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Ep. 70 - Determining If Automation is Worth Your Time and Money with Will Christensen

With over a decade of business development experience, Will Christensen has an elevated passion for fulfilling what the end-user desires and efficiently working towards faster iterations. 

Considered by some to be the “Tony Stark of Software,” he enjoys tinkering with cutting-edge technology, apps, and systems, and loves to create innovative solutions for businesses and individual clients.

He is the co-founder of DataAutomation, a company that specializes in eliminating manual processes inside Ecommerce businesses.

In This Conversation We Discuss:

  • [1:45] Will’s automation “origin story”
  • [6:06] Taking the scary part out of automation: It’s a very simple concept
  • [9:02] 3 basic questions when automating something.
  • [10:11] Chase’s real-life automation example with Annette
  • [11:13] Will’s “litmus tests” for positive ROI and automation using Annette’s example
  • [15:25] Sponsor: Gorgias gorgias.link/honest
  • [16:13] What should store owners focus on when thinking about automation?
  • [20:35] The first challenge with the implementation of automation is the mindset
  • [22:07] Rule of thumb: Do the process 5 times manually before automating
  • [23:51] DIY tools for automation, fun facts about Zapier and API
  • [28:06] When to call in a consultant for automation
  • [30:17] What happens after you’ve automated?

Resources:

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 Transcript:

 

Will Christensen  

It's an important piece of the puzzle. So if you're an Ecommerce seller and you're doing this on the side and you're trying to make yourself more invaluable at work or you want to find more time to work on your Ecommerce business, automating a piece of it could be part of what you do.

 

Chase Clymer  

Welcome to Honest Ecommerce, where we're dedicated to cutting through the BS and finding actionable advice for online store owners. 

 

I'm your host Chase Clymer, and I believe running an online business does not have to be complicated or a guessing game. 

 

If you're struggling with scaling your sales, Electric Eye is here to help. To apply to work with us visit electriceye.io/connect to learn more. Now let's get on with the show.

 

Chase Clymer  

Hey everybody, welcome back to another episode of Honest Ecommerce. I'm your host, Chase Clymer. And today, we welcome to the show, Will Christensen. Will is the co-founder of DataAutomation, which specializes and customizes both automation and integration processes for Ecommerce sellers. We'll get a little more into that in a few minutes. But first, Will, welcome to the show.

 

Will Christensen  

Thanks. It's good to be here. [I'm] honestly stoked about it. It's a good topic. It's a good time. I’m excited to talk more about automation.

 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. And automation, especially right now with what's going on in the world. Everybody's starting to work from home, just because of what's going on with the coronavirus. 

 

And I think automation is now being pushed --not down people's throats per se-- but they're like, "Well, we have to start thinking about this stuff more, get the human element out of it." I think it's a good topic to tackle, especially talking about Ecommerce today.

 

Will Christensen  

Yep, absolutely. Absolutely. 

 

Chase Clymer  

So I guess, before we get into what DataAutomation is all about, let's talk a bit about your background and what led you down this path to become an automation specialist.

 

Will Christensen  

Yep, absolutely. So I have to share it. I'm a total superhero nerd. We totally call this like the origin story, right? So when I was bitten by that spider, the radioactive spider that created DataAutomation. 

 

Back in the day, I was an unpaid intern at an advertising agency. And I was given the unique opportunity --which is not that unique-- to copy and paste for basically 16 hours a week. 

 

And I was moving data from one spreadsheet to another to create an aggregated report. So for those of you who are listening, and have downloaded a spreadsheet from one of your Ecommerce systems, and you're copying and pasting data together to create an aggregated report. That's exactly where I started. 

 

I had to do a ton of just pushing things back and forth. And my immediate supervisor, at the time, who was on his way out of the company that I was working with... So they hired me from being an unpaid intern to being an assistant. 

 

My job was to be the stopgap in-between him and the next department head who was starting. And this guy sat me down and he said, "Okay, this is a VLOOKUP". And I was like "A 'V' what?" He said, "It's a VLOOKUP. It's where you connect 2 spreadsheets together. 

 

And you can make it so that this cell references that cell in that other spreadsheet. And you don't have to go click, copy, find and fill it all out manually." And my mind just expanded at that moment. 

 

I was like, "Wait... You mean, I don't have to copy that cell, go over to this spreadsheet, Ctrl F, find that other one and then match up all of these values. I can just say  Oh, if the customer ID equals this, then the customer name is this because that's in another spreadsheet?" 

 

And I said, "Okay. Well, if that's possible, what else could we do?" Because I was trying to count up the number of transactions that were happening over here so that I could see trends and analysis and summarize. And I got into pivot tables and started to really understand what it meant to mesh data together. 

 

And obviously, I had these 16 hours and they all included a whole bunch of mini sub-processes that I had to automate. But at the time, I didn't even know I had to automate them. I just knew they were annoying. 

 

And so I spent probably 200 to 300 hours teaching myself how to code, digging in, and automating this process. 

 

And I had Excel opening web browsers doing all sorts of crazy stuff to make this spreadsheet do my entire job or at least two-fifths of my job because it was 16 hours of a five-day workweek to knock that all out. 

 

So after the process was done, I cut it down from 18 hours down to 2 hours. My computer was waking up in the middle of the night and doing most of the work for me, aggregating all of those different data points, writing VLOOKUPs for me, all of that kind of stuff. And I realized that this is what I wanted to do with my life. 



I wanted to help other people take back their 16 hours each week, and put that into something that only a human can do, something that we as human beings should be focusing on, which is creation and creativity. So that was the birth of it. 

 

Fast forward several years, and we founded an automation consultancy that focuses on integration, automation and pushing things forward with tools like Zapier, and Google Sheets, and many, many others out there.

 

Chase Clymer  

Will, you don't know it yet, but you are going to be so annoyed by our friendship.

 

Will Christensen  

(laughs) Honestly, annoying is the word everybody else uses. The word I use... When you start saying something like that, I start to get excited, because it probably means that I found a like-minded individual, somebody who either thinks like me or has a whole bunch of ideas that we can play. 

 

And I call it play, because it really is. I love getting me in the middle of a spreadsheet.

 

Chase Clymer  

Oh, man. Not to... The podcast here is for our listeners, it's not for me. So I'm definitely gonna use my time wisely here. But let's talk about... Automation is like a big, scary thing. 

 

And I think the first thing that we need to point out together is, automation is just taking the human element out of a simple task. And all the big jobs are like what you said is you had this 16 hours of stuff, there were all these micro/mini tasks. 

 

Will Christensen  

Mm-hmm.

 

Chase Clymer  

So the way you have to approach automation, in general, is you approach it in a way where it's "Alright, I have to just get this little thing done first." 

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. 

 

Chase Clymer  

And then and then you just keep building, and building, and building on top of that. 

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. 

 

Chase Clymer  

I think the first thing that scares people with automation, is they see a big job or a big process and they just don't know where to start.

 

Will Christensen  

Well, it's amazing because you look at it, and the 16-hour process that I was talking about before, the end result of that was actually very simple... It had a list of results on one side and a list of graphs on the other side. 

 

But the data underneath that is simple... It was literally a bunch of pivot tables that pushed up into, "Here are the results of your different campaigns in a table. So, on day 1, we hit 3. On day 4, we hit 5, on day 6, we hit 7." 

 

So it literally listed out the results. And then on the right-hand side, it showed that in a visual format in a graph. And so you look at that, and you're like, "Oh. That seems easy. Let's figure out how to automate this." And then you take one step underneath that layer and see where it's being aggregated and you get stuck. 

 

Because you're like, "Okay. Well, but how would I even get that in here? And how would I make it so that it's all matching up the right way and all of the different pieces get there?" 

 

And people get stuck on the simplicity of the report. [It] looks even a little more simple to automate than it even is. It's like, "Oh. Well, that's not that bad. That's just all my campaigns and their results." 

 

But then get in there... And what I find the most time is a lot of automation companies, their goal is to try to draw you in and get you to try it. And so most people who are listening to this have probably tried to automate something already. 

 

They've attempted to go out and hook up an account of some kind, or they may have even opened up a little bit of code and then freaked out and closed it because it looked like gibberish. 

 

Or they tried to edit something in a Shopify site or a WordPress site and they just... Their brains had that moment of like, "Oh crap. I'm in over my head." And what I find is that it's all about that time tested theory of how to eat an elephant. One bite at a time. 

 

And so automation is all about breaking it up into those disparate parts. And I tell people when you go through and you're going to automate something, you have to ask three basic questions: Where is the data now? 

 

And you can insert whatever you want for this word that I'm throwing out here. 

 

Data. Where's the data? Where's the report? Where's the whatever it is? Where's the data now? The second question is, where does it need to go? And the third question is what needs to happen to it in-between? 

 

And what I find out is if you start replacing that noun, the word data, with whatever it is that you're trying to get, then you can start asking yourself the "how". "Well, how did I get that? Well, how did I get that? Well, how did I get that?" And it becomes essentially a bullet-pointed tree document, where you start to figure out where you're going. 

 

And you'll find that there's an origin point where the data came from originally. And there's an endpoint. A point at which you've completed your goal of creating an analysis that gets there. 

 

So if you can ask yourself those 3 questions and then yourself those 3 questions about each of the sub-bullets, all of a sudden you'll have gotten to something that can actually provide ROI. So that's the first step. Break it down into its individual parts.

 

Chase Clymer  

Oh absolutely. It's so funny that this recording would fall on today because I, literally, 3 hours ago, I had lunch with my friend Nette. Longtime listeners of the show will know Annette. She was on the podcast quite a bunch at the beginning, helping us get it started. She's going to be on for a follow up in a couple of weeks. 

 

Anyway, Annette was asking me today, how to automate something. So this might be something that a lot of our listeners are experiencing. So she's got a certain product in her Shopify store. It's very heavy. 

 

So it is actually fulfilled by someone completely different. And what she had been doing --which this is probably gonna make Will laugh-- is anytime that [that] product got ordered, she would figure it out eventually by just... She just checks her sales every day. 

 

And then when she saw that, she would go track down the email, and then she would copy and paste that email, and send it to the correct fulfillment house to make sure that order went out. 

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. 

 

Chase Clymer  

So that's what she had been doing. And she was like, "Chase, we can automate this right?" And I was like, "Yes, this might be the most simple thing we can automate." But it just goes to show [that] stuff like that’s repetitive and easy, it's so easy to automate. 

 

And I mean, we knocked it out in 15 minutes over lunch, just with Zapier. It was so simple to do. But it's stuff like that, you just got to think about it. If it takes no actual thought to where it's just repetitive work, you can usually automate it.

 

Will Christensen  

So, it's funny that you say that because we've got a podcast that’s launching as well. We're calling it Automate, Delegate, Eliminate. It's going to be a game show kind of thing where we bring people on like Annette and we're like, "Alright, tell us what you did." 

 

And they have to defend their position. And we're going to decide together whether they made the right choice. Automate, Delegate, Eliminate. Because that's really, in the end, what you're going to do with your processes as you grow your business. 

 

And as I've gone through the process of automating, delegating, and eliminating inside DataAutomation and inside other people's businesses, I've come up with a couple of litmus tests that you and your users --the listeners on this podcast-- can use to discover whether or not something is ROI positive, or whether or not it's automatable. 

 

They're not bulletproof, but they are an initial inkling of "Should I be talking to someone about automating this or should I be looking into automating yourself?" And if you're interested, I'm totally willing to share it. Is that something you want me to share today? 

 

Chase Clymer  

Oh yeah. Let's do it. 

 

Will Christensen  

Okay. So the first litmus test that I tell people is, "Is this taking more than 15 minutes a day, more than an hour per week, or more than an hour per month?" 

 

Now obviously, with Annette's example, I don't know how many orders she was getting with that individual item. And so it may not have met that litmus test yet. And the reason I tell people to look at that litmus test first is... Annette came to you. 

 

And it was probably a level of annoyance, maybe, that she was like, "Oh, this is happening once or twice a week. But it's annoying." or "It's happening 3 times a day. And it's annoying. But it wasn't taking more than 15 minutes a day." That annoyance level is valuable to pay attention to. 

 

But as Ecommerce businesses, one of the things we focus on are transactions, right? It's all about volume. And so if you're not paying attention to the one that hits that litmus test first, you're probably going to start focusing on something that wasn't there. 

 

And part of the reason it was so easy for you to tackle that Chase is because you have the experience, right? 

 

If you had just handed that over to her, and she had no experience with some of these things, it could have taken her a couple of hours to figure it out to get it right. And you're right, it is a 15-minute task if you have some experience there. 

 

But that's part of why my first litmus test is all about time. Because if we can find something that is repetitive, that's happening daily, weekly or monthly, that's where we can find the ROI. Now, can you do it at smaller increments? Absolutely. 

 

The second piece of the litmus test is "How simple is the task?" And this passes with flying colors as far as Annette's example is concerned. "Can you teach the thing you want to automate to an intern in less than it takes to actually do the task?" 

 

So could you record a video for an intern with a basic level of understanding of Google Sheets or Excel or email, and they would be able to follow what you did without asking you too many questions. And the answer to that, as far as Annette's example is “Absolutely.”

 

When this product gets sold, I want you to copy and paste this out of here and put it into here. Very simple task. So if it meets those two litmus tests, that's where you can start to be like "Okay, now it's time to start researching. Now, it's worth my time to invest in digging into where some of that goes." 

 

And then there's obviously a whole bunch of other steps and things you can do to actually get your arms around. But those are my two litmus tests for like, "Is this worth investigating?" So the question is not "Is this automatable?" 

 

Because most things are. A lot more than you are probably imagining is totally automatable. The question is, "Is it worth automating?" 

 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely.

 

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Chase Clymer  

So with [those questions] "Is it automatable?" and "Is it worth automating?", talking specifically to our listenership here, what are you seeing Ecommerce store owners focusing on, whether it's right or wrong? 

 

What do you think are the bigger wins that people are doing that you've experienced? What do you think people should be more focused on areas that they should be implementing automation? What are your thoughts on that? 

 

Will Christensen  

So one of the first things I would say is that there are a lot of people focusing on the wrong things to automate. And they want to tackle the biggest, hairiest thing in the room first. 

 

And so one of the things I would say to you is looking for something that seems simple. And that's where that litmus test comes in. 

 

Something that can be copied, and pasted, and goes across. Think about how much human energy it takes to make decisions about what's happening. What can you do to eliminate the variability associated with what's going on? 

 

So if you're getting an email from a supplier, and the supplier is telling you how much of something you have in stock. And they're literally typing out in an email like "Hey, we've got 50 of these available." 

 

If you could get them to send that to you in a very specific way, like "Here's SKU comma number." Oh, that might get exciting. Well, if you start thinking about it "SKU comma number", that looks a lot like a spreadsheet. So could you get them to start emailing you a spreadsheet? 

 

And that spreadsheet comes in exactly the same way every time? That's interesting. Maybe it's only one product and they just are giving you an email once a day telling you what it is. 

 

But it's somebody manually typing it in there. If you have a good enough relationship and it's just a mom and pop shop, what if you sent them a form and you said: "Hey, instead of emailing me every day, why don't you just fill out this form and I'll make it automatically update my website with those inventory numbers?" 

 

Totally possible to be like "Okay. On form submit, I want to go update the inventory numbers in Shopify for a specific product." Now obviously, that's a very finite specific use-case. But one of the things you have to understand is that these data inputs can all be pushed around and looked at things. 

 

So, any sort of action tied to the individual checked out, like "I finished an order.", anything you're doing every single time that order happens, there's a really good chance that there's some automation that you can tie into that. 

 

So maybe you're sending a thank you email after the fact. A common one for marketing [or] in marketing [the] world is every time I sell peanut butter, I want to advertise jelly. You don't need something super, super expensive --as far as email automation goes-- to start doing that. If you go find your products that you're selling and make a list of your pairs. 

 

Write all of your peanut butters and on the right, list out all of your jellies. And then vice versa. You got to put all the peanut butter in that column as well, and then all the jellies go the other direction. 

 

Because if you can figure out what those are, then you can start to build listeners that will be like "Oh okay." Every time I get somebody who buys this, I want to send them an email "Hey! You bought your peanut butter, but you forgot your jelly." So those are common things that I see out of stock examples. 

 

Something gets bought and when it actually makes it down to an inventory management platform, it's like "Oh crap! That actually isn't in stock. We thought it was. Something about the way that things went down, it ended up being out of stock." 

 

As soon as that item gets marked out of stock, you can send an automated email to your client saying, "Hey! We're really sorry about this but it looks like this is out of stock. I'm gonna check again in a couple of days. 

 

And we're just gonna keep you aware of what's going on." And so you could even send an automated email every day and make it feel like a customer service person was literally checking in on that individual person's order, every single day. "Hey, sorry. Still out of stock." "Hey, sorry. Still out of stock." 

 

And then after 5 days, you could make a message and say "Hey, I'm really sorry but it looks like it's still out of stock. Do you mind clicking on this Calendly link, let's set up a quick 15-minute call. And we'll talk about what we can do for you here. 

 

Because obviously, this has gone on a lot longer than we had anticipated." And then you may be able to save that canceled order by selling an alternate product or by looking at something else. So there's a lot of automation that you can do around that.

 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah. The sky is really the limit. I think the first challenge --and I think I've spoken on this before with a few other guests-- is just like getting the mindset to where it's like "That's just not another thing to add to my to-do list. That's another thing that can be on a robot's to-do list and it could be off my plate."

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. And that litmus test is I tell people to get out a sticky note and write down those things on there. 15 minutes, 1 hour per week and 1 hour per month. Write that. "15, 1, 1" at the top of that. And if you need to put a little "15 D, 1 W, and 1 M" at the top of the sticky note. 

 

And then anything that meets that criteria, you're like "Oh, I just finished that. It took me an hour to do it. And I'm going to be doing that every month in perpetuity." Write down the name of that process. Then right next to that I tell people to write a tick mark next to it for every time it happens. 

 

Now, obviously, it's going to happen next month, right. But sometimes the thing that's happening in variability. So with Annette's example, she's probably got a decent idea and she can look at some history, but sometimes it's like a customer complained in this certain way. I don't know how often that happens. 

 

So it might not be worth automating. It might be like 2 or3 times a week and it only adds up to 45 minutes or whatever else it is. But if you can start to quantify what's there, those are also going to give you ideas of what standard operating procedures you need to write for your company. 

 

Think about it this way, if I were going to hand this off to a human being, what would I have to tell them how to do? And that actually becomes the template for what you're going to do to automate. 

 

So instead of handing that to a human being, --because the thing that you're asking the human being to do is mindless-- you can hand that to a robot. 

 

One last rule of thumb that I want to share with everybody is always doing the thing 5 times manually before you automate it. If you haven't gone out and actually done [and] lifted the weights 5 times, you probably don't know enough about the process to truly make good decisions about whether you should turn left or you should turn right when you come to that fork in the road. 

 

Because every process has decisions that have to be made. And so I often tell people like "Hey, make sure you've done that at least 5 times manually before you start automating because you're going to waste some time if you don't."

 

Chase Clymer  

Yeah, yeah. I can't agree more with automation is just an extension of the standard operating procedures. So I guess before you even get down the path of thinking about "Well, what tools can I use to do this?" Or "How am I going to automate this?", it's like "Well, what is the process?" 

 

First, the process needs to be pretty rock solid. Just so you can start to get those data points, like you were saying at the beginning like "Where is it now? Where does it need to be? if this happens, this needs to happen." Before you can get any of that really isolated, you need to have the process pretty rock solid. 

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. 

 

Chase Clymer  

So if people were looking for more information [and] they want to get into this on their own, what are the tools out there that people are using to DIY this themselves? And when do you think it becomes a good idea to start reaching out to a consultant that can help in these sorts of things?

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. That's a great question. And you really can get started on your own. In fact, I prefer clients to have gotten started on their own because I find that they're more educated and they're better at understanding what it really takes to tackle some of these things. 

 

And so one of the first places I would go is Zapier, for sure. Zapier.com. It's funny because when people get there they're like, "Is that really how you say it?" If you look down to the bottom, --It used to be on the bottom left-hand side-- it says "Zapier makes you happier." They're actually telling you how to say their name. 

 

And it took me a little while, I have to admit this. And yeah, I know it's gonna be recorded. took me a little while before I figured out that Zapier was Z-API-ER, and for those of you who are like, "What?!" 

 

Chase Clymer  

Oh, man. I just got it.

 

Will Christensen  

Yes! I'm not the only one. Thank you, Chase. I really appreciate that you didn't get that? Because when I very first realized it, I was like "Oh, I should have seen that immediately." 

 

And I didn't. I didn't. I've been working on it for years. And I saw it on a video that they had done because they don't really advertise this a lot because I think it scares people. But API is the way that you interface with another system. So API... 

 

So if you go up to Shopify and you say, "Hey, do you have an API?" They absolutely have an API. And it is an Application Programming Interface, which is basically, a fancy way of saying this is how our application interacts with another set of individuals or with the front end of a website. 

 

So long story short, API is a very good keyword to ask when you're looking for a new piece of software. If you buy a new piece of software, you should be sending them an email saying, "Hey, do you have an open API?" And if the answer is no, you might want to steer clear of that new application. 

 

Because their competitors might have an API and that API is going to allow you to create connectivity between that system and another system in the future. So Zapier. Z-API-ER. So it's basically "zapiering" or "APIing" (laughs) things. 

 

So it made me laugh when I realized that that's what it was, But Zapier is all about connecting one platform to another. And it's basically putting you in the driver's seat as far as "Okay when this file hits this folder in Dropbox or Google Drive or OneDrive, I want you to automatically email it to someone else." 

 

So I make a lot of recordings just with a tool like Screenscatify or Loom. Those are really cool tools. 

 

By the way, if you're still sending screenshots, you may want to get to like the Harry Potter version of screenshots where your screenshot can actually wave and talk to people. But yeah, no. Screencastify or Loom, I send those a lot to people. 

 

And so, earlier today, I was automating some of my own processes so that every time I record a new video, I get a little reminder or I get away to automatically send that to my assistant or to... 

 

Sometimes I'm recording a bug for Zapier. I've found something on Zapier's website that I'm like, "Oh, that doesn't seem to be working quite right." And so I'll send that over. 

 

But yeah, it's super important to know your own processes and that's what the API in the middle of Zapier stands for. So Chase, thank you so much for validating the fact that wasn't the only one that missed that at the beginning.

 

Chase Clymer  

If you've been listening to this podcast for any more than just one episode, you'll realize that I don't get a lot of random hilarious stuff like that. I focus on certain things and other stuff just completely goes over my head.

 

Will Christensen  

Well, I think you're in good company because I totally missed that. (laughs) And, and that's what Zapier is all about. So Zapier is a great tool. Integromat is another one. Workato is another one. 

 

There are many, many, many different systems. They're called iPaaS systems: Integration platform as a service. 

 

And those systems make a huge difference for everyone because they can basically put you in the driver's seat as far as integrating different connections. 

 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. And now the second part of that question was when do you think it's a good idea for someone to start reaching out to a consultant about some sort of automation activity?

 

Is there a threshold or another litmus test [that] helps about discovering one process? Is there some other stuff that they can see if it's happening within their business?

 

Will Christensen  

Yeah. So in terms of when it's time to send that over to a consultant, or when you get there, I give myself a... And your threshold may be different than mine. 

 

But if I've spent more than 15 to 30 minutes, I'd probably say if I were saying someone who is starting out in automation, [it] depends on how much you make, right? 

 

How much money do you want to waste on something before you look into "Maybe there's somebody out there who knows how to do this better than me." 

 

And so for me, it's 15 minutes. I spent 15 minutes on it, and if I've spent 15 minutes banging my head against the wall, I'm already asking for help. Not a consultant. 

 

My first stop for help is the support team for whatever tool I'm using. "Hey, do you have any way to handle this?" My second stop after I hear back from them is... And I vary, actually [in my approach]. 

 

So my first job is usually Google. I'll try to type in and understand how other people are calling whatever it is I was trying to automate, then I'll reach out to the support team, or sometimes that's vice versa. 

 

Depending on the results I get back from those 2 individuals, I will then start looking for a consultant so I can quickly answer those 3 questions: Where's the data now? Where does it need to go? and What happens in-between? 

 

And post that on Upwork or Fiverr and see if I can get some people who are mildly knowledgeable. Another great thing to do is to ask the customer service team, "Do you have... I'm trying to automate this" 

 

And they'll say "Well no, but you can ask somebody via an API." Or they might say, "Oh yeah. Actually, if you go check that out on Zapier, you could totally automate that." A lot of times they'll point you in the direction of the iPaaS solution that they're connected to. 

 

And so, after I've done those 2 things, it'll start to tell me "Okay, now it's time to start asking someone for additional help."

 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. It's something to keep in mind if you're, like you said, just banging your head against the wall trying to automate something yourself. It's just the opportunity costs, too. 

 

If you know that there's a certain process within your business that you've identified "It's checking a lot of these boxes here, this probably can be automated." 

 

It might be worthwhile to reach out to somebody just because it's one of those things like once it's done, it's done forever. 

 

And it's going to just not be a task that a human has to tackle anymore. Like you said, you got rid of two-fifths of your job. So, what happened after that was automated?

 

Will Christensen  

So, at that point in time, people generally have 1 of 2 options. The first option would be [to] kick back, relax, enjoy yourself. Like "Oh crap. I got 2 days a week essentially that I can just chill in my office and nobody's gonna know that I wasn't working." 

 

That's one option, obviously, is to relax a little bit, take it a little slower pace. I chose to go all in and just find more things to automate. I got excited about that. And I made myself invaluable and untirable, because the automation, a lot of it lived in my head. 

 

Now, obviously, that's not the best business practice if you're the business owner. But as an employee, you want to find people who are going to automate and you also want to teach them how to automate so that it's not all tied to them. 

 

2 important pieces of that process are to bring that out, let other people look at it, and develop that standard operating procedure. Because I didn't even know what a standard operating procedure was when I automated two-fifths of my job before. 

 

So it's an important piece of the puzzle. So if you're an Ecommerce seller and you're doing this on the side and you're trying to make yourself more invaluable at work, or you want to find more time to work on your Ecommerce business, automating a piece of it could be part of what you do.

 

Chase Clymer  

Absolutely. So [if] people are picking up what you're putting down, how do they get ahold of you?

 

Will Christensen  

Yep. Absolutely. So you can catch me at DataAutomation.com or you can email me directly will@dataautomation.com. And we'd be totally happy to help and happy to point you in the right direction. All you gotta do is mention this podcast and we'll give you a free 30-minute consultation. 

 

We'll do a systems design session with you and we normally charge $350 an hour for that. So you're more than welcome to grab us and get that rolling. And I guarantee, I'll bet your coffee --I don't drink coffee necessarily-- but I'll bet you a Starbucks gift card that we can find something that you can automate.

 

Chase Clymer  

Awesome. That's a fantastic offer. Will, thank you so much for being on the show. Is there anything else you want to share with the audience before I let you go? 

 

Will Christensen  

No. Happy automating. And don't forget that sometimes it's a little easier than you think if you just take one bite out of that elephant at a time.

 

Chase Clymer  

I cannot thank our guests enough for coming on the show and sharing their journey and knowledge with us today. We've got a lot to think about and potentially add to our businesses. Links and more information will be available in the show notes as well. 

 

If anything in this podcast resonated with you and your business, feel free to reach out and learn more at electriceye.io/connect. Also, make sure you subscribe and leave an amazing review. Thank you!