3 ways to automate your business in 5 minutes

As entrepreneurs, the common theme is that we never have enough time.  We have too many amazing ideas to implement, a never-ending to-do list and not enough hours in the day to do it all.  Taking steps to automate your business might seem like just one more thing to add to your list, something that you know would be good for you, but you never seem to have the time to get it done. But it doesn't have to be.

There is no need for automating your business to be intimidating or time consuming.  Here are some steps you could take to automate, and each one of them takes just 5 minutes to implement.

Connect your bank feed to your accounting software

Setting up your bank feeds means your transactions will be automatically downloaded into your accounting package.  No more going to the bank website, manually downloading your statement and uploading to your accounting software or getting the paper statement and manually inputting the information.  You will know exactly when transactions go in and come out of your account, giving you real-time access to your financial information. 

This is usually pretty easy to do in each of the major accounting software packages.  In Xero, it's right in the bank account section.  Just add a new bank account (or if you already have a bank account set up) and then click the "Bank Feed" button at the bottom of the account box. Input your online banking credentials and you will be all set up.  

Bonus Points: You can do the same thing with each account or credit card you have for your business and all the information will flow seamlessly into one location. 

Time Invested: 5 minutes
Weekly Time Saved: 5 minutes
Annual Time Saved: 4.5 hours
Cost: $0

Use a social media posting tool

A tool like Buffer can help you manage your social media posts, track performance of your content and you can manage all your accounts in one place.  This means that you can get all your posts scheduled for the week, for all of your social media channels, in one place and at one time.  Your posting strategy will be more thought out and take less time to accomplish. Load your queue with the posts you want, set it and forget it. Buffer has a forever free plan, so it doesn't even have to cost you anything.  

Bonus Points: Upgrade to the Awesome plan for $10/month and connect to more accounts, schedule more posts and get access to the content feed.  The content feed allows you to connect to all the sites you love and follow in one place, and you can schedule content shares from the feed to your Buffer directly. 

Time Invested: 5 minutes
Weekly Time Saved: 30 minutes
Annual Time Saved: 26 hours
Cost: $0-$10/month

Invest in a calendar scheduling tool

Tools like Calendly or Doodle can help reduce the amount of time you spend scheduling meetings.  Both services have free accounts and can enable you to send a link to the person or people you are trying to schedule meetings with and have them pick the time that works best for them.  No more emails back and forth, trying to find the best time.  

Bonus Points: Add the link to schedule meetings with you to your email signature block or website, so people can just drop a block of time on your schedule.

Time Invested: 5 minutes
Weekly Time Saved: 1 hour
Annual Time Saved: 52 hours
Cost: $0

What are some of your favorite 5 minute automation tips?