Look at people and jobs first it could be more beneficial in the long run.
Grow and build solid growth by automating as many activities as you can
The decisions you face when considering automation is whether or not to exploit your business’s accomplishments. Whether to expand or keep the business stable and profitable, providing a base for other activities you wish to pursue.
Automation can have an adverse impact on your business if it is not done well. Use foresight and insight into the long-term implications, they may not be what you envisage at this time.
It will be important to discuss automation with all your stakeholders. Remember people don’t like surprises and change. Appointing the right practical advisors to help you will be of great benefit.
“Automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency”. Bill Gates
A key issue is whether to use an automated platform for marketing and growth, or as a means of support for you and your current internal activities. If you are wanting to pursue new and different opportunities or even hobbies, or you have other outside interests such as running for political office, you might simply want to maintain the status quo. Then again you might want to implement some automation into some key processes.
Some automation issues to consider
- Develop your operational framework and integration of all business functions.
- Stay organised at the office, online and mobile.
- How will automation impact your value chain?
- Look at the jobs you hate most, like bookkeeping, and automate that first.
- Look for ways to improve your customer services and customer experience.
- Integrate all your software applications into one system.
- Provide quality automated, personalised sales and marketing messages.
- Simplify and automate information and knowledge integration with services.
- Create easy-to-access, contact management to help you know who is ready to buy.
- Automatically capture new leads and automate follow-up.
- Stay competitive with an integrated sales pipeline and e-commerce solutions.
- Make reports easier to compile, analyse and put into the hands of your team.
When you grow your business, these things will become more critical. You will require functional managers to take over certain duties performed by you. With automation, managers should be competent but, need not be of the highest calibre.
The upside potential of automation is only limited by your business and personal goals, your imagination and vision for the future. The main concern is to avoid a cash drain when automation installations are absorbing your time and money in good times and becoming unable to withstand the inevitable bad times.
The reality is automation will always have its share of problems in smaller enterprises because of the lack of technical staff. It will be the way you choose advisors and manage those problems that will count. Start with the simple things and get them right first.
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I’ve been on a path to improve the automation of processes in our business for years and even though the software to improve automation at an affordable price is available now, I’m still on the journey and I guess I will never stop..
In making your business more accessible for humans, automation will not be your only solution.