How Startups and SMEs Can Streamline Operations Through Small Business Automation
Small businesses and startups face significant challenges to even turn a profit in their first year, let alone create a fully-streamlined operation. Fortunately, the management teams of today have access to exciting new technology that can make these developmental years much easier to navigate.
Automation is one such tool that can help a management team – and in more ways than you’d expect. In this article, we’ll focus on these reasons why automation increases productivity in the workforce. And the best part – our pointers on automation can be easily adapted and applied in a range of industries as diverse as manufacturing, healthcare, and retail, to name just a few.
Few sources argue the case for automation as succinctly as this 2022 report by Forrester, which forecasts that the tech will impose significant changes on the business landscape. One particular point may be shocking to some readers – that automation is expected to replace 11 million US jobs by 2032, thus representing a huge opportunity for businesses to save money across their bottom line.
Why Is Automation So Important?
Automation provides numerous benefits to small businesses. Here are three common reasons why businesses are making the switch to automation:
- It reduces the time and effort required for repetitive tasks, allowing employees to focus on higher-value tasks.
- It reduces the risk of errors in manual processing, ensuring accuracy and consistency (a necessity when dealing with large number databases).
- It allows businesses to scale their operations by handling more tasks without needing to increase their workforce.
Overall, automation helps businesses to run more efficiently and stay competitive in today’s fast-changing economy.
Image sourced from acumenresearchandconsulting.com
What Automation Processes Can Your Small Business Focus On?
Implementing automation can seem daunting, but small businesses can start by focusing on specific areas to achieve the greatest impact. Here are three key areas you should consider:
Sales & Marketing
Marketers use automation to carry out several repetitive marketing tasks, such as email campaigns, social media posts, and lead generation. This frees up time for marketing teams to focus on the areas that drive up customer engagement, such as creating more personalized campaigns.
Customer support automation involves the use of technology to automate repetitive customer service tasks, such as chatbots, automated emails, and self-service portals – as seen in action with Dialpad’s virtual receptionist service.
By improving response times, providing 24/7 support, and reducing the workload on your support staff, support automation will surely help deliver a better service for your customers.
HR & Management
Human resources and management can also benefit from automation, despite the fact that these roles are largely human-focused. For instance, a manager could use software to support employee onboarding, time tracking, and performance management – all while minimizing bias or a potential breach of legal compliance.
Ask any accountant, and they will tell you that automation has been a large part of their job for years already! Take, for example, spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel, which lets you automatically complete calculations with functions – saving time and minimizing human error.
Today, accounting automation tools provide an expert management suite for fetching data and performing in-depth financial analysis. So, whether you need to draft an intricate annual forecast, or simply save time with invoice processing, automation can help.
To conclude, automation can help businesses of any type, from recent startups to much larger enterprises. What’s more, you can implement it in almost every department of your business to save time.
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Ultimately, a comprehensive automation solution is necessary to scale a business rapidly, since it frees up more of your time to focus on the bigger picture of growth and strategy. And if you’re just getting started, a demonstrable plan for how you’ll implement automation can be a big help when applying for a small business grant.