Automating business processes is one of the most impactful things you can do as an entrepreneur. It helps you manage repetitive tasks that get in the way of more valuable activities. And it also helps you increase your revenue.
If you want to optimise your business for performance, productivity, and efficiency, understanding business automation goes a long way to help.
So, if optimal performance and productivity in your business sound good, check out this guide to get you started.
What Does ‘Automating Business Processes’ Mean?
As the name suggests, business process automation is the practice of using automation tools to reduce the time and effort you spend on certain manual tasks and activities. It’s perfect for managing repetitive, menial tasks that distract you from more strategic activities.
For example, think about how long it takes you to review information in a spreadsheet or send an email to a large number of people on a regular basis. When looked at alone it might not seem so bad. But when you multiply it by the number of times you do it each month, the time can really add up.
Thankfully, when integrated correctly, automated processes can make a big difference for your business. Under most circumstances, you’ll find it will exponentially increase your overall productivity.
What Are the Benefits Of Business Process Automation?
It’s important to understand the key benefits that business automation can offer. This is particularly true if you are on the fence about whether or not you’d like to try it.
Let’s take a look at some of the most notable benefits of automating your business processes.
You might be surprised to hear that business automation tools actually help increase revenue.
That’s because when your team performs more efficiently, they’ll get more done within a shorter period of time. And under most circumstances, getting more done more quickly directly translates into higher revenue.
Another way automation helps your bottom line is that you can increase the total number of people your company is able to reach with your marketing efforts. This can increase your overall brand awareness which usually leads directly to boosting sales,
And for companies with investors or shareholders, it’s essential that you do all you can to maximise performance. So, be sure you take advantage of the opportunities automation provides.
Stay Focused on Core Tasks
When you streamline processes that normally require significant manual input, your team can focus on higher-value tasks. For instance, reading emails and scheduling appointments are things most of us have to do, no matter what our primary role may be. And these activities can suck up more of your time than you might realise.
By automating tedious tasks like these, you eliminate the distractions that prevent you from staying focused on important projects. Tasks like these are perfect examples of how automating business processes can make a huge difference in your productivity and efficiency.
And bonus – you’ll also enjoy the added benefit of improving your team’s overall morale. It isn’t uncommon for people to feel dissatisfied with their job when they have to manage tasks that aren’t technically part of their roles.
Once you implement business process automation, cost savings will build up over time due to the reduction of manpower required to get the work done.
Contrary to what many people fear, automation doesn’t necessarily reduce headcount. But it does help your existing team members be more efficient, which means fewer people are needed to complete larger amounts of work.
In fact, automation can actually improve employee satisfaction due to the reduction of tedious tasks.
Another way you’ll save is from the elimination of human error. Fewer mistakes made by humans means fewer losses to your company and less rework required.
Automation tools that are properly configured are highly – if not perfectly – accurate.
Although it’s possible for bugs within automation software to occur, these are isolated incidents. The truth is, even flawed automation tools are usually more accurate than the average human when performing repetitive tasks.
That’s because a human’s mind begins to wander the longer they focus on a single task. They become distracted and they might even make an egregious oversight. And sadly, there are plenty of scenarios where inaccuracies can have dire consequences for your business.
That’s why it’s a good idea to do whatever you can to minimise manual errors.
All of the data generated when you automate business processes is stored in a database. And this data can come in very handy if, for example, you need to make comparisons over time or answer questions you didn’t previously know how to answer.
Business process automation software even makes it possible to run reports that review historical performance metrics and then allows you to make predictions about future performance.
When you can actually see how your company has performed in the past, it’s much easier for you to set realistic goals and expectations for yourself and your team.
It’s amazing how many companies don’t consider business process automation because they worry about falling out of compliance with industry regulations.
The truth is, automation tools can help you stay compliant.
With automating software, you’ll be able to create custom workflows that meet regulatory requirements for just about any type of industry.
It’s no secret that scaling your business should be one of your topmost priorities.
Unfortunately, scaling isn’t always easy even after you have begun to increase your revenue.
You may not have the infrastructure to handle additional orders, work with a larger number of clients, etc. Being unable to handle an increased scope of work can easily hold you back from hitting the metrics you need to scale.
You also can’t overlook other nuances associated with scaling, such as hiring new team members or managing a larger number of invoices.
Scaling without being able to handle these responsibilities could adversely affect your reputation and actually set you back further than you were before.
Thankfully, all of these are areas where automation can help. So, if you have the scalability of your business in mind, automating your processes is a great way to prepare for it.
If this is your goal, make sure you automate functions that actually support your business growth. For example, automating things like placing purchase orders or uploading new logo files will not be the most valuable automations to make.
Increased Customer Satisfaction
Having a satisfied customer base is imperative. You won’t be able to experience long-term growth without it.
Unfortunately, we all know it’s not feasible for your company to operate 24/7. The good news is that artificial intelligence automation can help handle customer requests outside of your business hours.
Typically, this comes in the form of a chatbot on your business website. Chatbots are software that interacts with your customers in a way that feels similar to interacting with a human. In fact, it’s completely capable of handling basic requests and answering questions.
And in the event that that human intervention is needed, it can connect the customer with a member of your team.
This is a perfect example of how to make improving customer service much easier when you leverage business automation tools.
Business Process Automation Examples
Are you sold on the idea in theory, but not sure where can you implement automation in YOUR business?
Let’s take a look at some common use cases:
- Daily task management (ClickUp is our favourite tool for this!)
- Inventory management
- Customer service
- Financial services such as payroll or accounts payable
- Team or Employee onboarding
- Client onboarding
There are just a few of the ways to implement business process automation inside your business. You’ll quickly see opportunities for automation all around you just by paying attention to the tasks you complete each day.
Automating Business Processes Doesn’t Have To Be Hard (Or Scary)
Here’s the thing. When you automate routine business processes, you also create more time for strategic planning and activities. You know, the kind that actually move the needle on your growth objectives.
The truth is, automating business processes can be quite easy and can drastically improve your company’s performance and efficiency.
It all starts by taking one small step towards automating your business processes. Once you dip in your toe, you’ll start to see how it can take your business to new heights. Get in touch with one of our efficiency experts to explore how we can help you start automating business processes with minimal stress today.