Business Automation: 5 Solutions for Dealing with the Labour Shortage
Conseils d’experts des SADC et CAE
Automating certain tasks in business by using technology to speed up key processes can be much simpler to implement than we might think. It doesn’t necessarily mean using ultra-sophisticated and expensive artificial intelligence.
Many tasks can be automated in order to save time, and ultimately money, be more efficient, and help to counter the current labour shortage. Although automation requires an investment, the medium and long-term benefits are well worth the cost. Here are several tasks that can be easily automated within your company.
1. Automating Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a system that consolidates all communications (emails, calls, meetings), documents, quotes, invoices, and tasks associated with each customer into one place. A CRM replaces the many applications, databases and spreadsheets that companies use to track customers and business partner data. The entire team can access this data at the opportune moment to close a sale or provide better service. The result: better organization, more efficient teams, optimized time management and increased profits.
2. Automating Account Management
Accounting software increases your efficiency given its ability to automate basic calculations and administrative procedures related to all financial aspects of your business. It can prepare invoices and employee payrolls, automatically schedule payments and reminders to suppliers, track cash flow, manage inventory, etc. In short, it can automate all the transactions within the account book. Automatic data entry also avoids manual entry errors and generates accurate and compatible financial reports.
3. Automating Appointment Scheduling
Whether it is for service companies wishing to facilitate appointment scheduling with their customers or for those wishing to limit the exchange of emails in planning meetings, appointment scheduling is a simple and efficient software solution. Connected to your personal calendar, these applications such as Calendly, Microsoft Bookings or Go Appointments, allow your customers and collaborators to choose a time slot from your availabilities. You can also choose to automatically assign a Zoom or Teams link to meetings. Links to these applications can be made available directly on your website or in your email signature, so that your customers can schedule meetings with you in seconds.
4. Automating Social Media Management
In small businesses, the animation and management of different social networks can quickly become a headache for a single person. Collaboration and automation platforms like Later and Hootsuite allow for teamwork and information sharing. With this, you can schedule posts in a calendar ahead of time and you can share access to that account with the rest of your social media team. You can connect multiple networks to it, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This makes it much easier to share the work and plan ahead.
5. Automating Recurring Payments
Finally, go over your monthly and annual subscriptions to make them automatically renewable. Some purchases or rentals are necessary for your business and must be renewed anyway, such as your domain names, your website hosting, some software, etc. By activating automatic renewal, you will save time. Sometimes you can even save money by choosing a longer renewal period (e.g. every five years instead of every year). This is especially relevant for long-term leases, such as your website’s domain name (URL).
Simply put, automating your business can begin with small tasks, when combined, will save you time and money. Your actions will be more efficient and better targeted, and help you better manage your business.