If you run a small and midsize business (SMB), then you know how much work it takes to be competitive in your industry. You may have to worry about things like manufacturing, marketing, payroll, and customer support. It's easy for business owners to get inundated with small everyday tasks.
By automating some of your business operations, you can use software to complete many tasks without a human present. Automation can be extremely helpful to a small business. It can save your company time, money, and energy.
In this article, we'll go over some areas of your business where you can use workplace automation. The more tasks you can successfully automate, the more your staff can devote their full attention to key assignments by utilizing their expertise.
Why Should Small Businesses Use Automation?
For startups, it can seem like there's never enough time to get everything done. Wouldn't it be great if your team could focus on a few essential tasks without having to worry about the mundane ones?
Automation helps you get more done in less time, improves your customer service processes, and lets your team focus on complex assignments. And because you don't have to hire employees to handle common duties, the practice can also save you money. If you plan on scaling or expanding your business, automation is essential because it allows your company to grow while keeping your expenses to a minimum.
How to Use Automation in Your Small Business
Automation works best with repetitive everyday tasks. Take an inventory of all the tasks your team performs daily. If you find there are any common tasks not requiring a personal touch, then consider automating them.
Some mundane tasks you can automate include things like recurring computer processes, scheduling tasks, and basic customer service.
The less time you're forced to spend on monotonous administrative tasks, the more time you'll have to devote toward making money. For example, look at how Skynova can reduce the time you have to spend on accounting.
Examples of Small Business Automation
The future of work will depend on automation. More and more companies will gain the ability to integrate automated systems into their operations. Businesses without the ability to automate routine tasks will be at a big disadvantage.
In the next few sections, we'll go over some new technology companies use in office automation and for repetitive tasks. We'll also talk about how process automation can improve your workflow.
Email and Lead Management Automation
You can use software like Mailchimp or HubSpot Marketing Hub to create email lists, send out marketing content, and guide consumers down a conversion funnel. Email marketing tools can also keep track of things like how many people open a message and how many people respond to a call to action (CTA).
Use a tool like Google Forms to create a document where interested consumers can give you their contact information in order to learn more about your company. Embed your form on your website and social media pages. You can integrate your form into your email marketing software, too, so consumers who fill it out are automatically added to your email list.
Your automated email tool can then send out welcome emails to everyone on your list and a string of follow-up emails designed to lead a consumer to buy from you.
Many email marketing tools also give you the option to personalize emails based on a consumer's information. You can program your email tool to send different emails to certain segments of your audience based on their careers, interests, or shopping history.
Website Chat Bots
Chatbots are artificial intelligence (AI) systems used to handle customer service issues on your website or your social media pages without the guidance of human beings. They use databases to answer user questions about your company instantly.
Another benefit of chatbots is they improve your accessibility to your clients. They're always online, so your consumers can get their issues resolved no matter what time it is. The best part is you don't have to pay a team member to answer questions overnight.
However, some user inquiries might confuse a chatbot. Remember to give your customers a way to chat with a human (or request support) if they have problems with your chatbot. You can use software like ChatBot or Freshchat to build a chatbot for your business.
Doing payroll manually can be time-consuming. Automated payroll systems like Paylocity and ADP can keep track of employee payments, benefits, and taxes. They can also maintain financial records for your employees, ensuring you stay in compliance with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS requires businesses to keep employee tax records on hand for at least four years.
With accounting, computer programs and software are less susceptible to miscalculations than humans are. Automated payroll systems can calculate and record financial information quickly with virtually no errors. The happiest workers are the ones who get the correct amount of money in their pay packet!
For example, Skynova's accounting software can help you manage your business finances and create professional-looking accounting documents effortlessly. See how our software solution can help you handle your accounting.
Social Media Post Automation
You can use social media listening tools like Sprout Social and TweetReach to research what people are saying about your business or your industry on platforms like Instagram and Twitter. They can also show you who your biggest supporters are and use algorithms to help you pick keyword phrases and hashtags you can incorporate into your search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
After you've collected data on your audience and your industry, use it to create effective social media posts. Programs like Hootsuite or Social Jukebox can schedule posts well in advance and analyze their effectiveness. They'll keep track of things like how many times your post gets seen and how many people interact with it.
E-Commerce Website Upsells or Reminders
Customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce and Zendesk will store your clients' personal information and use it to market at strategic times. They might email a customer on a special day (like a birthday) or in response to a significant event in the customer's life.
For example, let's say you have an online flower shop. When a customer orders flowers from your site, a form comes up asking what the occasion is. The customer chooses an anniversary. Your CRM stores the information provided. The next year, the system emails the customer on their anniversary with a 25% off coupon and a reminder of their upcoming anniversary.
Quickly and Easily Manage Your Small Business Finances With Skynova
Launching and maintaining a new business can be a thrill, but it can also be draining. Every day, there's a new mountain of tasks for business leaders to execute. By using automation tools to complete common jobs, you can take some of the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on core business functions and increase your bottom line.
Administrative business processes can take up a huge portion of your work time if you handle your company's paperwork. Come, and see how Skynova's accounting software can make things like tracking income and managing expenses simple. Skynova also has free business templates for things like invoices, bids, and estimates which make drafting professional-looking documents a breeze.
Notice to the Reader
This article provides a basic introduction to automation software within a small and midsize business. The content within this article may not reflect the impact of automation in your specific situation or business. Whenever making any decision with regards to your company, always seek the counsel of a qualified professional.