Automate what you hate

Question: Who likes doing the same boring task over and over?
Answer: Nobody

So how do escape the grind of repetitive tasks? Automation. Automation is the use of technology to perform recurring tasks in place of manual effort.

Automation isn’t just for big companies in fact small businesses can and should look to reap the benefits of it in their operations. Automation can help to streamline business operations, increase efficiency, improve productivity and lower costs.

Still not sure? Here are four reasons to automate the repetitive tasks you hate:

  1. Reduce labour costs
    The biggest cost for a lot of small business is people. Automation reduces the amount of time that employees spend performing tasks that do not add much value to your business.
  2. Minimise errors
    Automation improves the accuracy of business operations. Everything from invoicing to inventory management can be automated to reduce errors due to manual data entry. As an example, Quickbooks Online allows you to set up recurring invoices for customers and the collection process (this also means you get paid faster).
  3. Improve customer experience
    An automated system such as a help centre or chatbot customer support can be used to provide 24/7 support while reducing the cost and increasing customer satisfaction. This week I was refunded for an online item in only 90 seconds after interacting with a from Woolies chatbot. Achieving the same result usually takes at least five minutes of frustration on the phone.
  4. Increase employee satisfaction
    Earlier I asked who likes doing boring repetitive tasks and the answer was nobody. Remember, that includes your staff too. Automation presents an interesting opportunity to remove repetitive, low value work like data entry that staff hate. It allows team members who want to get more valuable work done the opportunity to do just that.

Ultimately automation offers small-business owners too many benefits to pass up and getting started is easier than you think. Examine your current workflows to identify manual repetitive tasks in your business that don’t add much value. Analyse and improve the processes you already have in place, then standardise and automate that workflow.

Question: Who wants to automate their boring repetitive tasks?
Answer: Everybody

Kane Munro, Director, Accountancy Online

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