Automation Trends that will Reshape Your Small Business
There is a saying that goes like “working on your business, rather than in it”. And that’s exactly how small businesses have been running these days. As a small business owner, you already have a lot of things to do. All you try to do is to minimize the workload that eats up more time.
And that is why automation tools were built.
This read will drill down into the areas of automation and the prevailing automation trends to keep your small business afloat in this technology steered era.
Breaking the Myths of Automation
We live in a technology-driven era. There are more sophisticated ways of doing things these days and for good reasons. In such a fast-forward business climate, if you are still sticking to the manual accounting process, doing repetitive back-office tasks, spinning time on rote-based tasks that can be automated, you are of course wasting hours and wealth in it.
It is not always the cost that is scaring small businesses away from automation. There are quite a few interesting reasons that are putting them back. The foremost reason is ‘’that’s how you have been doing business all these years” – the inability to change. Most small businesses are resistant to adapt to the prevailing tech cultures. And the majority of the crowd think that automation is reserved for big enterprises and takes the backseat. But the way things worked a decade ago is a completely different universe from how they work now. Automation is no longer giant machinery and human-like robots. It can be as simple as a software tool that lifts off your manual burden. And there are hundreds of credible and affordable software tools that are tailor-made for small businesses.
So it is time small businesses must break the ice and get acquainted with the recent trends in technology and automation to keep their business alive.
Automations You Need to Look Out for Your Small Business
A small business owner’s day is filled with big decisions and business strategies, but there are a lot of trivial tasks in the mix too. So, why not take care of business decisions and automate the ones that are grunt and rote-based? With the right software, small businesses can put menial tasks like invoicing, e-mail marketing and data entry to autopilot and get their things aligned neat and fast, with all-round efficiency.
Below are some tasks that you can pass on to automation for your small business.
Accounts Payables and Receivables
Accounts Payables and Receivables when not monitored properly can bring down your cash flow and credibility as it directly reflects on your line of credit. You can send and receive payment automatically. An automation software takes care of receiving invoices, coding, taking them for approval and initiating payment. You may also pre-set the approval protocols or approve with a mouse click.
There is no need to chase your financial team, inquiring and then finding where the payment is stuck. When you assign the payables and receivables to a software tool, it is easy to track where the payment is stuck and move the payments without any friction.
Time Tracking and Payroll Management
Small business owners usually do not afford an HR team. The owners or the manager hops into the shoes of an HR manager and keeps tabs on time tracking and payroll. If you are a DIY HR manager for your small business, then you must take a look at payroll management tools and automated time tracking applications.
These can effectively measure people-related metrics that help you manage your employees. Plus, the application can take care of the scheduling and tracking of payroll. Automating such employee-related processes will maximize productivity and help you streamline operations.
Data Entry and Bookkeeping
When you make up your mind to switch to automation, you should always start with the one that is eating up the most time and resources. In light of that. Manual bookkeeping is the most cumbersome task for small businesses. We cannot expect all small business owners to be professional accountants. Automated accounting and bookkeeping is a boon to small businesses owners, especially if you are a DIY accountant. There are a lot of applications that can take care of your accounting, but you will have to spend hours loading your transaction data into it. You can use automated bookkeeping software to do the data entry job for you.
For instance, QuickBooks can proficiently do the accounting part for you, but you have to sit and manually key each transaction into QuickBooks on your own. Manual keying is slow and highly prone to errors. In such cases, you can use third-party applications like PayTraQer to seamlessly sync online transactions into QuickBooks straight from your payment system. With such applications, you can completely automate your bookkeeping, without toggling between several tools.
Customer Relationship Management
Customer retention is the key to sales and the robust growth of your business. Having that said, you must put some effort into customer relationship management to build a good rapport with your customers. But this is the last thing that small businesses consider prioritising. In such a scenario, marketing automation can give you a hand.
Marketing automation tools can help you to do compelling email campaigns and give you suggestions to scale the effectiveness with performance metrics. For instance, marketing automation software can send customized messages to your customers on their birthdays and special occasions, ask for feedback from customers, send maintenance reminders for the machinery they purchased and notify them of current discounts and compliments.
It’s never too late to start
Calculators, ledger files, file cabinets faded out of existence a decade ago. So, if your business grows with time, so must its methods. In the present day scenario, automation has the surest sign of persistence and it is soon going to be a necessity. It is imperative for a small business owner to get grips on the current trends of automation and update business workflow with automatic gears before they get outdated.
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