Is anyone else experiencing that mid-year haze? Particularly in 2020, the start of the year feels like a lifetime ago. As we make our way to the end of July, now’s a great time to take stock of how your workflows and your routines are either working for you, or how they could be strengthened. While it hasn’t been a year of ‘business as usual’ for just about anyone, even thirty minutes of time dedicated to evaluating your regular workflows and processes can reveal time-saving, cost-saving and opportunity-generating areas that are entirely worthy of your attention.
If you’ve been dipping your toes into the small business automation waters, but are looking for an easy, mid-year primer on who’s who in the zoo, here’s some quick tips that may refresh even the most savvy of small business automation operators.
Start small and grow
It’s a common myth that automation = major expenses or time sucks. While a top-to-bottom inventory of business processes and corresponding automation solutions can take significant time and energy (that are well worth the reaped rewards!), small business automation solutions and benefits come in all shapes and sizes. Implementing one simple automation tool, such as a Typeform sign-up, lead capture form, or a chatbot can see an immediate return on a small time investment. If you’re looking to move into the world of small business automation tools, start small, and grow.
Think sales, marketing, and administration
The key pillars of a success automation strategy have many smaller pieces at play, but rest on the core foundations of a sales, marketing and administration strategy. By looking at each area of your operations through these lenses, you can identify immediate opportunities for automation implementation. For example, by focusing on your sales activity, you may decide to work within a CRM for all of your customer and sales process management – as a result, you’ll find natural extensions within marketing and administration automation capacities. Moving one of these areas forward will have a connected impact on your overall processes, so if there’s an area you’re particularly eager to explore across targeted automation benefits, trust the process of how they play well together.
Ask ‘can it be automated?’
Changing your business’s workflows doesn’t have to be an overnight transformation. Instead, moving forward in your day-to-day operations with the key question of ‘can it be automated?’ is a powerful way to identify key areas and next steps in an automation journey. By adopting this question, you’ll start to investigate the way work flows, information moves, and how your team communicates with each other – identifying roadblocks, highlighting repetitive activities and building an awareness of which areas would benefit the most from a small business automation solution. While the benefits of automation are as limitless as the tools and applications themselves, the power of it truly lies in understanding how personalised it can become. By asking the ‘can it be automated?’ question for yourself, you’ll be able to build a foundation based on custom processes that are shaped for what you need, rather than trying to squeeze your business model into existing formats.