growing, as did their orders. Their acne program continued to gain consumer attention, especially since they were catering to a niche market. A simple Google search for natural acne treatments was leading customers straight to their website, but the clinic was having trouble keeping up with that level of demand.
Our ultimate goal was to help this skin care clinic automate their business with Infusionsoft. But we needed to establish baseline measures, and really get to the core of what they were hoping to accomplish by doing this.
The owners made it clear that they wanted to strike a balance between quality of life, and helping as many people as possible. Combining these two forces, lifestyle and control, ultimately meant automation. They had a clear vision in mind: Automate their business processes as best as possible, and manage any exceptions that may arise.
After all, they could not achieve the goal of helping as many people as possible if their processes were not efficient enough to withstand increasing demand. With a growing retail and online business as well as many virtual clients participating in the virtual acne clinic program, it was imperative to take action.
Like many small business owners, Jessi, is very passionate about her business. She wanted better systems in place that would help support her personal and professional goals.
So How Did We Implement Their Vision?
The implementation was a multi step process that we orchestrated, covering each aspect of their business. The key to successful automation is to examine each step of the process, and understand how to make it easier. This meant looking at the system thoroughly, and getting to know the client’s needs, as well as the resources the business currently had on hand to create a holistic strategy.
1) CRM with E-Commerce and Inbound Marketing Automation
The first step was implementing Infusionsoft CRM, to manage their e-commerce growth, as well as automate their inbound marketing. This was crucial to keeping up with demand, while still allowing the business to grow and achieve its business goal.
New leads are now added to their CRM through inbound marketing, and are much easier to maintain. Automating the e-commerce and marketing process was instrumental in ensuring that their business would be able to handle continued growth, while reducing the amount of manual work.
2) Scheduling Software
Client scheduling, an important process that often falls victim to human error, was another process that was ripe for automation. We implemented Acuity Scheduling. This reduced the operations process, and made booking far more efficient in the long run – especially when paired with fulfillment software down the line.
We worked to have online scheduling incorporated into some of their inbound marketing campaigns. This reduces the need play phone tags with clients, and appointments can now be booked directly in the company’s websites.
3) Accounting Software
Accounting tends to be the least favorite activity for many business owners. Keeping track of financials is often difficult and fraught with challenges. However, implementing the right software such as Quickbooks Online or Xero makes that process far more streamlined.
The challenge is to keep information as accurate as possible. Bookkeeping, account management and revenue streams were much easier to navigate by instituting a cloud based account system. This was accomplished by implementing a deep integration between Infusionsoft and QuickBooks online.
4) Fulfillment Software
Order fulfillment is another problematic issue for many small businesses, especially in the face of growing demand. Having the right software in place, and automating the fulfillment process was the best way to keep the business growing, while still maintaining customer retention rates. Integration is vital now – only orders that require shipping flow to their order fulfillment system, making the process far easier.
5) Custom portal for customers
Another component of our strategy was focusing on what niches this business had carved out, and how to maintain that while simultaneously improving the process. We achieved this by creating a custom customer portal for their growing virtual acne program. This helps to organize both customers, and the business while automating simple processes. By using Infusionsoft campaigns, clients that sign up to the virtual acne program are now added to their custom portal.
Ultimately, our goal was to create a network of interconnected systems, in order to add further value to our tailored solutions. If you are interested in learning more about our work with this specific company, our earlier blog post is a great resource.
What about you? Do you have any ideas of what could be automated in your business? We are here to help!