Why is Automation Important?
Owning a small business can be time-consuming. There are many benefits of automation for your small business. Using automation for repetitive tasks can save you a lot of time. Also, it can keep your costs down. You may think you are spending too much money on software, but in the long run, it will save you time and money.
Streamlining your processes can help your business run more efficiently. It will also make your team happier too.
According to a survey, workers said:
- They waste four and a half hours a week on tasks they think could be automated
- 67% feel they are doing the same tasks repetitively
- 68% said they wish they had more time to explore how to incorporate new responsibilities
- 58% believe their jobs don’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be
There are many benefits of automation. The main benefit is reducing repetitiveness.
Automation Will Help Your Small Business Succeed
Automation is not just for big businesses. It is vital to automate tasks for your small business. You will also find it will streamline many functions. What tasks are you and your team doing frequently? What could you eliminate and automate?
Here are a few tasks to research for automation for your small business:
- Hiring and Payroll functions
- Employee Timekeeping
- Client Appointments
- Email Marketing Campaigns
- Employee and Client Document Files
- Performance Reviews
- Lead Generations
- Direct Mail Campaigns
- Project Management
Benefits of Automation
There are many benefits of automation such as:
1. Productivity and Efficiency
As mentioned above, one benefit of automation is reducing repetitive tasks. It helps improve productivity and efficiency. Many dull tasks are time-consuming. For example, many companies use automation in their payroll systems, insurance policies, and accounting software. If you are only using Excel for data, for example, you are spending a lot of time retyping the same information.
Your workers and your business will become more efficient by taking away mundane tasks. Also, if you need information quickly while talking to a customer on the phone, you can easily pull it up on your phone or computer. There is no digging for files or losing files. All your information is quickly captured. Think of your processes today. How many times do you have to type the same information over and over while doing your job?
Do you have to approve work or time? Do your workers have to go around with a piece of paper getting authorization?
With automation, it is simply an email request or app notification.
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2. Quality and Accuracy
Another benefit of automation is that it decreases mistakes. If you frequently type or write the same data in different areas, you are more likely to make errors.
For instance, if your team is using manual timesheets, they may forget to write in the time or they may put in extra time. This could cause overtime as well. When you manually make paychecks, there is also a greater chance of errors. Automation helps to reduce human error. You won’t have to spend time redoing your work.
For example, with ezClocker, your employees can clock in and out with their phone or computer. It will also let you make changes to schedules. They can even request time off easily through the app. The information is reliable, and you don’t have to depend on paper requests or timesheets.
Automation increases accuracy and quality. Another example is if you are emailing candidates the required paperwork for their job, how many mistakes could be made there? Additionally, you may miss sending them important documents. You can invest in a payroll system for your small business that sends new hire paperwork. Then it sends to HR or the hiring manager once complete.
Wouldn’t you rather spend time on higher-level tasks?
3. Improving the Customer Experience
Clients like good quality and efficiency. When you can show how efficient your systems are, you will receive more word-of-mouth clients. Small businesses must evolve to meet their needs. If you are spending time looking for files and notes, you are missing an opportunity.
When you automate your tasks you are improving your customer experience by eliminating errors, increasing your productivity, and streamlining your processes. Improving your customer experience is another great benefit of automation.
On projects, you can automate your processes and systems to work on tasks together. Likewise, it keeps your project teams from doing the same tasks.
If you have salespeople working on client lists, it is good to know that the same clients aren’t contacted. Also, your systems will usually notify others on the team of any changes. You can collaborate with all levels of the business and work smarter. This will help you focus on building your business.
5. Reduce Costs
Although you will have an initial investment, other costs will be lower. For example, if you are sending emails to potential leads, you can invest in an email marketing system. You can save money by not paying someone to do that for you. Make a list of items you want to automate. Calculate your initial costs. Then, determine how much you could save.
Think about what systems are available to help you reduce your costs in the long run.
Do you have hard copy files in storage? Automation can eliminate paper. This reduces the chances of personal information being lost or stolen.
Likewise, online security is vital to your business. With all the data breaches happening, it is important to choose systems that keep you, your clients, and your employees’ information secure. Your staff and customers want to know how their personal data is kept.
If your small business is required to be compliant with regulations or laws, great systems will ensure you follow all requirements. When testing different systems, ensure they can meet your local and federal laws and regulations. For example, your timekeeping software should let you put in any required overtime variables for your area.
Ensure you can customize your system to make it work for you.
8. Employee Engagement
When your workers can think creatively and use their critical thinking skills, they are likely to be more engaged. Also, if they are doing the same tasks over and over, you may lose them. Additionally, most people want more responsibility.
Automating tasks helps your staff work on tasks they like. Also, they can work on bigger picture items that are vital to the success of your company. If your salespeople are spending too much time on forms or reports, they aren’t selling. They also aren’t using their creativity to expand your business. Your salespeople are more engaged when they get to do the job they were hired for.
Do you have a small business that requires appointments with clients? Get software that can manage your appointments. They can even set up reminders for clients or potential job applicants. No more calling to remind them. An automated system can do this for you.
There are many benefits of automation. When you decide which tasks can be automated, look for those that are repetitive and that require a large degree of accuracy. From timesheets to data entry, automation works best when you find out what repetitive tasks you can eliminate. Once you get your systems in place and streamlined, you can focus on bigger picture items.