Founder, Double Your Freelancing.com
"should you wait until you've generated $1 million worth of revenue before starting to automate your business?
A few thoughts:
Automation isn't binary. You can (and should) automate some parts of your business before you've hit $1mm in revenue, but in principal I agree with the sentiment: way too many people prematurely automate.
There's sales automation and there's business automation.
If you have a website, you should have sales automation in place. Did someone fill out your contact form? Automate an immediate response. Get them qualified. Tell them what's next. In a world of flaky service providers, people love immediacy.
And if you're doing any sort of blogging or content marketing, you should be building a list. Create a lead magnet, wire up some automation, and on-board your new subscriber onto your list.
That's automation, and that should be done ASAP. Later on, you can start to automate evergreen pitches and more sophisticated, more personalized automation funnels, but you should definitely have something.
For business or process automation, I definitely think you can jump the gun.
I've seen new businesses who have crazy complicated Zapier workflows that combine their invoicing software, accounting software, website, and so on – and they don't yet have anyone to send invoices to!
Setting up automation is the kind of busywork that feels like you're getting stuff done. And it's tempting to spend a ton of time on it.
But I prefer the approach of doing a lot of manual communication - preferably via dialogues (email threads, phone calls) - and only after you've got a solid understanding of your audience and how to best sell them, then get to work automating the results of those dialogues into an automated monologue.