If you're running a business, the secret to getting everything done in a short amount of time is to automate as much of the process as you can. That way you can focus more on actually running your business and less on all of the busy work. Here are a few ways you can use automation to aid in your online business endeavors.
Online Store Services
You hardly want to have to process credit cards by hand every time, and it can be difficult to constantly arrange payments through check or some other means. That's why it's a good idea to go with a service that can handle online credit card payment transactions for you.
The key here is to locate a service that will automate most of the work for you so you don't have to spend all of your time worrying about it. Some services, like Shopify for example, will offer you a plethora of free templates for making your online store so you don't have to spend a lot of extra time making it.
If you just want something basic, chances are good that a template is going to cover it for you, anyway. It's also a good idea to locate a service that will let you purchase Point of Sale hardware compatible with the service they offer, especially if you need to do anything with a brick and mortar store.
Marketing Organization Tools
If you have a lot of sales and marketing data to keep straight and organize, one effective way to do this is with Salesforce. The site can help you with all things related to sales, marketing, service, community communications, and analytics data.
In addition, there are a number of tools that can help you with automating nearly any aspect of your business that you can think of in general. For example, there's Ebsta, which is a tool for syncing Salesforce to your Gmail account both through Gmail and through Google Calendar. This way, you can create data about leads and customers in Salesforce, and then sync it with your Gmail account to make it easy to send any of these leads emails whenever you want. You can also make it so that you can manage important sales events automatically.
Another example of the many tools available at the App exchange is the Mass Update app that allows you to keep a running list of new information for clients. You can make it so that you can update all of these lists automatically at the same time. There are a number of other tools that can handle sales data automation in this way as well.
Nothing will kill confidence in your business faster than getting stuck by a viral or DDoS attack that takes your site down. According to Black Lotus, these attacks have been on the rise since 15 years ago when there were few of them at all.
DDoS stands for Denial of Service, and it's a type of Internet attack where many people all try to connect to your page at the same time, which can overload your web host and cause your site to crash and be generally inaccessible to potential customers.
That's why it's important to go with a web host that has automated anti-DDoS systems in place. You hardly want to have to play catch up manually after this sort of problem occurs. It helps to look for something like 200 GB/s protection in order to stay ahead of anyone trying to take your site down automatically.
While most people think of personal protection when they think of automated antivirus software, it's true that businesses with customer facing website portals often need this as well. Some online sales services will allow you to protect sales through credit cards automatically, but this won't always be the case for other parts of your site that don't involve sales directly.
There's always a danger of hackers forcing their way into your site through a number of weak points. That's why it's important to use precautions against viruses and general break-in and fraud through the use of measures such as the SSL certificate. Services like Comodo can help with continually scanning and checking your business for safety on a daily basis automatically so you don't have to do a lot of manual scanning.
Though it can be tempting to try to manage your site manually, many repetitive tasks are just better left to computers in order to make sure they are done at a high enough level consistently. It just makes good sense to use as much automation as you can on your business because otherwise you'll end up wasting time, frustrating yourself for no reason, and probably performing at a rate under what you could achieve with automation.