Running a small business is hard and many out there believe that if they do everything themselves they can save money which in turn helps their small business. Although in some cases this can be true, we want to go over in this post why that is actually hurting your business and how automating parts of your business can actually help grow your business in a positive way.
Business automation is a simple process of streamlining, linking together and automating a number of repeatable tasks with software you use on a daily basis for your business which ultimately saves you time to work on more productive tasks.
Most of us use apps and software programs on a daily basis in our personal lives to help get certain tasks done. With automation, you are doing the exact same thing but for you’re business.
Not sure what we mean by this? It can involve jobs and tasks such as having to manually copy and type in data to a spreadsheet or creating invoices manually and the most time-consuming task of all, sending emails back and forth!
These types of tasks can all be taken care of when using the correct software and tools.
To break things down further let's go ahead and give a simple example of where you could use automation. Automation is simply creating a task to run automatically.
We can break them down into simple commands.
“When this happens, do that”
Automation applies to any industry you are in. If you already use software and apps then it's just a simple case of adding automation to help improve workflows and productivity
Below is a list of how automation can benefit your small business:
Far too often most businesses carry out mundane tasks which often add little value to your actual business. But now with automation and tools such as Zapier and Airtable, those tasks can be taken care of to increase overall productivity.
Automation enables you to reduce the number of employees needed to handle those pain-staking tasks so they can instead focus on tasks which bring value and a high ROI within the workforce.
Believe it or not, automation can drastically improve the accuracy of your business operations. Nobody is perfect and having manual processes within a business at some point will lead to errors.
As an example, many organisations continue to rely on processing spreadsheets, manual invoicing, order processing and inventory management. As a result of this, you will come across errors at some point.
By removing these manual processes with the introduction of automation via apps you help to increase accuracy which in turn saves time from trying to correct any errors which is a huge overall time saver.
Just imagine if your purchasing, invoicing and inventory processes were all taken care of? What would the result of that be? You do not run the risk of running out of stock, chasing up invoice payments and then ultimately falling behind on payments.
Due to the recent pandemic, many businesses have been left with fewer skilled workers than they had pre-pandemic. Workers now prefer to work from home as opposed to going in every day to the office and while this could be looked upon as a bad thing the introduction of automation tools enables you to make the most of your existing staff.
The use of automation tools, allows the most non-technical user to build powerful automated workflow dashboards such as helping to build better internal project management processes, communication milestones and key deadlines with project status updates.
No need for team members to be emailing back and forth when everything is kept within one central dashboard.
Yes, of course, you can! one of the main objections we often come across when talking to small businesses about automating parts of their business is whether or not this could really work for them.
All too often when a service is offered we often hear it will “save time and money” but in this instance, it really does! Both are huge resources to a business owner or manager.
Here are a few examples of how different departments within your business can benefit from automation.
Automate invoices, create client on-boarding dashboards when somebody signs up to your service, file expense reports, and update customer records in the CRM system automatically when a payment or signature has been collected.
Follow up with new prospects via automated messaging reminders whether it's email or SMS. Scheduling demos and consultations via zoom, tracking sales and current status of deal pipelines in a CRM system. Updating and managing contacts.
Manage paid ad campaigns, and report metrics via tools that can send automated emails on certain dates. Automated segments for email subscribers and tracking conversions.
Creating automated reports from apps that are linked via CRM system, assigning tasks, set automated reminders for project deadlines and team members. Tracking how long time is taken for projects.
Sharing content across multiple platforms via automation. Logging current and previous posts, setting up alerts for any brand mentions on social media, curating content ideas for future posts.
Setting up processes for your business can be hard work and time-consuming. The idea of setting these systems up on your own can be daunting because we like to have full control as business owners.
No matter where you are currently with your business there is a huge selection of tools to help streamline and grow your business. If you are concerned that there is a lack of time or resources for automation then hiring a professional might be the best option.