Automating Growth in your Business
We get it – running a small business is like juggling a dozen balls at once. From managing customers to handling finances, every day feels like a treadmill. If your life feels like a repeat of one task after the same task, fear not – Business Automation is here to help you in the chaos.
Automating repetitive processes not only saves time but also reduces the likelihood of errors, allowing small businesses to focus on strategic growth and customer satisfaction. Here are the top workflows that we think small businesses can automate to enhance productivity and success.
1. Website to other system data updates: Small businesses often spent a lot of time manually synchronizing data from one system to another – usually using spreadsheets. Nowhere is this more true than with taking new newsletter signups and storing them in your email and newsletter and CRM systems(s). And then there is the on-going updating of user data as they travel through the journey from lead, to prospect, to client in these (and other) systems – to ensure that they are properly segmented and tracked based on their usage behaviour (e.g. website visits or purchases).
Automating these updates significantly eases this burden of manually updating this data (if these updates are getting done now), ensuring each segment (leads, prospects, customers) receive targeted and timely messages without manual intervention.
2. Customer Management: Managing customer relationships is crucial for small businesses, but it can be time-consuming. Implementing a CRM or ERP system offers the opportunity to automate aspects of customer interactions, such as lead tracking, follow-up emails, and appointment scheduling. This can ensure that leads are nurtured throughout the sales funnel, reducing the chances of potential clients slipping through the cracks. By automating routine tasks, small businesses can dedicate more time to building meaningful connections with their customers, ultimately fostering loyalty and repeat business.
But this only the start. What about the idea of sending alerts to the users profile when a specific type of post is made in the clients social media feed – perhaps needing help with something that your business can provide? Or tracking a proposal that you made as it flows through the customer’s organization? Providing industry intelligence? Your imagination is the limit.
3. Social Media Scheduling: Maintaining an active presence on social media is vital for small businesses, but consistently creating and posting content can be overwhelming. There are tools that enable businesses to schedule posts in advance, ensuring a steady flow of content across multiple platforms.
But taking this further, it is possible to automate daily industry intelligence updates for each industry that you focus on, to help create timely and relevant messages for your customers.
Automated social media scheduling not only saves time but also allows businesses to plan and curate content strategically. By analyzing engagement metrics, small businesses can refine their content strategy over time, enhancing their online presence and connecting with their target audience more effectively.
4. Accounting and Invoicing: Numbers and paperwork – the dreaded duo for many small business owners. Manually managing finances and creating invoices can be time-consuming and prone to errors.
Automating financial workflows can be a game-changer, taking the stress out of invoicing, expense tracking, and payroll. Set up recurring invoices and categorizing expenses automatically, is only the beginning to improving financial accuracy and maintaining clear cash flow.
Next up could be automated reminders for overdue payments, or generating production or activity reports for your clients. For instance, we generate bi-monthly settlement reports to track payments received from our payment processor, and money received into our bank account. This workflow lets us ensure that we are receiving the correct gross and net amounts, calculates the fees of the payment processor, and allocate it to the correct accounts. Who knew that managing money could be this painless?
5. Human Resources and Employee Onboarding: Managing human resources and onboarding processes can be resource-intensive, especially . Automating HR tasks with tools like BambooHR, Gusto, or Zenefits can streamline the hiring and onboarding processes.
Automation in HR helps with tasks such as resume screening, interview scheduling, and employee document management. This not only saves time but also enhances the consistency and efficiency of the hiring process. Automated onboarding workflows can ensure that new employees receive all necessary information and training, setting them up for success from day one.
6. Inventory Management: Keeping track of your inventory manually is so 2010. Automating this essential workflow avoids the headaches of overstock or stock-outs. Automation tools let you manage stock levels, streamline order processing, and even send alerts when it’s time to restock. No more guessing games – just smooth sailing through your inventory management.
Most of the contemporary inventory management systems provide these basic inventory management functions, but inventory alerts to customers or suppliers takes more time and effort.
When you think about it, workflows make up a significant part of running a business. And workflows are a perfect opportunity to introduce automation to your business.
Embracing automation is a strategic move for small businesses looking to optimize their operations and compete in today’s dynamic market. By automating these key workflows, small businesses can enhance efficiency, reduce manual errors, and focus on what matters most – providing value to their customers and growing their business.