Some parts of your business could be costing you unnecessary time and effort. Here are the areas you should be automating.
As your business grows, you are increasingly pressed for time. Your workforce, sales volumes, database and work processes are proliferating and you’re quickly needing to hire people to oversee specific areas of expertise. Before you go out on a hiring spree, could you be automating some areas of your business?
In reality, small and new businesses stand to gain the most from automating their internal operations because they are the ones with the least amount of time and money to spare.
Automation provides businesses a way to streamline internal communications, collect business data and create transparency by ensuring that each step of the workflow is clearly accounted for.
While not all areas should be swept under the blanket of technology – the human touch is always vital – here are some areas that could stand to benefit from it.
Managing Your Contacts
Your business probably touches base with many new contacts each day through purchases, inquiries on email, social media or customer service and more. It is said that If you can automate following up, you can more efficiently manage responses, direct mails and more for these contacts. For example, perhaps you and your employees have come back from a huge meeting or networking event and everyone has many name cards. You might want to consider a business card management software such as Sansan, which allows you to quickly scan a large amount of cards onto its cloud-based service, where company-wide access is available.
Finance and Accounting
Late payments can set your company back, so it is wise to automate your finances as much as possible. Use an accounting software such as Sage 50 or Intuit QuickBooks to help you with this. You can easily invoice your clients and keep track of existing inventory, among other tasks.
If you’re a new business, chances are you might find that customer service is taking up a good amount of your time. While automated customer service has had its reputation soiled with some poor incidents, it shouldn’t be crossed off the list. This is especially true if you’re targeting a young, tech-savvy audience because these customers may be more open to tech-based support. Consider options such as live chat functions on your website or dedicated customer service through your Facebook page. Otherwise, simple touch-tone phone options could also help.
These are merely a few areas that could be improved with business process automation. What areas is your business automating? Tell us your experience.