What if you could actually save time, increase efficiency, and provide a better experience for your customers? Time is money. And thanks to the latest technological advancements, businesses have more opportunities to curb time. Moving a significant portion of business functioning to the digital realm opens up more opportunities to automate all kinds of processes and tasks.
This applies to companies of all sizes. Automation solutions and software are getting cheaper every year, which naturally makes them cheaper for small businesses. For small organizations, saving time here and there is a significant competitive advantage.
If you are familiar with the popular television cartoon “The Jetsons”, there was George Jetson, whose job was to sit in a chair and push a button. His computer did the rest. But here is some Jetsons-level great news for you.
Small business management that was not possible 10 years ago can be automated today. Luckily, automation isn’t just for large enterprises. Automation is simple and affordable, making it a good fit for many small businesses’ budgets. This means you can automate most of the tedious tasks and focus on strategic initiatives that move your business forward. Combining employee talent with automation can save time and accelerate growth.
Small businesses today can automate several operational processes to free up staff time, complete tasks while people are not working, and even ensure compliance with laws. Areas where small businesses can automate include:
- Customer Relationship Management
Effective lead flow management can be challenging, but customer relationship management software makes managing the process a lot easier. With the right tools, you can better target leads, manage your sales process, and improve the customer experience. Imagine, for example, that you can automatically delight your end-users with anniversary emails and product updates. By implementing CRM, you can deliver the highest level of experience to your customers without any extra work.
For small businesses, it is important to keep abreast of accounting and billing. Automation can streamline recurring billing, automatically track paid and unpaid items, and centralize timesheets. Take care of your customers with proper, reliable, and consistent billing.
- Social Media Scheduling and Management
Social media is an important part of all business marketing activities today, large or small. The planning tool allows you to manage your social media presence across multiple platforms, stay in touch with your customers personally, and stay organized. Share product updates on social networks and automatically notify customers about special events. Building personal relationships has never been easier.
- Customer Support
Deliver personalized experiences with superior customer assistance automation to swiftly browse, catalog, and link customer queries. By building processes via automation, your employees can pay attention to providing a top-notch customer experience. You can use Zapier for it.
- Appointment and Meeting Scheduling
Meetings and appointments can be boring with busy schedules and busy customers, and no one likes to miss appointments or reschedule. An effective scheduling software not only makes managing your day easier but also earns the trust of your customers, making your company more accessible. AppointmentCore is one such tool that integrates well with leading meeting and calendar apps.
- Collecting Feedback from Customers
Customer reviews help your company grow. Unfortunately, gathering customer feedback can take a long time. As our customer base grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to request personalized feedback from each individual. Fortunately, there are loads of tools to help you out like MailChimp and SurveyMonkey.
- Office Supplies – Amazon Dash
Reduce work and save time by automating office supplies ordering. Avoid manually submitting the same purchase order every month and receive orders automatically without thinking twice. Amazon Dash is the latest way to shop. Ordering new supplies is quick and easy using a simple button or wand.
Most businesses today have at least partially automated their financial operations. With the advent of e-banking and e-accounting, automation in this area has become essential in both business and personal life.
Automate any type of financial activity, such as bill payment, invoicing, or receipt and payroll processing. What’s more, you can avoid canceling or delaying scheduled payments by reminding people that your card is about to expire and needs to renew. All of this will save you time and money and make your business more efficient.
- Backing Up Files
Since nearly every critical business sector is going digital, it’s very important to properly back up all your files. Losing all customer, employee and financial data linked to your business can be a real disaster.
Therefore, the backup process should be automated to avoid human error. Fortunately, even the simplest and easiest file storage services have this particular feature, so it’s not a hassle. Make sure you have proper storage space to meet your future needs and you can continue using it.
- Lead Management
As fresh leads come in, marketing automation systems can track them as they move through the cycle of sales. The system categorizes leads into different categories, such as marketing-qualified leads and sales-qualified leads. All communications or major events are recorded, and some systems assign points to leads based on their ability to become paying customers.
Yes, we understand. Automation saves time and resources and increases business efficiency in many areas. But, some operations still require human input. Tasks such as content creation, relationship building, or customer support cannot yet be fully automated. However, for tasks that employees find boring and repetitive, there is a great opportunity for machines to perform these tasks, giving employees more space for creative, spontaneous, and human activities. Fully automating critical areas of your business will require a small investment, but it will definitely pay off.