Small Business Automation | 5 mins read

How to Implement Small Business Automation and 3 Areas to Prioritize

how to implement small business automation and 3 areas to prioritize 1623695790 4213
Lauren Christiansen

By Lauren Christiansen

Why Every Small Business Should Look to Automation

Many small business owners believe computerized processes and sleek digital tools are relegated to those with large pocketbooks. While it's true that big enterprises tend to automate more tasks, business process automation is not just for large companies. It's for everyone.

In the digital age, process automation is required to maintain a competitive edge and add new revenue streams. If a small organization isn't using automation tools, it risks losing customers and any chance at substantial growth.

While it's easier to stay with what is known and tested, this isn't always a wise choice. Whether business owners like it or not, automation software is here to stay. All employers must stay on top of workflow automation trends and invest in the right tools to maintain a competitive advantage.
Here are the top tips for small enterprises that are automating business processes.

1. Small Business Automation Tip Payroll

Ask anyone in Human Resources whether they like doing payroll. The answer is always a resounding No! Manual payroll processes are tedious, meticulous, and ripe for human error. Furthermore, HR has to track employee time and comply with FLSA related regulations to avoid fines.

All-sized businesses will benefit from an automated software solution that streamlines payroll processes and saves time. Rather than focusing on tedious data entry and calculating overtime hours, HR can work on more important projects.

Most payroll automation software integrates with time tracking solutions. This makes it much easier to perform payroll because all real-time data is available and accurate. It will also ensure compliance and prevent costly mistakes that result in litigation and a damaged reputation.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

2. Small Business Automation Tip - Invoicing and Collections

Manually tracking and reporting any activity in business operations is time-consuming and a waste of resources. With an automation platform, organizations can generate recurring invoices for all regular customers. Each invoice is automatically sent out on a specific date of the month or week. If the business accepts a credit card, customers can automatically pay and the bill is pronounced as paid.

Most business automation invoice platforms enable automatic reminders to prevent late payments. Customers are sent reminders of any outstanding balances on a predetermined interval (each week or month).

This will help small or medium-sized businesses save money. It will also free up customer support teams to focus on other tasks. As a bonus, they won't have to make repeated, uncomfortable phone calls to customers.

3. Small Business Automation Tip Receipt and Document Storage

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No company wants to handle large quantities of tax documents, critical paperwork, and receipts at the end of the year. An automated scanner tool can scan all of the paperwork and upload it into the cloud. This saves a lot of space and ensures no important data is misplaced or lost.

Other automated platforms turn documents into data, organize receipts, file any business card, or track travel times. This management software compiles documents with the help of any scanned information. Authorized users can easily access the data in one centralized location.

Not only will these digital tools organize important paperwork, but they will also save a lot of money. Companies can also position themselves as environmentally friendly, which is great for branding purposes.

4. Small Business Automation Tip Onboarding and Recruiting

There are many different online tools to streamline the recruiting process. For example, ZipRecruiter submits any job post to more than 50 online websites. Users can handle all incoming applications from one centralized location. This ensures a small business won't lose track of any potential candidate whose employment will benefit the organization. It also makes work life much easier for the Human Resources department.

Many business owners know how hard it is to streamline onboarding and training business processes. It's critical to get new hires up to speed to ensure business operations are not interrupted. Many automation tools document all procedures and policies in a digital training manual. A new hire can be invited to the online training manual, and employers can track their learning and test for knowledge. This ensures the entire training process is more efficient and new hires are ready to work on their first day.

Online employee scheduling software that makes shift planning effortless.
Try it free for 14 days.

Top 3 Things to Prioritize in Small Business Automation

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There are many ways to automate repetitive tasks to benefit a small business. When there is only so much available capital, it's hard to know what tools to invest in. While small organizations may not be able to automate each manual process, they must focus on a few key areas. To maintain a competitive edge and avoid critical errors that lead to non-compliance, all small medium-sized businesses should automate the following -

  • Media Marketing and Marketing Automation - Tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Social JukeBox automate social media content posting. Email marketing tools are also critical to streamline communications with customers.
  • Business Operations - Employee scheduling, inventory management, and customer support centers should at least be partially automated. This will prevent errors, save money, and provide a better customer experience.
  • Sales - To enable sales teams to focus on lead generation rather than mundane tasks, small businesses should invest in automation tools. Examples include CRMs, Facebook messenger bots, and reporting and analytics software. This will help automate many of the customer service aspects of sales tasks and provide ways to track campaign results.

Key Takeaways of How to Automate a Small Business

In conclusion, here is how many small companies can implement business automation -

  • Small businesses should automate payroll processes to save time, money, and prevent costly errors.
  • Invoicing and collection automation tools will minimize outstanding payments and will free up customer support to focus on other tasks.
  • Receipt and document digitization will save space, help organize critical data, and ensure no information is lost or misplaced. Onboarding and recruiting platforms will organize important paperwork and ensure the best talent are adequately trained.
  • The top areas to automate in any small-medium company are marketing, business operations, and sales.

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