Running your own home business can be both a blessing and a curse. Truth be told, almost everyone has advice for how you should run things; react to situations, and how to spend your time and money. One common theme is to automate absolutely everything possible, using the reasoning that you will need to "get on with things" and grow your business. While this holds some truth... it is not entirely factual.
Any home business will have a front end, and a back end. Now, when you start your venture, you will begin to realize that everything takes time to do... and some things take even more time to get done right. Always have a vision of what your front end will look like: what will the customer see, what will draw them in, what is the initial offer, are the graphics matching the copy writing, is the offer attractive in appearance, and so on. Once done, this will likely stay pretty static - especially if it's working to make sales! So, after it's set - you are free to hand any small modifications off to be done by someone else... investing your newly found "free" time toward growing your business.
Now, to address the back end. Once your offer has been snatched up by hungry customers, you have the opportunity to offer a secondary product... this is your back end. Planning the delivery and execution of this offer is usually much quicker than the front end work. However, this still requires your own personal touch. The back end is the easiest way to grow your profits... you simply contact the customer with another, similar offer. Your cost to market and attract the customer is zero - as you've already acquired them as a customer. You simply want to match the customer's desires with a product which you can supply... this cannot be automated, but the processes around sending the offer and processing the payment can definitely be automated. It's the personality within the offer that can never be automated.
Automation can make your communication with the customer easier, and it can make the payment processing easier... this can be seen almost every time. However, the personal matching of customer desires with the perfect product... along with a superior offer cannot be automated - it require human feeling and emotion. So, yes - do automate what you can. But, after the automation is done, be sure to inject emotion and feeling into your business - as this will grow your business more than anything else possibly could.