Introverts, rejoice! Technology allows us to handle our small businesses professionally without the burden of speaking to people on the phone unexpectedly. Like most introverts, you probably struggle with being interrupted when it’s time to complete your best work alone, but customers don’t stop being needy during business hours just because you’re busy.
We uncovered some shortcuts and solutions to remain productive and responsive without damaging your calm as an introverted small business owner. As a bonus, these tools help you increase your productivity and work for most industries. Automation can help you reduce costs, too. You can track your supply chain, manage social media, and even have a chatbot with its own personality set up on your website.
Automating Administrative Tasks
Unexpected and unsolicited communication tends to be a major trigger for us introverts. Sometimes, making a phone call requires working up to the task. Phone anxiety is real, and it can really disrupt the workday for introverts. With the help of an automated phone system, you can remain professional and responsive by screening your calls, directing them properly, and sending straight to voicemail when you need to. If dealing with calls is something that makes you feel like an impostor in business, move on and automate.
Additionally, dealing with other people during the workday can be frustrating. If your business is super small, consider hiring a virtual assistant (VA) to attend to automated tasks. VAs are usually designed to adapt to your preferred methods of communication. If you want a weekly summary of their work, that’s what you’ll get. If you’d prefer email-only communication, that’s no problem either. VAs are excellent for introverts running small businesses, especially when you’re dealing with the stress of setting up an online business and having to interact with more people each day.
Further, if your small business has social media channels, you might find those notifications overwhelming. Automated social media solutions can help you manage that workflow — and if it’s still too much to manage, you can always fall back on that virtual assistant of yours.
Meanwhile, chatbots help your web-based customers, even when you’re sleeping. If you don’t want to attend to messages popping up all day, you can program and train a chatbot with its own personality. Your chatbot can handle frequently asked questions and ensure quality customer service without disrupting your work.
Especially when it comes to the hands-off handling of conversions, effective sales and marketing automation helps customers feel empowered instead of pushed onto technology when you’re unable to address each order. To remedy this, your website can also be a portal for payment. It’s more convenient for your customers too — especially if they’re introverts like you!
Team Management Tools
If you’re in the position of managing a remote team in your small business, it’s not necessary to be connected to them on Skype all day. Instead, consider communication tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams. You can also assign tasks using agile-compatible platforms like Asana or Wrike. Best of all, many of these solutions have free options for small organizations.
If you’re a management maven, you can also automate reports. Instead of having to interact with an entire team to gather data from them, you can set up a system for input (on a Google Drive, in a shared spreadsheet, and so on) and run automated reports from whatever software they’re using. This helps you retain oversight without the need for micromanagement.
For small business owners, the hiring process can be a nightmare, especially if you don’t have a human resources department. You have to manage all those resumes yourself, and on top of that, you need to set times to interview people and deal with a large body of candidates. As an introvert, that’s not fun. Fortunately, you can automate the resume process to help narrow down those candidates without worrying as much about the in-person hassle.
Simplify Your Supply Chain
If you’re a small business selling physical goods, you have several solutions for operating more efficiently as an introvert. Drop shipping is one option: With this, your shipping takes place off-site. You can also more easily use supply chain data to minimize your costs and estimate your stock and shipping trends.
Even barcode systems can be automated across multiple locations. This way, you can empower your employees or drop shippers to help you manage the product.
To set this up, make sure you’re keeping careful track of the right information about your orders. Don’t forget to analyze seasonal trends and the popularity of different products over time. Additionally, this allows you to have a bird’s -ye view of the core of your business (your product). This automated software allows you to manage inventory with a click of the button, streamlining the process by which you interact with your vendors and suppliers.
With the help of automated tasks, there are many things we can do to improve our businesses without having to overexert ourselves with large teams or overwhelm ourselves with extensive processes. If you work best as an introvert, own it. Make technology work for you.