We always hear about business automation and how it can differ a company from others in the competitive market of today. But what about small businesses? Are they too in this? What is small business automation?
It is typical for a small business to perform the processes in different ways, or even to skip them according to an employee’s will. A small school, for example, can have the teacher’s chart organized differently in the pedagogical area and the administrative area can have the marketing done according to the employee in charge at the moment and can give a demonstrative class in the manner the teacher available thinks is best. All this will affect the company’s profitability, the costs, the client’s satisfaction and the employees’ productivity.
Every organization, no matter if big or small, has clients, processes, and people. Automation can make customers happier, processes run smoothly, and people work more efficiently, even if there are three employees in your company. When the processes perform in a standardized and automatically manner, they get easier to execute and with more efficacy results.
Examples of small business automation
There are many examples we can use when talking about small business automation. Usually, in small companies, a person answers an email sent by a client, when this person has the time. Although this can be perceived as a “personal touch”, it can slow down the transaction or generate a frustration on the client. It is better if all the e-mails are answered automatically; giving a quick contact from the company and showing the client he/she was heard. After this first contact, that does not need to be human; the employee analyzes the e-mail and answers properly.
With online chats, the premise is the same, and it is even possible to automate in a way that the system recognizes a key word in a customer’s question and gives the appropriate answer.
Another example is when a service or product is paid for. With process automation it can automatically enter in the financial system and the company’s goals, making it easy to know if the daily target is close to being achieved. If the IT team makes a change, everybody is notified and understand how this will affect their work.
How to automate your small business?
There are some steps to follow before your small business automation. Now we are going to look at them.
Identify the processes: what are the processes in your company that needs automation? Identify them and prioritize them.
Map the processes: now it is time to get to know the process. Analyze the steps, how the process works and who participates in it. With that, it will be easy to identify improvement points and bottlenecks, as well as inefficient or unnecessary tasks. Also, see more about business process documentation tools.
Redesign: draw a new map for the process, implementing the changes you have discovered. Involve the ones that work with the process on a daily basis, and improve it. Read more process design.
Execute the process: now it is time to put it to work! Run the process in a new manner, making sure everybody is on board, and all the improvements are ready. Also, see more about business process automation tools.
Optimize: check for more improvements. After running the process, you will undoubtedly see new improvement points or things that did not work. Fix them and start the process again. See process optimization.
Automate: with the process running in the way you wanted it; it is time to automatize through all the company and automatize the systems.
Always look for a reliable software when implementing small business automation, since the results are worthwhile. Also, see small business process improvement to a full betterment of your company!