Automation: Here’s why your small business needs it

Automation: Here’s why your small business needs it

When we hear the word “automation,” we often picture robots replacing human workers in factory assembly lines. Because of this, automation gets a bad rap as a job killer. However, the concept of automation is not limited to massive preprogrammed machinery, but can also be applicable to business processes, such as marketing and eCommerce sales. In these cases, automation grants greater capabilities to human resources instead of outright replacing them.

Previously used exclusively by large corporations, automated processes are now accessible to small companies, too. Let’s take a closer look at some of the processes that your New Jersey business can leverage to enhance productivity and increase your profit margins.

Leverage automated processes to enhance productivity and increase the profit margins of your business.

Marketing and sales automation

Thanks to automation, marketers and salespeople can reach more people, engage with higher quality leads, enroll new customers, and maintain the loyalty of existing ones.

Emails

Ever wondered how businesses can send numerous emails and mobile notifications to countless recipients? Companies don’t have a platoon of marketing writers who write each email individually. Instead, businesses use email marketing platforms to automatically send emails and notifications, such as:

  • Newsletter sign-up welcome messages
  • Sales invoices
  • Shipment tracking alerts
  • Reminders to return to abandoned carts or purchase wishlist items

Digital ads

Buying ads on digital platforms can be automated. You could buy ad placements in Facebook, YouTube, and other media and have your ads be displayed to individuals who will likely respond to your marketing messages. You could show ads based on your target audience’s age, gender, interests, previously visited websites, and past online purchases. Doing both of these manually would take your marketers hours of intense effort, but thankfully, you could let programs and algorithms accomplish these for you.

Analytics

Via marketing and analytics tools, you can track how people respond to your online marketing campaigns and see how these perform over time without having to port data into spreadsheets and manually creating charts yourself. You could also determine where potential customers are in the sales funnel and determine who are most ready to pay for your goods and services.

Customer service

Thanks to apps that can address multiple customer queries and requests at the same time, companies don’t have to hire more staff and risk bloating capacity when demand for customer services decreases.

Chatbots and virtual assistants

Many websites feature chatbots that can help visitors by programmatically asking questions that drill down into specific action steps that visitors could take. More advanced chatbots and virtual assistants can even understand text and voice prompts and provide assistance almost like how a human customer service agent would.

As of this writing, such bots can handle basic concerns and frequently asked questions, which frees up agents to tackle more complex service requests.

HR processes

There are now plenty of software and cloud-based apps that help HR personnel carry out the following tasks more efficiently.

Onboarding and training

You can create workflows so that new hires could accomplish onboarding steps on their own with minimal supervision. In a similar fashion, you can use workflows for training so that staff who elect to acquire new skills could watch instructional videos, read training manuals, and take proficiency tests at their own pace.

Performance assessments

To help you assess your employees, you can use software to track everything from tardiness to productivity with minimal manual data entry. This is valuable for determining employees’ areas of improvement, rewards and punishments, and potential career advancement within the company.

Leave requests and payroll

Instead of making staff submit leave requests via email (which could get buried in HR staff’s inboxes), you can have them do so on an HR platform instead. The platform's automated processes help HR staff handle everything pertaining to personnel — including taxes, insurance co-pays, travel and expense reimbursements, and social security contributions — in a timely and accurate manner.

Accounting

Many cash flow problems can be addressed by using software to keep you on top of critical accounting items, such as:

Accounts receivable

Being paid late could lead to cash shortfalls. To ensure you're always paid on time, set up recurring invoices, recurring credit card billing, and automated overdue payment reminders.

Accounts payable

Easily pay your bills on time or even take advantage of early payment discounts by scheduling automated bill payments and setting up automatic reminders to fund source accounts accordingly.

Financial reports

Thanks to accounting software, you don’t have to manually draft financial statements every month. Instead, you can let the software create the reports for you. You can also use it to schedule automatic dissemination of the reports to your stakeholders.

Much like with any other IT solution, you need to determine which automation tools would serve your business best. Our IT experts at Online Computers can help you out. Drop us a line today to learn more.


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