Can Small Businesses Automate Tasks? You Bet They Can! - Digital Hints

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Can Small Businesses Automate Tasks? You Bet They Can!

Monday, July 3, 2017

/ by Nurdin Budi Mustofa
There’s a general feeling that small and medium-sized businesses can’t automate tasks. Automation is the purview of the major multinational conglomerates with huge budgets. But is that really the case?

It turns out that digital technology is facilitating automation on both a small and a large scale. Small businesses all over the country are finding that they too can benefit from automation, automate certain tasks and get their workers doing things which are more value-added.

So what can small businesses do to automate their processes?

Tip #1: Reduce The Number Of Processes

One of the great things about automation is the fact that it can consolidate a bunch of tasks into one. Take scheduling, for instance. In the past, scheduling was done by a secretary or a PA and was labor-intensive, time-consuming and prone to human error. Scheduling software, whether it’s a bespoke app for your HR department or an add-on for your website, gets rid of all the steps which used to be involved inputting data in somebody’s calendar. Rather than having to take a phone call, open up a calendar, figure out when someone would be free and then write in a preliminary date, scheduling compacts those tasks into a single process. Customers just click a date that’s convenient for them, and your calendar automatically updates. With modern scheduling software, you can connect the software to your Google Calendar, enabling you to make changes to one that will sync up with the other.

Small Businesses Automate Tasks

Tip #2: Automate Renewals

Wish you had easy contract administration? You’re not alone. Going through contracts, keeping track of what has been agreed, and creating new contract documents in a timely manner is a difficult process. What’s worse, mistakes are often made, and that can lead to long-term ramifications for your relationships with your clients. Fortunately, you can automate a lot of this process these days with the right contract renewal software. Just enter the details of your contract into the software, and it’ll remind you when the contract is up for renewal, allowing you to get on with your work.

Tip #3: Reduce Your Marketing Overhead

By some estimates, startup founders and small business owners spend upwards of 50 percent of their time just doing marketing. As a result, it’s no wonder that many want to automate part of the process.

Today, there are dozens of tools to do this, from tools which schedule posts on social media to tools which automate email marketing. Though no software will create content for you right now (you still need a human for that), there are tools that’ll take care of a lot of the administration, like when to post, how often to update, and when to schedule email marketing based on data.

Tip #4: Analyse Data

Speaking of which, small businesses no longer have to crunch the numbers themselves. Instead, they can use analytics software like IBM Watson Analytics, Qualtrics, and Google Analytics to measure data streams from many different aspects of their business. Small businesses can analyze data from finance, sales, tech and much, much more.

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