Lately I’ve been playing an Xbox game called Forager Nuclear. It’s a simple 2D video game where you forage different resources to build your island and stay alive. This can include catching fish, chopping wood, forging weapons, killing enemies, etc. When you start the game, you pretty much rely on collecting berries and fish to stay alive. As the game progresses and you gain XP (experience points), you learn skills that greatly increase your chance of survival.
In the beginning, you set up a fish trap in the ocean to collect fish. The trap takes a long time to catch anything, and sometimes you might just get sand (which is still good because you can use it to create glass). Every time you catch something, you must walk over to the trap and manually collect it. It’s kind of a pain, especially when you start purchasing more land and lay dozens of fish traps.
But then, some automation takes place when you learn a skill that allows you to auto collect the resources your fish traps catch. So instead of walking around your island checking traps all day, you can work on other projects and the fish will go directly to your inventory. What a time saver!
But wait, there’s more! Another skill you can learn increases your fish trap production speed by 50%. So now, not only are you auto collecting the fish, but you are also getting way more. I was actually starting to end up with a huge surplus of fish I had to sell to the market.
So, what does any of this have to do with business technology? It’s obvious, really.
What are simple but powerful automations you can set up in your business?
I’m talking about things that take you little effort to set up but have huge payoffs. Here are two examples of automation I have put in place within TotalCare IT in the last year.
- I added a pop-up form to our website offering a free report to Idaho business owners on how to hire IT support. It took me about 45 minutes to set this up and now it runs without me touching it. And yes, people have filled out the form and downloaded the report (maybe even you have) which turns into a potential lead for TotalCare IT.
- I added additional automation to the form that sends out an email after the free report is downloaded, asking if they want to schedule a 15-minute phone call with Aaron, our CEO. Once again, a one-time effort on my part that now ensures no lead gets forgotten.
Both of these are marketing examples, but the same thought process can be applied anywhere in your business. Think about all the things that must be done but you don’t enjoy doing (or are not profitable for you to do). I challenge you to make a list of things you could automate in your business and then act on one of them. Just increasing your available time by 1% is huge. Then it will build momentum for you to work on the next thing.
Here are some more automation ideas that you might not have thought about that could greatly increase your available time, health, profits, etc.:
- Order a meal prep service to deliver healthy lunches to your office.
- Batch schedule your social media posts using something like Hootsuite.
- Hire a virtual assistant to check your email for you – chances are you only need to read 20% of them. The other 80% can be handled by the assistant.
- Use the Profit First model of sending money to your profit account automatically every month.
- Hire a house cleaner. If you’re looking for a way to enrich the lives of your employees, hire a house cleaner for them too. It’s a great perk to keep working for your company, and it reduces stress in their home life (in turn, reducing the stress they bring in to work with them).
- Have your meat delivered to you so you don't have to waste time shopping around for the best prices and quality. I personally use this service to deliver grass-fed, American beef and (more than) organic chicken right to my door.
- Make sure your computer is backed up automatically. The worst time to realize you don’t have a current backup is when you need it.
- Download the Grammarly Chrome extension and Grammarly for Microsoft. This application corrects your grammar and spelling for you, and even tells you if you have used the wrong version of a word (there, they’re, their).
- Utilize Outlook rules to automatically send emails to certain folders or to the trash so your inbox stays clutter-free (or have your virtual assistant set these up).
Since playing Forager Nuclear, I have been obsessed with finding new ways to automate my life. If you have some great suggestions, drop a comment down below. Just don’t be like this guy.