Boosting your small business with automation

In December 2023 - January 2024, Business Together4 MinutesBy Roylance WatsonJanuary 19, 2024

In today’s fast-paced business world, small businesses are finding a new ally in automation – a friend that boosts efficiency, trims costs and keeps a business in the competitive game. Once considered a luxury for the big players, automation is now a down-to-earth solution tailored for small businesses, thanks to user-friendly tools and technological advances.

Imagine having more time to focus on what you love about your business – innovating, engaging with customers, and fostering growth. Automation lets you do just that by handling those repetitive and time-consuming tasks such as data entry, inventory management and invoicing. By automating these behind-the-scenes activities, you and your team can channel your energy into strategic initiatives that drive your business forward.

Your financial headaches – automation can help with those. Accounting software and automated financial platforms make bookkeeping, expense tracking, and payroll a breeze. No more worrying about human errors or struggling to keep up. With automation, you can confidently make informed financial decisions based on accurate and up-to-date data.

And let’s not forget about marketing – another area where automation sprinkles its magic for small businesses. Email campaigns, social media scheduling and customer relationship management (CRM) activities can all be automated, allowing you to maintain a consistent online presence without feeling like you’re drowning in tasks. Plus, targeted marketing efforts and personalised communication contribute to building your brand and keeping your customers engaged.

You might be wondering about job security. Good news! Automation isn’t here to steal jobs; it’s here to be your business’ sidekick. By taking care of the repetitive stuff, it frees up your team to focus on tasks that require creativity, critical thinking and that special human touch.

Think of it as an opportunity to upskill your workforce and foster a culture of learning and adaptation.

Automation isn’t just about efficiency, it’s about creating a more connected and collaborative workplace. Cloud-based collaboration tools and project management platforms make communication a breeze, regardless of where your team members are.

This level of connectivity doesn’t just boost productivity, it makes decision-making faster and more effective – a must for small businesses navigating today’s dynamic markets.

I challenge you to look at all the tasks you do in your business that are repetitive. Process map these tasks and ensure you ask all the way through why are you doing each part and where it adds value (look to eliminate anything that doesn’t add value along the way so that you end up with a lean value-added process). Then look for a way to make this task automated. There are so many solutions available to small businesses that it is a question of, ‘Which one do I chose?’

Get the post-it notes out and give this a go; start small because these are usually the low-hanging fruit. Word of warning: don’t stop when you have mapped a task once. Look to continually improve your automation. Just like lean production, automation should be a part of continuous improvement in business.