20 Time-Saving Automations Every Small Business Owner Needs to Implement

May 11, 2023
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As a small business owner, you know that time is one of your most valuable assets. With limited resources and a growing to-do list, it's essential to find ways to optimize your operations and save time wherever possible. That's where automation comes in. By automating various tasks across different aspects of your business, you can free up more time to focus on strategic growth and decision-making.

In this blog post, we'll explore 20 time-saving automations that can significantly impact your business processes across four key categories: Marketing, Expense Management, Document Generation, and Hiring & Recruiting. These automations will not only help you streamline your workflows but also improve overall efficiency and reduce the potential for human error. So, let's dive in and discover how automation can be a game-changer for your small business.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is when you streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, which ultimately helps you save time, enhance efficiency, and improve your overall marketing strategy. By using marketing automation in your small business, you can focus on more critical tasks and drive growth. Here are five marketing automation examples you can implement in your small business:

1. Automated Social Media Posting: Schedule and publish social media posts across different platforms automatically using tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or the native scheduling features within platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn. This automation will help you maintain a consistent online presence without having to manually post content every day.

2. Email Marketing Automation: Set up automated email campaigns based on specific triggers, such as a new subscriber, a purchase, or a user's behavior on your website. Platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot, and ActiveCampaign can help you create personalized email sequences that nurture leads, boost customer engagement, and increase sales.

3. Lead Scoring and Segmentation: Use automation to assign scores to your leads based on their engagement with your marketing campaigns or website activities. Platforms like HubSpot and Marketo allow you to score and segment leads automatically, helping you identify high-quality prospects and tailor your marketing efforts accordingly.

4. Automated Reporting: Save time by automating the generation of marketing reports with tools like Google Data Studio, Databox or Noloco. These platforms can pull data from various sources, such as Google Analytics, social media platforms, and email marketing tools, to create comprehensive reports that provide valuable insights into your marketing performance.

5. Chatbot Automation: Implement chatbots on your website or social media profiles to automate customer support and lead generation tasks. Chatbots can answer common queries, direct users to relevant resources, or even help capture lead information. Tools like ManyChat, MobileMonkey, and Drift can help you create and deploy chatbots without any coding knowledge.

Expense Management Automation

Managing expenses effectively is essential for small businesses to maintain profitability and ensure smooth financial operations. By automating expense management tasks, you can minimize the time and effort spent on manual data entry, reduce errors, and gain better visibility into your business finances. Here are five expense management automations you can implement in your small business:

6. Automated Expense Categorization and Approval: Use expense management software like Expensify or QuickBooks to automatically categorize and approve expenses based on predefined rules and policies. This automation helps streamline the expense approval process, reduce manual errors, and ensure compliance with your company's expense policies.

7. Receipt Scanning and Data Extraction: Implement mobile apps or software that can automatically scan and extract data from receipts most expense management systems have a built-in receipt scanning feature. By automating this process, you can save time on manual data entry and ensure accurate record-keeping.

8. Monthly Expense Reporting and Analysis: Automate the generation of monthly expense reports to gain insights into your spending patterns, identify trends, and make data-driven decisions. Tools like QuickBooks, Xero, and Wave can automatically generate expense reports, helping you stay informed and make better financial decisions for your business.

9. Budget Monitoring and Alerts: Set up automated budget monitoring and alerts to stay on top of your spending and avoid overspending. Financial management platforms like Mint or YNAB can track your expenses against your budget and send you notifications when you're nearing or exceeding your budget limits, enabling you to adjust your spending accordingly.

10. Reimbursement Processing and Tracking: Streamline reimbursement processing and tracking by automating the submission, approval, and payment of employee expenses. Expense management platforms like Expensify can integrate with your payroll or accounting software to automate reimbursements, ensuring timely and accurate payments to your employees.

Document Generation Automation

Efficient document generation is crucial for small businesses to maintain professional and consistent communication with clients, employees, and stakeholders. Thankfully there are great no-code tools for automatically generating documents for your business. Automating document generation tasks can save time, reduce errors, and ensure uniformity across your business documents. Here are five document generation automations you can implement in your small business:

11. Invoice and Payment Reminder Generation: Use invoicing software like Stripe, QuickBooks, or Xero to automatically generate invoices and send payment reminders to clients. This automation helps ensure timely payments, minimize manual work, and improve cash flow management.

12. Contract and Agreement Template Creation: Implement document automation platforms like DocsAutomator or Documint for contract and agreement templates. These tools allow you to generate personalized documents with just a few clicks, streamlining the contract creation process and reducing the risk of errors.

13. Personalized Marketing Materials and Proposals: Similarly, automate the creation of personalized marketing materials. You can easily create branded, professional materials that can be easily customized for each client or campaign, improving the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

14. Employee Onboarding and Training Documents: Utilize document automation software to generate personalized onboarding materials, training manuals, and employee handbooks, ensuring a consistent onboarding experience and reducing the time spent on manual document creation.

15. Customized Reports and Data Visualization: Automate the generation of customized reports and data visualizations using business intelligence tools like Tableau, Microsoft Power BI, or Google Data Studio. These platforms enable you to create interactive, data-driven reports that provide valuable insights into your business performance, helping you make informed decisions and drive growth.

Recruitment Automation

Efficient hiring and recruiting processes are essential for attracting top talent and ensuring your small business maintains a competitive edge. Automating various aspects of the hiring and recruiting process can save time, minimize errors, and improve the overall candidate experience. Here are five hiring and recruiting automations you can implement in your small business:

16. Job Posting and Distribution Automation: Use recruitment software like Workable, BambooHR, or SmartRecruiters to automate the process of posting job listings and distributing them across multiple job boards and social media platforms. This automation helps you reach a broader audience and simplifies the job posting process. If those platforms aren’t within your budget, you can also build your own applicant tracking systems (ATS) with a no-code platform like Noloco.

17. Applicant Tracking and Resume Filtering: Use or build an applicant tracking system (ATS) like to automatically filter and rank candidate resumes based on predefined criteria such as skills, experience, and education. This automation helps you save time in screening candidates and ensures that you focus on the most qualified applicants.

18. Candidate Communication and Scheduling Interviews: Utilize communication and scheduling tools like Calendly to automate candidate correspondence and interview scheduling. These platforms can send interview invites, reminders, and follow-up emails, streamlining the communication process and reducing the risk of errors or miscommunication.

19. Background Check and Reference Verification: Implement background check and reference verification platforms like GoodHire, Checkr, or Sterling to automate the process of verifying candidate information and conducting background checks. This automation helps you ensure the integrity of your hiring process and reduces the time spent on manual verification tasks.

20. Automate Rejection or follow-up emails: If you build your own AST with Noloco, you can set up Action buttons that can send the candidate a rejection email and move the candidate’s status to ‘No Hire’ in one simple click. You can also setup different rejection reasons such as inexperience, wrong location or the position being closed.

How do you automate business tasks?

When it comes to automation, there is a wide range of tools and platforms available to help you streamline your business processes. As you can see from the above, there are a lot of different tools that can be used to automate your business, but thankfully there are platforms designed to tie all of these together. These platforms are designed to cater to various needs, from no-code app builders to specialized tools focused on specific aspects of your operations. Here are some popular platforms that can assist you in automating tasks across different categories.


A popular automation platform that connects and automates tasks between more than 5,000 web apps. Zapier is especially useful for integrating different tools you're already using and creating custom workflows without any coding knowledge.


Similar to Zapier, Make.com is an automation platform that helps you connect various apps and automate tasks. Make offers a visual builder for creating complex workflows and is known for its advanced capabilities and flexibility.


A no-code platform that enables you to build custom business apps and automate tasks within your organization. With its built-in automation features, Noloco allows you to create and manage workflows across different aspects of your business without writing a single line of code.


A versatile no-code database platform with built-in automation features, Airtable allows you to automate tasks like sending emails, updating records, and integrating with other apps.


A popular all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer service platform, HubSpot offers a wide range of automation features, including email marketing automation, lead scoring, and workflow management.

These platforms represent just a small sample of the automation tools available to small business owners. Try exploring the various options and selecting the right tools for your business. You can significantly improve your operational efficiency and save valuable time.


Implementing time-saving automations in key areas of your small business, such as marketing, expense management, document generation, and hiring & recruiting, can significantly increase efficiency and reduce the workload for your team. By leveraging the power of automation tools and platforms, you can streamline your operations, minimize errors, and save valuable time that can be better spent on strategic tasks and growing your business. Embrace the potential of automation and watch your small business thrive in today's competitive landscape.

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