When and how should startups think about automating their processes?
Automating your work could be helpful if you do it right, and extremely distracting and time consuming if you do not.
Simply automating everything will be taxing on the team and potentially useless for the business. What you want to do instead is to automate from underneath yourself, one bit at a time.
Keep doing what you are normally doing and keep the business going, don't commit to any large changes. But at the same time, start removing pieces of manual work, replacing them with automation, one bit at a time.
This way you can both, automate your work in the long-run, and not miss out on current business by doing too much, too soon.