Seventhman Blog

Business Automation: The Only Way to Move Forward

"business automation"How many years have you been in business?  After all this time, have you optimized your processes to make sure you run things efficiently?  It might surprise you, but there’s a vast majority of entrepreneurs out there who are running their businesses.. the brick-and-mortar way.  I even know of someone who still keeps his inventory in pen and paper because it has been convenient all along.  I asked him if he might consider changing things to digital and there’s a puzzled look on his face as he replied: “Why should I even do that when this system worked for us all these years?”  I can only imagine if he starts automating some of these cycles, like the invoices and order shipment.. the time saved can be used for growing other aspects of the business.

When Change is Inevitable

While there is a fast migration of software applications, digital has become the new norm.  With big data getting bigger each day, those who haven’t made the switch are losing opportunities.  The rule is simple: Whatever your business is, you  must convert to digital.  It’s a smarter move to improve internal and external business processes, integrate systems, manage huge volumes of data – and modernize all applications pertaining to your enterprise.  This will not only save you valuable time, but it also helps improve your relationships with your customers.  Because it will be easier for them to contact you through various digital touch points, it will also push for a positive customer experience.. leading to a good word-of-mouth about your business and increasing your brand visibility on the Web.  The only hurdle to achieving this is your irrational fear of change.

The Case of Business Automation Explored

Are there repetitive tasks that will benefit from automating certain steps?  Imagine getting a call from client x and you have to retrace previous transactions your team had with this person.  You check your archives, flipping folders until you found the file.  After this interaction, you fill up details in the form like what the rest of these paper files look like.  How much time it took you to do just that?  Things would have been simpler and quicker if you can retrieve data by entering the person’s first and last name – wouldn’t it?

If there’s one thing you need to know about computers and software, it’s this:  They do NOT define your business.  Instead, they complement it.  These eight reasons should be enough for you to consider automating your business processes:

1.  Automation is a great shortcut for routine work.
2.  You get to help the environment by getting rid of all ( or almost all ) of the paperwork in the office.
3.  Having a bird’s eye view of your business is now possible so you can stay updated with progress at every level.
4.  Tracking and managing project workflow is now easier, ensuring that you deliver quality product/service all the time.
5.   Getting rid of double entry in most forms when you can access the same info in your computer
6.   Having document templates and macros will help your employee work faster
7.  File management is a breeze – helping you quickly access and store accurate data
8.  You can minimize human error through smart programming that will send out an alert to your team when they haven’t correctly filled the form

Automating One Bite at a Time

The next time someone asks you how you can eat an elephant in one sitting, tell that person you will do so.. one bite at a time.  Likewise, check which department has the highest clutter that you would want to automate in your business.  For example, if you are offering yearly subscriptions, ask someone to design a system for you that will automatically generate a sales tickler based on renewal dates – so you can send timely reminders or promotional.  Without such a system, you would normally have to track this manually with a spreadsheet.  You have to discover what your pain points are so you can ask for solutions that will merge your workflow processes.  You may ask your existing systems to be modified or you can start from scratch.  No matter, keeping things simple while meeting the needs of your business makes for a win-win situation.

Are you struggling to figure out how you can seamlessly migrate from manual to digital?  Just ask and I’ll do my best to give you an answer.

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  • http://www.bizsugar.com/ Heather Stone

    Hi Shaleen,
    There are a lot of ways to automate a business. Start by looking at tasks that take time away from the core function of your business. These are tasks that should be automated as much as possible.

    • seventhman

      Thanks Heather, your advice makes sense. I think that there are certain aspects of the business that you can’t automate. Let’s see if new tools created out there can bridge this gap.