When you run your own company, there’s never enough time to complete everything you need. Days bleed together in an unending blur of tasks and to-dos that never seem to get any shorter, no matter how hard you try.
What if you could make your day manageable and give yourself the gift of more time? Automation isn’t just for industry titans but can help small enterprises too. Nearly two-thirds of business owners (SMBs) report incorporating automation into their companies in a 2020 Global Survey.
Don’t know where to start or which processes should be automated within your organization? Don’t worry. This blog will cover why automation benefits your bottom line and list five processes you should automate within your small business. Let’s dive in!
Source: Finances Online
Automation is quickly becoming a vital tool for increasing efficiency in the workplace. Business owners are discovering that automating specific processes can save them an incredible amount of time, money, and resources.
More than three-quarters of business owners surveyed above reported that automation allowed them to be more efficient at their job, with the reduced waste of time being the most frequently cited benefit.
This increased efficiency has enabled businesses to streamline many processes and operations while still feeling in control to make tweaks as needed. Automation has also helped reduce errors associated with manual tasks, ensuring accuracy and consistency across all parts of the organization.
What Are the Benefits of Automation?
While the benefits of automation are literally too numerous to count, we’ve zeroed in on a few of the most popular ones for you.
Save Yourself Some Money
As much as we search for work-life balance and fulfillment, if you aren't making money in your business, you won't have a business—the bottom line matters. Automating specific processes in your business can help you save money, and that's always a good thing.
It might surprise you how much cost savings can come from utilizing automation. For example, automating mundane tasks like data entry or customer inquiries saves time for your employees to focus on other areas of the business, eliminates errors, and reduces employee costs associated with those activities.
You may even be able to downsize staff if the workload is significantly reduced due to automation.
Get the Love and Excitement Back for What You Do
You've been married to your business for a while now, and the honeymoon phase has worn off. You're feeling bogged down by all the tedious tasks you must do to keep everything going. But don't worry—there's still hope!
Automating some processes can give you back that enjoyment for what you do. By using automated tools and software, you can take those mundane daily tasks off your plate so that they don't drain away any more of your precious energy. When you feel rested, you can channel that into doing the things you love.
You can focus on growing your business, innovating, and refining your product or service offering. Automation will free up some of those hours and let you get back to doing what you're passionate about—and loving it again!
Get Way More Done in Far Less Time
Have you ever wished you had more hands or even a clone of yourself? We’ve all been there—you want to get more done but can’t find enough hours in the day. It turns out there is a way to get much more done without having to clone yourself: automation!
Automating processes in your business can help you save time and energy while freeing up your resources for more critical tasks. And the best part? To make it happen, you don't have to be an IT expert or computer whiz-kid. Automation is surprisingly simple and easy to implement.
From automating mundane tasks like data entry to streamlining complex processes such as customer segmentation, automation can help you get much more done in less time with fewer resources. Imagine being able to focus on revenue-generating activities while your automated systems take care of the tedious stuff!
Happier Customer and Better Products
Automating processes in your business ensures that products and customer interactions are consistent, no matter who is handling them. Automation allows you to set up a system where tasks are completed the same way each time, which helps to create an efficient workflow for employees and customers alike.
For instance, if you have a specific process for how customer inquiries should be handled from start to finish, you can use automation to make sure all questions are managed the same way every time – quickly and professionally.
Doing this will enable your team to provide outstanding customer service that keeps customers returning while reinforcing your brand’s values. On the product side, automating processes can help you ensure that every product is made to the same high standard.
By setting up systems designed to maintain quality throughout production – from ordering materials to inspecting final products - you can be sure that your customers will get the same excellent quality no matter how many items they order.
Automation Opportunities You Have for Your Business Processes
Automation is a great way to streamline your business processes and save time. But how do you know which ones are worth automating? Here’s a list of functions that could be automated in your business:
Email Marketing Campaigns
Automated email marketing campaigns can save time and money by allowing businesses to send personalized emails out regularly without managing each one manually. This process also ensures that customers stay informed about promotions and offers from your company.
Source: GetResponse and ConstantContact
Time is a valuable asset, and it’s something that no business should ever take lightly. It's the one thing you can never get back, so it only makes sense that companies should look for ways to save time and make their processes more efficient.
That’s where marketing automation comes in! Nearly a third of professionals surveyed above claim that one of the most significant benefits they receive from automating their marketing processes is the amount of time saved.
Manual Parts of the Sales Process
Ah, the sales process. It’s one of those essential tasks that can take up a lot of time if you don’t have some automation in place. Let’s face it - manually handling parts of the sales process can be tedious and time-consuming, so why not automate it?
Here are some manual parts of the sales process that you should consider automating:
- Lead Qualification
- Quoting & Pricing
Automating as many manual tasks as possible gives you precious time to devote to other activities like developing new leads, improving customer service or launching marketing campaigns.
And best of all, you’ve streamlined how quickly new prospects become paying and returning customers. That’s why automation nearly always results in higher sales.
Scheduling is an integral part of any business and takes up valuable time that could be spent on more productive tasks. Automation can streamline this process, making it easier for everyone involved. With an automated system, you'll have more control over who does what and when - no more double booking or overbooking.
Source: GoSite Online Scheduling
Automated scheduling with a company like GoSite can also help you keep track of shifts, holidays, and other important dates. Plus, it eliminates the need for tedious back-and-forth emails or phone calls to coordinate schedules. Automating your business's scheduling process makes life easier for everyone, including you.
As a business, referrals are one of the most powerful tools to drive new customers. But requesting and tracking referrals can be a time-consuming process if done manually. Automating your referral requests is an easy way to ensure no leads slip through the cracks – plus, it’ll free up more of your precious time.
Payments and Invoicing
Automating payments and invoicing processes can save you a world of pain when running a business and are the key to keeping cash flow in check. These systems are worth investing in because they streamline your billing cycles and allow customers to pay quickly and easily.
The first step is setting up an automatic payment system that will allow customers to make secure payments easily. These user-friendly platforms offer simple integrations and enable customers to quickly enter their credit card details without leaving your website.
Next, set up an automated invoicing system so you don't have to send invoices each month manually. With this easy process, you can quickly generate and send invoices with a few mouse clicks. You can even set up recurring payments so that customers are automatically billed regularly without any extra effort from your team.
Finally, consider automating your accounting procedures as well. By integrating an online accounting system with your website and payment techniques, you'll be able to track all incoming and outgoing payments in real-time - no more manual entry.
This will allow you to monitor cash flow efficiently and ensure that everything runs smoothly. Automating your payment and invoicing processes can save you time, money, and headaches. Not only will it make your life easier, but automated payments are also more secure than manual ones.
Source: GoSite Payments and Invoicing
Plus, with the right software in place, you’ll be able to produce accurate invoices quickly so that customers won’t have any reason to delay paying you!
Other Repetitive Tasks You Can Automate
When you think of automation, the first things that come to mind are mundane tasks like emails and scheduling. But there are plenty of other repetitive tasks in your business that can be automated as well, including:
Automating customer communication can help you save time, money, and resources. You can use chatbots or automated emails to respond quickly to customer queries and complaints. This will help you serve your customers better and free up employee bandwidth for more important tasks or projects.
Social Media Management
Social media is a great way to build relationships with your customers and promote your brand online, but managing multiple profiles on various platforms can take time and effort.
To make the most of social media marketing, it’s best to automate processes such as scheduling posts in advance or creating automated messages when a customer interacts with your profile.
Data entry is another tedious task that can be easily automated. Suppose you manually enter data from sources such as emails, PDFs, and other documents into your system. In that case, it’s worth investing in an automation tool or software that can do the job for you quickly and accurately.
Generating reports is necessary for understanding your business performance, but manually creating each account every month or quarter can be tedious. Automation tools can generate these reports quickly and accurately with minimal effort on your part.
Examples of Small Business Automation In Everyday Life
“The findings indicate that smaller companies are less likely than large companies to have automated any of their processes, but those that have done so are seeing a higher success rate than larger organizations. 65% of respondents at smaller companies report success with automation, compared with 55% at large organizations.” - McKinsey
You may not realize it, but we are subjected to small business automation every day and don't even realize it. Here are a few instances you're likely already familiar with in your day-to-day routine:
1. Grocery stores
When you enter a grocery store, the first thing that comes to mind is the cashier ringing up your groceries and handing you the receipt. But what about all the other work done behind the scenes?
Many stores have automated processes to fill orders quickly and provide customers with accurate pricing information. This includes RFID scanners for inventory tracking, robotic arms for stocking shelves, automatic checkout lanes, and more!
Automation in restaurants can include everything from automated ordering systems where customers can order their food online or through an app on their phone to machines that prepare and cook food such as pizza, hamburgers, and even tacos.
Automation has been a part of the manufacturing industry for decades, helping to streamline processes and make production more efficient. Many factories now use automated systems to assemble products, package them and ship them out quickly.
Bookkeeping is one of the most tedious tasks for small business owners. Still, with accounting automation software like QuickBooks or Xero, you can easily keep track of your finances in real-time without needing to hire an accountant!
Why You Need Marketing Automation Tools
Automation is an invaluable tool for streamlining operations and ensuring all the pieces of your business work together in harmony. With marketing automation tools like GoSite, you can take customer reviews, payments, and invoices off your plate so that you can focus on what matters most – running and growing your business.