8 Business Process Automation Tips That Will Help Increase Productivity

For many small business owners, time is the most valuable commodity. With business process automation, you can go from your business owning you to owning your business.

Business automation can help your company be more efficient and help you achieve better financial results faster. In the sales department, companies have seen revenues rise by over 14% while seeing costs go down over 12%. That’s a 26% spread!

Imagine what something like that can do for your business.

If you’re looking to reduce costs and increase revenue in your business, automation is the way to go. Read on to learn how you can use business automation effectively in your business.

1. Know What Needs Business Process Automation

The automation possibilities are endless. You can automate marketing, your sales process, accounting, and even some facets of customer service.

You need to determine what you’d like to automate first. Analyze your business and where critical resources are being spent.

Do you find that there’s a lot of time being spent on social media and email marketing? Those are two things that can be automated quite easily.

Do you need something like ICR in your business? That’s Intelligent Character Recognition, which can take scanned handwritten notes, and turn them into searchable digital documents. That can be much easier if you’re a note-taker. You’re able to scan and throw away those stacks of notebooks you’ve been keeping around for years.

2. Start Small and Scale Up

Once you understand where time can be saved, you may have a list of things you’d like to automate. Rather than trying to implement everything at once, you will be better served by adding one business automation process at a time.

Much like people who are trying to lose weight, you might want to make every change at once. That can be overwhelming for your business and your staff. In the end, like trying to lose weight, the changes don’t stick.

What you can do is pick one process to automate. Start small and then scale up. This gives your staff ample time to adjust and integrate each change one at a time.

3. Map Your Business Process Automation Strategy

When you have your automation processes prioritized, you’ll need to map out your automation strategy. What will look like for your business? It depends on what you prioritize.

Take marketing automation, for example. If your business decides to automate email marketing, you’re going to need to map out at least one campaign that takes someone from signing up on your form to a purchase or sales appointment.

You’ll want to map out their journey on a whiteboard or on paper. You’ll want to start with what the sign up form looks like, and what they’re going to get for signing up. That could be a white paper, form

4. Set Automation Goals

person writing on white paper
Photo by Kelly Sikkema

In order to know if your first attempt at automating business processes is successful, you’ll need to set some measurable objectives. Again, your goals will depend on what

For example, in the marketing automation example above, you may have a few goals. You can have a goal for sign up conversions, for the percentage of email open rates, and the percentage of people who buy.

These metrics will allow you to track each step of the customer’s journey and make adjustments along each step.

In accounting, you’ll have different metrics. For example, if you automate customer invoicing, you’ll want to track the amount saved processing invoices. You’ll need to track the amount of time it takes for vendors to pay.

Those metrics can help your business’ cash flow to be improved.

5. Choose Business Process Automation Tools

You can have the best business automation strategies and goals in place, but without the right tools, you can be losing money.

No matter what you decide to automate first, you’ll have a similar process to find the right tools for your business.

Start by identifying your budget and what are the features you’ll need the most. You’ll also need to know what systems the tool will need to integrate with.

For example, in an accounting automation solution, you may need to have the tool integrate with your CRM.

When you’re evaluating tools, be sure to consider set-up fees, monthly costs, and potential savings on the platform.

6. Get Employee Buy-In

Getting employee buy-in is going to be the most important part of implementing automation in your business.

You can decide to ask staff what they want out of an automation tool as you’re evaluating your options. When you decide on an automation tool, make sure that your employees are properly trained on using it.

The more comfortable they are using the tools, the more likely they’ll be to use them. That will translate into revenue and cost savings for your business.

7. Check Reporting Regularly

When you set your automation goals, you want to be sure that you’re meeting them. It’s important to have the proper reporting mechanisms in place as soon as you begin your new process.

That allows you to see how the new technology is adopted by your employees and what kind of difference it’s making to your bottom line.

8. Make Decisions Based on Data

red and white heart illustration
Photo by Clay Banks

When you first set up business process automation, it’s rarely perfect the first time. That’s why reporting is so important. You want to be sure that your data is telling you the right story.

From there, you can make adjustments to process and test certain elements of your process. You want to keep improving things, but do so based on data, not a knee-jerk reaction.

Business Process Automation That Works

When companies implement business process automation the right way, the result is almost always the same. Companies save time, reduce costs, and drive up revenue. That’s a recipe for a successful business.

As long as you follow these business automation tips, you can do the same for your business.

For more great business tips, be sure to check our blog regularly for insights that will help you grow your business.

Leave a Comment