As an entrepreneur or small business owner, automation is crucial for reducing the time you spend on business processes. Especially for time short and resource scarce startup founders. With so many business process automation tools to choose from, it can be daunting to figure out where to start. This article will examine the top areas of business automation and how your start up can leverage them to accelerate its growth.
Productivity tools are a great way to implement automated workflows in your business. For example, Calendly helps automate the usual process of finding a mutually agreeable time to organise a meeting. Legislate implements intelligent document automation in your business so that you can streamline contracts and easily manage contract data post-signature. When choosing a productivity tool, it is important to weigh its cost with the value it will bring you. The return on investment can be a combination of time and savings for your business.
Slack is another popular productivity tool which allows your team to communicate amongst themselves. Another benefit of using Slack is that it can centralise updates and communication from other automation tools so that you have a constant view on your business processes.
As a founder, it's important to keep track of your spending both for cash flow and reporting purposes. Tools or services which automate your accounting ensure that you can spend time where it matters for your business without compromising compliance. However, in the initial days of building your business, it is important to learn how accounting works so that you understand the true cost of everything in your business and how everything adds up.
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Marketing automation tools
Marketing automation tools can help you increase revenue and customer satisfaction whilst helping you save time and money. Email automation tools like Klenty can help you reach your prospective customers at the right time and its email marketing analytics can help you improve your email strategy and gain new customers. Scheduling tools like Hootsuite ensure that your customer base is constantly up-to-date with your news and content on your various social media platforms. When choosing a marketing automation platform, a valuable tip is to choose one which integrates with your various other tools so that you do not waste time copying other customer data between tools and CRMs.
No-code website automation tools
Your website and website visitors are the equivalent of your shop window and prospective customers window shopping. Building a clear and easy-to-navigate website no longer requires expensive design agencies and you can now leverage no or low-code platforms like Webflow to launch professional websites. These tools can help you create landing pages and generate leads thanks. When launching a website, a great tip is to have a live chat widget which can help with your customer acquisition and increase customer engagement. Widgets can be triggered to proactively engage with customers on certain pages which can turn passive visitors into customers.
What are the best practices for getting the most value out of automation tools?
If you find yourself doing repetitive tasks and it is having an impact on the effectiveness of your business processes then you should consider using software tools to automate processes which are taking you away from the core business operation. Automating processes with software will free up time and mental energy which you didn't realise was being drained from these tedious tasks. An automated process will also give you greater visibility into your business processes by giving you access to data which would otherwise not be digital. In order to prioritise which business processes you should automate, identify the cost of each digital transformation and the expected return on investment and start with the projects which align the most with your business goals. For each project, start doing the repetitive tasks yourself so that you understand exactly how they work before evaluating workflow automation tools. This will help you better assess these tools as they won't all be compatible with your existing business operations.