One of the biggest things that stop businesses from growing into their full potential, is, unfortunately, the cycle of mundane tasks that employees have to complete, as well as the rate of human error with certain tasks. Did you know it has been estimated that approximately 2 hours per day, or 15 weeks per year, is wasted on tedious tasks in the office by employees?
Before technology, there was no other option than to complete the tasks. But with the rise in new and innovative technology, businesses have been able to outsource tasks to automated systems and programs, which in turn, saves time, money, energy, and resources. By automating the mundane tasks, there has been less room for human error, while increasing the time it takes to get them completed, compared to an unmotivated employee. It has also provided employees with a chance to use their time and energy on important business tasks, and focus on growing the business. However, there are still many companies around the world who are not utilizing automation and are, unfortunately, being left behind by their competitors or spending a significant amount of money trying to keep up.
Not only can it save time and money, but the way businesses are centered online now, automation is vital for any business that wants to not only survive in their industry but thrive.
If you are a business owner, looking to get started with automation, here are some of the most important tasks your business can automate.
Financial tasks typically involve a lot of spreadsheets and chasing invoices. This, unfortunately, leaves your accounting team with little time to strategize for financial growth. To create more free time to utilize on other tasks, there are a variety of programs that can automate those tedious tasks. For example, Freshbooks enables you to set up email reminders for any clients who have not paid their invoices. You can also utilize applications that will automate your payroll each month and take pictures of receipts as you go long and file them accordingly. Lastly, you can speak to your bank and get your regular payments automated so that they don’t have to be manually completed each month. Although each task to automate seems small, it will all add up and free up some valuable time for your employees.
Marketing activity is vital if you want your business to be visible on popular search engines and social media platforms. You can start by automating small and simple tasks such as your industry research by setting up Google Alerts. This will enable you to compile information directly to a spreadsheet about your company mentions, your competitors, and industry news and updates. This will save hours of scouring the internet and instead, have it delivered straight to your inbox when it is relevant. Next, you can automate your social media with content management tools such as HootSuite, which enables you to batch write your content and schedule it for a week, month or quarter if you wish to. Blogging is the next task in your marketing to-list that you can automate by scheduling posts to be published in advance and even pushing them straight into social media with a pre-populated post. Most platforms, such as WordPress, have this feature for you to utilize. These features enable you to significantly reduce the amount of time that you spend on tasks, as you can batch create the content, schedule it, and allow it to run for the month or the quarter. If you are building a website and want to track the traffic, you can use Google Analytics to compile the data and email you a weekly report. If you are building an app, you can use programs such as the testRigor software testing tool to complete all testing and extraction tasks in an easy, and automated way, to speed up the development process.
#3 Customer support
There is still value in speaking directly with your customers, however, there are a plethora of tasks that you can automate, which will benefit you, as well as please your customers. Although automating some customer tasks can seem impersonal, you have to consider that society is moving at a significant pace, and customers are expecting things almost instantaneously. This means that more often than not, for small inquiries, customers don’t want to wait in a queue to speak to an employee at your company, when it can take a few clicks online. Customer support automation needs to be finely balanced, as there is still a need for direct communication with your customers. To get started with customer automation, you can automate help desk tickets, which will instantly keep your inquiries organized, and resolutions can be tracked much more efficiently. You can also automate email responses for some of the most commonly asked questions that your company received. You can also set up online forms on your website that provide quick fixes for some of the quick, and common tasks that customers need completing. As a bonus, you can automate emails such as a discount or special offer on a customer’s birthday. Automation tools can be utilized to save time, but to also nurture relationships with your customers.
Automating your business comes with many benefits. There are so many tasks that you can automate, it can be difficult to know where to start. It is therefore important that you start with small tasks, and roll them out into your company in an efficient manner. All staff members should be made aware of any changes you have made and kept up-to-date on how they work. You may need to trial a few different automated tasks to see how they work for your business, as your needs may differ. This gives you a chance to see what works well, and what doesn’t. You should continue to learn from other companies, and look out for opportunities to streamline and automate in different areas. Your employees will also be able to provide valuable feedback on what tasks can be streamlined. Make these changes and watch your business grow.