Nowadays, numerous businesses and their overall functions can benefit from automation. However, whereas large manufacturers and other industries have used this practice for decades, newer technology is paving the way for even the “little guy” to automate in at least one aspect or another. The playing field is more level than ever, and now is the perfect time to take your business to the next level.
Google and Facebook have already done it, and now Spotify is contemplating layoffs as of this writing. Still, numerous other companies are looking at expanding or streamlining their operations this year. If you’re considering automating your business functions, keep reading for some insight.
You need to be able to visualize your progress from start to finish. Gannt chart software will enable you to break projects into actionable items, prioritize problems as they arise, and track progress and dependencies across multiple project plans. Making sure you and your entire team have visibility to a timeline for the business goals can ensure that everyone is working toward the same goals.
The days of keeping every aspect of business operations completely in-house are virtually extinct. Outsourcing customized software development has been popular for years as it provides consistent quality results, and now there are reliable companies that provide various outsourcing services.
This includes everything from customer service to deliveries.
Instead of spending time every week doing a complete inventory and supply order, schedule automatic shipments of the products you know you always need. You can always pause the schedule during those rare events that you’re overstocked with, but it can help eliminate shortages and human error.
If you utilize social media for advertising or engagement, use a marketing calendar tool that enables posts to be scheduled in advance. Automating planned campaigns can be invaluable time savers and ensure that everything is sent out as desired.
Other tools provide services that automate SMS/text messaging. This can be used to quickly and easily send meeting, event reminders, abandoned shopping cart, and restocked alerts, promotional messages, and personalized text messages at scale.
Evaluate Your Online Sales Process
Online sales are one of the most accessible places to add automation. If you built the website or haven’t updated it in quite some time, it may be time to do some work. Try reviewing your CRM tool (e.g., Monday, Hubspot, Salesforce) to see what features may be useful in this area.
Utilizing sales automation can result in multiple benefits, including helping with the following:
- Identifying the most sales-ready leads for follow-up.
- Improving your sales pipeline
- Collecting data insights and acting on them.
- Avoiding spending time on bad leads.
- Synching data
- Calendar management
Is A.I. the Answer?
A.I.-powered tools are getting buzz lately. Even a McDonald’s in Fort Worth, Texas, uses automation and A.I. for portions of its drive-thru service. It has So much potential that it has enabled companies like OpenAI to be in talks for a $29 billion valuation.
A.I. can be used to answer emails, chat, social media engagement, and products requiring specialized equipment. Though it may take a sizable initial investment, transitioning to A.I., enhanced options are something we’re liable to see much more of shortly and well beyond.
Working toward automating your business as much as possible can be extremely beneficial. Almost every business can benefit from processes that work independently based on a schedule, including sales automation which is critical in this day and age.
Keep the above in mind as you evaluate your operations, and your quest to automate your business functions will start on the right foot.