Automation for Small Business: Where to begin in 2020

Posted on: January 24, 2020
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Automation continues to shape the operations of many businesses and enable faster growth across industries and practices. It continues to be defined as the driver for innovation which determines a company’s survival capacity. Automation is more valuable for small businesses because it provides speed and agility for businesses that does not have a lot of resources, especially manpower, to do even the most mundane of tasks. But where can small businesses start when exploring automation? Is this rocket science that requires years of research before implementation?

Truth of the matter is, it isn’t rocket science. Automation sounds intimidating and can be perceived as something that needs a lot of time and effort. There’s truth to the second part wherein owners usually have to invest time and effort in the first parts of the automation process. This includes planning the phases, identifying the resources, and understanding the systems themselves. Because small businesses have limited manpower, the task of automation is usually handled directly by the top managers or the owners.  Here are some areas of automation that can be the easiest to spot and decide on.

eCommerce and digital sales

Whether the business sells hard products or services, there’s always an opportunity to automate sales functions. From providing a digital catalog, to introducing shopping carts and a full eCommerce system, businesses will always benefit from having an online store, or at least an online “salesperson” (a.k.a a chatbot) up and running even while the business owner is sleeping. Another area to automate in sales is digital management of sales databases, tracking of sales performance, and future sales opportunities. One system to check out for sales automation is Salesforce.

Communications and marketing

While digital sales can be the most obvious candidate for automation, the area that gets the least resources for small business operations is communications and marketing. When telling customers about the latest promos and offers, handing out flyers in the streets isn’t the only option anymore. Small businesses can maximize email marketing systems and social media tools to manage marketing campaigns. One system to explore for digital marketing is Mailchimp.

Accounting and finance

When managing finances, excel sheets may not help businesses grow as fast as they want. It can be expensive getting an on-site accountant, and some business owners might not have all the time to do all the accounting requirements. Digital accounting tools are already available to help small businesses address accounting issues more efficiently. One tool to consider is Quickbooks.

There are other areas that can be automated for small businesses. There are different IT service providers in Sydney that can help identify low-lying fruits for business automation. The key is to find the right IT partners and to be fully on-board in the automation process. Great rewards and benefits will be reaped after the first phases of setting up the automation and adopting the changes.

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