Why should you automate your business?
Why should you automate your business? Because the days of manual data entry staff acting as the interface between different systems will be over soon.
What is business automation? To put it simply, it’s using software and technology to free up time, allowing you to focus on the important parts of your business. Automation helps companies save money and increase productivity by doing tasks that can be automated. For example, in the marketing context, this includes tasks such as: routine data entry, email marketing campaigns, scheduling appointments, search engine optimization (SEO), project management services and collaboration tools among many other things.
Your three levels of automation: The first step in automating your business is identifying the tasks that can be automated. We call this discovery process “uncovering.” Once we uncover all of these areas where we spend time, we can begin to reverse engineer what it would take to automate them. In this three-part series, I will walk you through the process of uncovering, reverse engineering and finally automation.
Let’s start with uncovering: Uncovering is when you identify all the areas in your business that can be automated. If there are tasks that have been done manually for a long time then they should be considered potential candidates for automation – especially if that task is a time waster or a money drain. Once these tasks have been identified look at each task from a value perspective – how much revenue do they produce? Is gaining more customers worth building an application instead of doing it yourself? How much would it cost to hire somebody else to do the task?
Once you have answered these questions for each task, it should be pretty easy to prioritize the tasks that are most valuable to automate first. The next step is reverse engineering – this is where you figure out what kind of solutions would best solve your automation needs. Here are some common examples:
- Not enough time in the day = Automate data entry
- Manual process takes too long = Build an application around the manual process
- Too costly to hire somebody = Build a self-serve platform instead of hiring someone full-time
- Need to scale beyond current capabilities = Automate scaling services (e.g., Salesforce) Many companies will need all three types of solutions depending on their specific business needs.
What are your business automation goals? Let us know!
We are a team of developers and entrepreneurs that has been working with startups for over 10 years.