Hiring is a challenge, especially for small businesses. Staffing issues brought on by the pandemic continue to cause turbulence as businesses struggle to fill open positions. As competition drives turnover and the cost of onboarding a new employee reaches upwards of $5,000 per hire, businesses are beginning to take advantage of workflow automation as a reliable and cost-efficient way to alleviate strain on resources and operations.
The rise of automation empowers small businesses to elevate their operations and operate at a higher level beyond their size. These tools also save employees’ time by cutting down on repetitive tasks while saving the businesses money. Small businesses can grow their productivity while creating a more efficient work culture by automating strategic processes and operations.
In today’s climate of staffing unpredictability, small business automation is essential to operations.
Streamline through Sales Workflow Automation
Until recently, nearly two-thirds of sales representatives’ time was reportedly spent on non-revenue activities like digital paperwork. A million little things go into the successful conversion of a customer; in the era of workflow automation, many of those important little tasks can be set up to run on their own. Sales automation frees up staff to focus on their primary task at hand: selling.
A myriad of tasks consistently bog down sales professionals. Consider the simple yet time-consuming act of record creation. Manually filling out a record form with information from a business card or newsletter lead is a thing of the past.
Now, tools can scan those documents and automatically generate a new record. Similarly, automation tools can schedule customer appointments, send out consumer email communications, track sales funnels and even keep an eye on (and gamify) sales and KPIs. With a trusted IT partner to guide the process, small businesses can harness the sales tools used by Fortune 500s.
Guide the Customer through Marketing Automation
The marketing automation software industry topped $6 billion in 2019 and is projected to triple in size by 2025. Small businesses have begun to realize that customers expect efficiency and personalization in their buying journey. Companies that can shepherd them along are viewed more favorably than those still operating in the old paradigm.
Luckily, small business marketing automation tools abound in the cloud; there’s no shortage of platforms to choose from to take marketing to the next level.
Plenty of overlap exists between sales and marketing workflow automation, but marketing is specifically geared toward two things: creating new leads and guiding customers toward a purchase. Between those two points is a lot of learning and customization.
Salesforce Pardot, a B2B marketing automation tool, is a leading platform that helps auto-generate leads via search tools like paid SEO, creates top-class email marketing from design to delivery, and employs AI to help shed light on ROI while aligning with the sales department.
Optimize the Supply Chain and Logistics
Business have many moving pieces in the supply chain — quite literally — which means many processes can become bloated, delayed, and redundant. With supply chain automation, small businesses can avoid these pitfalls and course-correct through streamlining with smart, informed decisions. Much of this begins in the warehouse.
Warehouse workflow automation, delivery robots, and drones are probably the most remarkable aspects of supply chain automation. But for small businesses, predictive analytics, transportation tracking, inventory management, Internet of Things, and shipping are the most approachable types of automation. The combination of supply chain and logistics automation brings transparency, tracking, and learning to small operations to deliver precision in execution and reduce expenses in the long run.
Free Up Human Resources Through HR Workflow Automation
If there were ever a mountain of paperwork to tackle, it would be in the human resources department. Between employee onboarding and training, file management, internal reporting, and data entry, human resources can greatly benefit from automation. Imagine the time saved by streamlining administrative tasks like timekeeping.
Human resource departments can cut down on lost time and increase their efficiency in secure data sharing too. Consider onboarding: software can cut downtime and energy by collecting potential-hire information and auto-filling necessary forms.
Automation can also address HR processes like payroll cycles, attendance record-keeping (or timekeeping on tracking applications), and set up company or employee notifications and calendar items.
Organize the Books through Accounts Payable Automation
Like human resources, the accounts payable department is often under a pile of paperwork. For many small businesses, that department is often one person — sometimes the CEO or office manager.
Small businesses should consider the time they’ll save internally by setting up small business workflow automation for accounts payable, but also consider the satisfaction of stakeholders and customers who have come to expect automated invoice and billing systems in their personal and professional lives.
Beyond invoice payment, automating accounts payable can also code invoices and payments for better organization and storage and capture data to deliver reports, so you always have a snapshot of what’s happening in the financial books.
Discover the Automations Right for Your Business
Small business automation has innumerable benefits to CEOs wondering where all the hours in the day go. Not only does it free up time from administrative duties, but it also helps optimize sales and marketing so businesses can focus more on creating profit.
Teaming up with a trusted partner is essential to better understanding how small business workflow automation can benefit operations. Soliant Consulting is an experienced partner that delivers solutions designed to transform the course of your business. Reach out to Soliant today to explore your options.