How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

Business automation is the use of technology and systems to perform daily business operations with less involvement of personnel. Business operations are actions that govern the business towards achieving its’ set aim and strategies. A good example is having a customer index of 80%.

Small businesses that have embraced automation in their operations have found it to be cost-effective. The firms have also realized increased revenue and increased customer retention, amongst others. 

For a business to be competitive,  it also needs to adapt to these changes in the business world. 

Tips How to Automate a Business

  1. You need first to automate the most manageable tasks. Go through your process and evaluate functions that don’t need human intervention, or if there is any intervention, it is minimal. This may include email management, contact center, payment receipt advice, amongst others. Here you intend to minimize human errors at all costs.
  2. Involve your employee to achieve a wholesome culture that will accept automation. Most employees will try to resist automation simply because they fear the loss of their jobs. Try to make them understand the benefit of automation to the business and need for them to advance with the same.
  3. Define the automation process. Before you embark on the automation process, first have needs that should be addressed and available solutions. Ensure you are in line with what the system will be able to do and most probably modify the system process to fit into your business as well as the current and future market requirements.
  4. Identify units that are to be automated and those that are not to be automated.
  5. Identify and analyze processes that can be done off with when automation is implemented. This will help you not to complicate your system and have a good flow.
  6. Have a team that will drive the automation process. These champions will help in developing and accessing the business needs and solutions gained at every stage of the automation process.
  7. Document the automation process. Ensure you record where the business was at first, the milestone achieved, the cost incurred at each milestone, results, and outcome of every automation done, processes that have not been completed, etc. This will help the business achieve the results that are desired.
  8. Don’t rush to automate the entire business at once; focus on one function at a time as this will minimize errors. Start with the most urgent unit, and when you have gained wins, you then move to the next one. This way, you will learn from past mistakes when developing a system as well as gains. Also, it will help employees adapt slowly, and this will not affect the current business functions.
  9. Learn from your competitors who have automated systems. Before settling on a system, first, try to access business, what they use, and learn from their gains and limitations. This will guide you on your automation and make it even better to beat your competitors as well as have a good system that will fully benefit your business growth.
  10. Settle on a system. Ensure your system development partner meets all your requirements, and they are fully informed about your business functions. The developer can then sit with your champions to discuss milestones and the way forward to ensure the automation is benefiting your business growth, as well as it is not affecting the current business operations.

Business Functions that Need Automation

1. Recruitment 

Automation will help in ensuring you get the right skilled candidate, as well as manage and safeguard documents well. This will make the process satisfactory and will make your business appealing to suitable professional candidates.

Recruitment - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

2. Leave Management 

Automatically this process will help in approvals and compensation of accurate leave allowances. Manual leave approval often may lose track of days sought by an employee.

Leave management - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

3. Payroll 

Managing payroll is a crucial function in a business. Automation of payrolls helps you to keep data of your employees as per the state requirements and further helps you to deduct employee taxes accurately.

Payroll - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

4. Bookkeeping

This will help you analyze your financials and transactions at ease.

Bookkeeping - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

5. Audit and Risk Compliance 

Automation helps in ensuring that the business financial reports can be easily accessed for scrutiny, and you can as well monitor and access risk across the departments.

Audit and risk compliance - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

6. Procurement 

When your business requires any good or service automation will help ease the approval procedure and also filing of the documents. Your business will also benefit from real-time bids from several vendors, and this will minimize your cost of purchase.

Procurement - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

7. Expenses 

Any expenses that will be incurred will be documented on the system, and all approval done as well. This will help you in keeping track of your finances.

Expenses - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

8. Email Management

Automated emails give a customer more comfort, knowing that their inquiry was received and is being resolved. Automation of emails helps employees to receive different emails from different clients in one platform, and this helps them to respond quickly. If you are a team, it allocates separate emails to individuals, thereby avoiding responding to one similar email.

email management - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

9. Marketing 

Automation in sales helps you to monitor prospective clients. It also guides you on whom to approach and provides a scope of what the client is looking for.

Marketing - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

10. IT Department

In the IT department, automation will analyze the user’s issues and distribute to IT employees, respectively, and give a ticket that will be used to monitor how the staff complaint was addressed. It can also pick on urgent issues that need to be addressed. Advanced systems can identify hackers or spam emails and alert relevant IT security experts.

IT department - How to Automate Small and Medium Business Processes

Other functions are essential to be automated, but they mainly depend on your business model as well as the system that you will consider to have for your business.

Benefits of Automation to small and medium Business

1. Improved Business Efficiency

Automation will help with how you run your business. Essential personnel will be mainly focusing on critical items of your business like strategies while the daily work will be done with your chosen system.

2. Decreased Labor

With automation, unnecessary jobs and repeated work will reduce for your business.

3. Improved Customer Satisfaction Index

Automation helps you to reach out to your customers, and this way, you get to serve them well and get feedback as well.

4. Reliability

Automation will enable you to be consistent in your business processes as opposed to a manual process where every employee has their approach to performing a task.

5. Time Efficiency

Automation helps a business free up most of its time hence enabling the business to deal with critical issues.

6. Simplify Tasks for Employees

By providing data that was previously stored in the registry etc.

7. Tracks communication and complaints from clients.

As a business, you will be able to address them quickly.

8. Law Observance.

It helps businesses comply with federal laws or state laws that govern the industry.

11. Lessen Errors.

Automation will help a business minimize human errors hence ensuring tasks are done effectively and up to expectation.

In Conclusion

Automation of business is not only meant for big companies, instead, it cuts across all businesses. As stated above, the success of your business automation will significantly help in the growth of business and minimization of unnecessary costs. Lastly, automation is not expensive, but it is rather cost-effective to the company at large.

Business Automation - Simplify the Process