Breaking with routine – 5 practical steps to automate your business

Breaking with routine – 5 practical steps to automate your business

As we’ve mentioned on this blog before, one of the key goals of business ownership is to create a business that works without you in it, and along with creating and implementing systems, a big part of this comes down to automation.

In addition to streamlining your processes and improving efficiency, automating elements of your business will save you both time and money, freeing up your resources, so that you can concentrate on running your core business.

In this post, we look at 5 practical tips to help you effectively automate your business.

Automate the people free processes first

When starting a process of automation, it’s best to target repetitive, back-end tasks where having a person involved doesn’t add any value.

A huge number of admin, accounting and IT tasks can be easily automated, and not only will you be able to save time, but you’ll also be able to reduce human error, and improve the accuracy of your data.

Examples of routine, people free jobs that can be easily automated using readily available, easy to implement processes and software include:

Admin

Data entry

Scheduling

Reporting

Finance

Estimates & invoicing

Bookkeeping

Receipts

Payment information

Projections

Payroll

IT

Backing up data

Antivirus protection

Updating software

Maintenance

Learn how to use your existing technology

Chances are that you already have the ability to automate dozens of processes in your business using the technology and software packages you already have in place, so make the most of them.

This means making sure that you and your employees understand the potential benefits of automation, and how to use the software and hardware at their disposal effectively to improve their efficiency at work.

Cultivate a culture of automation 

Whilst it’s your responsibility as business owner to encourage automation, generally, your employees are in the best position to create and implement it, and your best performers will often be those who have managed to automate the most.

Automation can feel like a dirty word to some employees, as they might be reluctant to automate tasks in the fear that they will automate themselves out of a job.

As a business owner, it’s your role to encourage automation and innovation, and to make the benefits of automation clear for your employees to see, both in terms of their current job, and future prospects.

You can actively encourage it by letting them know that if any employee automates themselves out of a role, they will be rewarded by a better, more lucrative position!

Outsourcing

Whilst outsourcing may not immediately seem like automation, it’s an integral part of the process – handing over a routine task to another organisation, so that you don’t have to worry about it.

There are benefits to outsourcing for every business, as no organisation can be the best at everything, and often, it’s more cost-effective and delivers better results than trying to do everything in-house.

Get your outsourcing right, and you’ll reap a number of business benefits, including:

  • Increased expertise
  • Lower costs
  • More reliable services
  • Reduced admin
  • Scalability and flexibility
  • Reduced risk

Ultimately, outsourcing routine tasks will enable you to focus on your core business.

Test, measure and document

Whatever automation you decide to implement, the most important thing is to keep track, test and measure them. Document what you do, keep track of your costs, and work out the return on investment in terms of both time and money.

This will help to ensure that they are cost-effective, efficient and aren’t negatively affecting business performance or customer service in any way. It will also serve as a good record of how far your business has developed, and how it has benefited from automation.

Finally, testing and measuring will help you to see where further improvements could be made, to ensure that your business keeps moving forward.

How Coach Pam can help

For further advice on business systems, outsourcing, or any aspect of building, developing and running a successful business, book a free, no obligation coaching session with Coach Pam today on 07540 888016.