One of the big attractions of running an online business is the dream of making more money with less output of time, money, and energy. With today’s technology, that dream can become a reality, and the key to that reality is the automation of your business.

When you are setting up your business, one of the first steps you can take in automating is to make sure that all your business tools are integrated. Is your website set up with a shopping cart? Does your shopping cart work with your merchant account? Are digital downloads set up to be delivered automatically? Does your hosting account support all the tools you want to use? You need to make sure that each of your different components are set up to work together and communicate without you as the middleman.

Once the components of your business are in place, you will want to automate the day to day and repetitive tasks involved in running your business. One of the most effective ways to do this is by using autoresponders. An autoresponder is an email or series of emails set up ahead of time to be sent automatically in response to certain actions.

Think of autoresponders as your personal secretary. You can use them to:

• confirm orders
• deliver download links
• manage subscriber lists
• notify fulfillment company of orders
• keep in contact with your list
• give e-courses
• provide product information
• market new products
• solicit information from customers

Once your autoresponder emails are created and loaded, you can take an order, process the payment, and deliver the product, all without even having your computer turned on! You can collect names and email addresses to build a customer base to market your products to, even while you sleep. You can deliver a 12-part e-course series while you’re on vacation.

Generally speaking, online customers are demanding by nature. They want to be able to order, pay, and receive products they buy online quickly and easily. Autoresponders provide instantaneous response to your customers, increasing customer satisfaction and boosting product sales.

Another way to save time and money using an automated system is to use help desk software. You can preload answers to questions, direct customers to a Frequently Asked Questions section, and set up different categories to determine what type of help is needed. This cuts down on the amount of questions and/or problems that need your personal attention.

While it may sound like a lot of work to get your automated systems up and running, the payoff is well worth it. Not only will you be free of some of the more mundane tasks that are necessary to run your business, you will be free to spend time investigating new strategies to increase your profits, grow your business and still have time to spend with family and friends doing things you enjoy!

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This article may be distributed freely on your website, as long as this entire article, including working links and this resource box are unchanged. For more tools, tips, and tricks of the trade, go to: – Empowering You to Empower Your Business. Copyright 2007 Larry Lang All Rights Reserved. Lang Enterprises Inc.

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