Automating Your Business: Tasks You Shouldn’t Do Manually

Posted on July 28, 2021

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According to a recent survey, 52% of small businesses say that “improving productivity and efficiency” is their main management focus, whether by providing better tools and equipment, enhancing communication processes, or through other means. However, many companies fail to realize how much closer they could get to reaching their goals by simply automating some of these tasks.

Every week, enterprises waste hours completing manual processes which could easily be automated, even though the technology now exists to execute everything from administrative assignments to more substantial marketing and financial undertakings. While most global enterprises do automate tasks (58% to be precise), this statistic shows that over four in ten of these companies still don’t. There are a huge range of ways to automate your business processes, and we’ve outlined a few of them below.

General business tasks

Moving data between software

Manually moving data between systems is incredibly time-consuming. For instance, many companies pull data from their ERP system and upload it elsewhere, copy information from one spreadsheet to another, or email data between individuals. This also risks errors — after all, humans make mistakes. EASA’s software, for example, can reduce the need to manually move data by integrating processes from multiple software sources (such as Excel, ERP systems and databases) into a single, shareable web app. The underlying programmes remain within a company’s network and are the engine of the app, which has a custom user interface that enables individuals to access and utilize files. However, users will never directly alter the original file itself, just the input data. By consolidating businesses processes from different software sources in one place,  employees can focus their attention elsewhere, therefore improving company productivity

Creating proposals

Generating new proposals can be a long-winded and tedious process. Automation tools can consolidate these tasks, making it easier to coordinate them among individuals, while preset templates also make it far quicker and easier to write them.

Backing up files

Rather than manually backing up important business files yourself, sign up to a cloud-based service and establish a regular point each week (or day, if necessary) to back it up. This will not only save you time but, like when you stop manually moving files between sources, helps prevent errors,

Marketing tasks

Social media management

With more and more businesses relying on social media to spread the word and engage with customers, finding ways to automate certain tasks can help save businesses a great deal of time, especially if your team is small. Automated social media tools can post content at scheduled times, reply to customers via chatbots, and create analytical reports you can use to finetune your social media marketing strategy. This saves you from having to analyze social media metrics like engagement levels, impressions and reach yourself.

Email marketing

Email automation uses preset criteria to automatically send emails in response to specific customer actions. Examples include welcome emails when customers sign up to a mailing list, reminder messages if they leave a product in their shopping cart without checking out, and personalized messages such as happy birthday emails. You can also use email automation like customer support, and to organize your inbox into categories, making it easier to find older or important messages

Market research

Automation tools can be invaluable for market research. For instance, they can take key online search terms regarding your company, industry and competitors, then monitoring any mentions and compiling a report. There are also tools to help generate leads by analyzing factors like an individual’s personal information, online behavior, or previous communications with your company. This data enables you to assess their potential as a customer.

Financial tasks

Invoice reminders

By creating automated email reminders when a client or partner owes you money, you don’t need to compose these messages yourself. You can choose the wording, as well as when and how often they are sent. For instance, you may decide to send one just before payment, and multiple messages if this is overdue, perhaps with stronger wording.

Payroll processes

Certain tools enable you to automate payroll processes, preventing your HR department from poring over spreadsheets, making calculations, filling out government forms, and depositing payments into various accounts each month. Overall, the American Payroll Association (APA) estimates that automation can cut the cost of payroll processing by up to 80%.

Receipt scanning

Instead of manually examining business receipts for relevant information, receipt scanning apps can perform the task on your behalf. Simply take a picture of a receipt so the software can automatically extract relevant information, and consolidate this data into a report which can be easily accessed from wherever you are.