Maybe it sounds too good to be true, but I’m talking about simple business process automation. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of automation for small business owners, which include increased efficiency, improved accuracy, and reduced labour costs. We will also provide examples of automation tools that are particularly useful for small businesses.
Using automation, you can streamline processes and tasks that are repetitive in your business, reducing the time and effort required to complete them. For example, you could adapt the contact form on your website to allow users to choose from a few options of why they are contacting you, and then create automated replies for those frequently asked questions giving them the information they need. This means you can focus your efforts on answering the queries that are more customised and need your personal attention.
Another example is to use automated email marketing tools to create and send targeted email campaigns on a schedule to a potential client once they have made the initial contact with your business. This can save a significant amount of time and effort, while also improving the effectiveness of your marketing efforts and conversion rate.
Manual processes are prone to human error, which can be really costly for small businesses. Automation can help to eliminate the potential for these errors. For example, by using automation tools with your accounting software you can automatically generate and send invoices once they are approved by a manager.
Other examples of processes that would be much more accurately done through automation include data capture such as processing orders or updating inventory.
Also don’t discount the use of automated customer service tools, such as chatbots or virtual assistants, that can help to accurately and efficiently respond to customer queries and complaints. These tools can be programmed to provide accurate answers to frequently asked questions and escalate more complex issues to the right person in your team.
Reduced labour costs
Automation can also help small businesses reduce salaries and wages by eliminating the need for manual labour. This can be particularly useful for repetitive, time-consuming tasks that can be easily automated. One example of this is using automated social media scheduling tools. We have done this in our own business using Zapier and Metricool so that any content that is approved in our content calendar, or our clients, is scheduled to Metricool and posted on the correct day and time. You can even go one step further and use AI tools such as ChatGPT to help create the content – as long as you get a human to proofread and update the tone of voice.
So in summary, examples of automation tools that are particularly useful for small businesses include:
- Accounting software – automate invoicing, payment tracking, and expense management.
- Inventory management software – automate inventory tracking, reordering, and provides real-time insights into stock levels.
- Email marketing software – automate email campaigns, helping small businesses reach their target audience more effectively.
- Social media scheduling tools – automate social media posting, allowing small businesses to maintain an active social media presence without dedicating significant amounts of time to it.
- Chatbots – automate customer service enquiries, reducing the need for human customer service representatives.
By automating repetitive tasks and processes, you can save time and resources while also improving the effectiveness of your operations. If you are interested in exploring how automation can help your business, sign up for our 90-minute consultation. During this consultation, we will work with you to understand your business processes and identify opportunities for automation that can help you streamline your operations and improve your bottom line. Get in touch today to book your slot.