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“One of the biggest sticking points that small businesses face is trying to wear too many “hats” at once.”

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Patrick Conley is the CEO of Patrick Conley Marketing Automation, LLC a small business that helps other small businesses grow through automation marketing, so that their marketing campaigns work around the clock. This allows businesses to focus on improving their products and services while spending more quality time with their friends and families because their automation system is marketing their business for them on autopilot.

Gus: How do you help business owners leverage their time so that they can focus on what they are truly best at?

Patrick: One of the biggest sticking points that small businesses face is trying to wear too many “hats” at once. As entrepreneurs and small business owners, we love attempting to fill all of the roles of the business (sales, marketing, product creation, customer service, accounting, and much more!) all on our own. This is okay for starting out, but businesses soon learn that it’s not a sustainable model and eventually burnout and frustration kick in.

One of the most common solutions is to hire extra help, and this is great, but we can also focus on outsourcing some of the repetitive work to software. Finding the right software solutions can really help to leverage our time.

I help business owners set up a software infrastructure that automatically processes many repetitive tasks in the business – follow up email sequences, billing and automated receipts, lead capture and tracking, paying commissions to strategic partnerships for referrals, and much more.

The great part is that once the system is set up properly, it’s dynamic and can scale along with the company without requiring extra layers of management.

Gus: What influenced your decision to transition from a career in Engineering to entrepreneurship and marketing?

Patrick: The entrepreneurial bug bit me during college. I decided to finish out my engineering degree and work in the industry for a few years, but in the back of my mind I always felt compelled to start my own company. That decision really kicked-in when I found an intersection of my natural talents (system design and automation) with the needs of the small business world (getting more sales and customers). I love working with business owners and finding creative ways to solve their problems through new technology.

Gus: What were some of the challenges you faced in the early days of creating your own business and how did you overcome them?

Patrick: Finding effective ways to market my services has been a challenge. The automation marketing industry is fairly new and the software solutions available are not well known to the traditional small business world. Finding strategic partnerships with other small businesses (both locally and world-wide) has been a big key to expanding my customer base. Many times during the past year I’ve been able to find some great collaborative opportunities with other companies performing complementary work. It’s fantastic to see the rapid growth of small companies when paired with the right technology solutions.

Gus: What advice would you give to a small company in regards to implementing a strategy to automate and systematize a lot of their daily grind activities?

Patrick: Map out your existing business processes and determine how it works as a system. Many small businesses seem to “go with the flow” but rarely take a step back to look at the bigger picture of how their organization functions. If you can take a wider view of your company and break down each function into it’s tactical steps, you can start to see which ones become repetitive and can be automated.

The next key is to find the right software solution. My tool of choice for small business automation is Infusionsoft – and I use this with all of my private clients. It’s an incredible software package and allows small businesses to do some incredible things that have ordinarily been available only to large corporations.

Gus: Why do you recommend having accountability partners and peers?

Patrick: Having accountability partners is crucial. My business has started to grow rapidly since I joined a group-coaching program. Surrounding yourself with other positive and driven entrepreneurs is possibly the most effective way to challenge yourself and grow your business. I’m a very motivated individual – but like anyone – there are times that I need some extra support. Having the right group of people around allows me to toss ideas back and forth and get re-energized and excited about my business.

Gus: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Patrick: I’m working on a few new informational products that will help bridge the technology gap for non-techy business owners. I’m very excited about what’s coming because one of the most common things I experience when meeting other business owners is that they aren’t using the newest tools to market their business due to fears of technology. One of my special gifts is the ability to break down complicated technical systems in a way that is easy to digest, and I think that the new projects I’m working on will have a huge impact for small business owners to rapidly grow their businesses.

 

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