Running a business is tough and takes a lot of hard work and long hours. But things have changed since the rise of tech giants like Amazon and Microsoft. Thanks to automation.
Many small business owners can learn from the success of these businesses and how automation can help them succeed and thrive as well.
Some examples of successful brands using automation
Automation technology helps many corporate brands and companies from media to healthcare, marketing, finance, IT, and HR.
Want to know one secret about Microsoft’s success? Yes, they use automation to better understand and engage their community team. From Outlook inboxes to Excel spreadsheets, Microsoft was able to streamline and automate many business processes when they introduced Flow.
Credits: CNN Business
Even Amazon, one of the world’s successful retailer brands, is using an automated system. They were able to store 50% more inventory in a minute, resulting in an increase in their productivity and reduction in expenses.
However, automation is not just limited to bots and machines. Who doesn’t recognize Netflix? Did you know that one of the key factors behind its success is using automation? Netflix uses business automation to provide its audience with unique, customized content or material. Not only making recommendations for their users and guiding them towards what they enjoy watching, but more importantly, their huge success is attributed to understanding their audience and tailoring the content for them individually.
Now, what do all these big-name brands and successful companies have in common? Not just delivering efficiently and their ability to innovate their strategies. But they are all also obsessing with productivity. This shouldn’t apply only for these corporate giants, but also for every small business owner and solo entrepreneur out there who values profitability and wants to make the most out of their most valuable resource; time.
Tackling small business challenges with automation
The biggest opportunity for automating your business processes lies in reducing the time spent on repetitive work. Businesses could use automation to speed up some of their mundane manual processes like business transactions that traditionally involves hours of manual spreadsheet work and frustrating errors. A manual set of processes such as invoices, email and approvals can be tedious and take long hours to complete. Imagine how much you can save on your operations and resources if you start automating things.
Recommended Reading: Small Business Automations That Will Save You Time and Money
Case in point, having an automated system that does your invoicing, syncs your accounts into a database, and a reporting system that automatically creates reports and sends them to your email.
Maintaining your best practices and actions with a consistent approach through automation can result in high quality and reliable results. In the advertising or retail industry where customer support is vital, automation allows them to deliver consistent, quality service and exceptional experience for their customers.
Using an automated solution, you can eliminate issues such as keeping quality and consistency in your strategies and systems. Automating your business ensures processes are performed smoothly, reducing errors and mistakes. This brings us to another challenge and fear of many: the potential to replace jobs.
While smart automation can truly deliver more product output than manually tasking it to a team of humans, there are still factors that need to be weighed and considered, like their limitations.
Work hard, or work smart?
Whether you are looking to increase your productivity or improve reliability, here are a few of the more popular apps and tools to automate and simplify your business.
If you are collaborating or working with a team for a project, Trello can help make your life a lot easier. It has an impressive and beautiful design that makes working on projects a lot easier and organized. You can freely add and distribute tasks at any time, set deadlines, or discuss the tasks with your team.
We’ve been using Trello as our main project and task tracking board at MVP.dev for over 2 years now. It’s perfect for seeing where we are at any given time on a project, communicating issues on tasks, and assuring nothing is missed during our development process.
For you entrepreneurial visionaries out there, it’s also a great way to keep track of ideas you come up to follow up on later.
And it’s free…
Imagine having multiple sites or browsers opened and switching from one site or app to another. Or manually tracking your client leads on a spreadsheet. It’s time-consuming and can take up a significant part of your day. How about using a single platform that connects your apps and organizes everything? Zapier is a simple tool to integrate your favorite business and productivity apps in one place.
With over thousands of available apps, you can integrate on Zapier, you can quickly switch between different apps, save a huge amount of time, focus on more critical tasks and get more things done.
Most recently, we used Zapier to capture leads from our Facebook Lead Ads, save them automatically into HubSpot, and send out notification emails to us for follow up. All without us having to do anything every time a lead comes in.
Thinking about hosting an event for webinars or training? Calendly is a simple and beautiful automated scheduling tool you and your invitees will love.
You can integrate it with whatever business platforms you have. Embed it on your site to schedule directly from your website or integrate it on your calendars (Google, Outlook, iCloud) so you won’t miss anything.
We love Calendly and the integration capabilities it provides us for our Office 365 platform. Tie in a Microsoft Flow, and you can even have it email out things like new prospect surveys or canned meeting agendas on the fly.
Bubble.io is another simple yet powerful no-code platform that allows you to build apps for your business. You can quickly build an affordable and completely customized solution that meets your business’ specific needs. With Bubble, there really is no limitations on what you’re capable of creating.
Whatever goal you want to achieve, there’s always an app or tool that works for you and gives you more freedom and control.
Recommended Reading: Building an App for Your Business Quickly with Bubble.io
Are you ready to automate your business?
Can’t think of what to automate in your business? Try to evaluate your processes, including the bottlenecks in your business, and think about how they can be automated. Make sure you include your goals and expectations before you determine which automation solution will work for you. Finally, decide on which platform you’d want to implement the automation.
It is important to understand that time and money are crucial to every business. Through automation, you can focus on making smart decisions and developing better strategies. As technology continuously improves, opportunities for businesses to grow and succeed are growing as well.
If there’s one thing that you would want to automate in your business what would it be? Share your thoughts about automation in the comments below or contact us!