All businesses face competition with their sales but also in how effective and efficient they are, too. And that’s where automation enters the picture – to be competitive you need to use automation, otherwise, someone else will be automating you out of your business.
Every business, no matter how small, needs to use innovative automation strategies to accommodate a growth in sales while also controlling their costs.
Therefore, to help you bring an automated system, e.g. business management software, into your business, here are some great tips you can follow:
Start with the Easiest Process
When you start to automate processes in your business, choose ones where there’s no human value-add to start with. This will save you time in execution while also avoiding any human errors.
Make Sure Your Employees Embrace Automation
Again, this sounds more relevant for big companies but small businesses need to make sure their staff members are on board too.
Employees can be reluctant to adopt automation because they’re worried that this automation will cost them their job. However, in the majority of businesses, automation is at the heart of every success. Ultimately, automation may affect their current job but it will enhance their next job.
When discussing automation with your staff members, talk about how they’ll benefit from it. Discuss current functions and how it will allow them to progress into positions that are at a higher level than they are at present. Equally, by automating the easiest processes first, it’ll allow you to demonstrate the benefits without making any dramatic changes right at the start.
Focus on One of Your Business’s Functions
Look at a function within your business that has a good return on investment. Then pick another function once this one has been successfully automated. This will allow you to show your employees how successful automation can be, and may even result in them asking you if you can automate other specific functions. Now, you won’t have to gently encourage your employees because they’ll be encouraging you to make changes they’ve identified themselves.
Make the Process Go Away
When you start to implement automation, you’ll define the process at first before codifying it and automating it. After a while, this process will start to naturally collapse.
Due to the processes you’re automating, the process will inevitably go away. And by collapsing this process you’ll generate value for your business. Eventually, you’ll also start to collapse processes of your processes. Taking this one step at a time will be much easier than tackling the entire set of processes at once.
Create Your Own Team of Automation Experts
As you start to get involved in automation, you’ll probably find that you have a few “experts” within your company. You might also have a few other employees who are deemed experts but are on the periphery of becoming so. At this point, you might find it beneficial to establish your own “automation service bureau” whereby you have your own in-house team that is focusing solely on automation. In the long run, these positions will generate further revenue for your company, making these roles more than worth it.
Establish Your Own Automation History
As you start to automate your processes, make sure you’re documenting them as you go. Document where you started from, what was spent on automating the process and what results you have seen. Do this for every project so you don’t start to take anything for granted. Having these case files will show you how far you’ve come and will motivate you to automate even more processes as your company progresses.
Learn from Industry Leaders
If you can, try to find an automation expert from within your industry and get them involved in your company’s initiative. These experts will have the ability to see where your business can be in the next few years, understanding exactly what changes are required. They know how to start off with small processes (like you have) before turning them into big, groundbreaking changes.
Choose a Technology Partner
You may also reach the point where you need to take on a vendor. If you do, make sure you’re choosing this partner based on whether they have the right level of technology, innovation, and scope. You should also make sure they are going to be able to grow along with your business too.
Consider where you’d like your business to be in the next three, five or ten years. Ensure this vendor will be able to support the economics that is working for your business and will be able to help you achieve your vision.
Jordan Ross writes articles for a variety of business blogs on a variety of business topics. He has a ton of experience he’s able to share with readers thanks to his years of business experience running his own companies.