According to the most recent Small and Medium Business Trends Report, small businesses that are embracing automation are thriving, while those not embracing automation are struggling. As part of the report, Salesforce Research, a cloud computing company, surveyed 500 small business owners representing companies with less than 200 employees. The study found that small businesses automating their processes are 1.6-times more likely to be growing than those that don’t. Similarly, growing small businesses were found to be twice as likely to adopt artificial intelligence as stagnant businesses.
This report demonstrates that while automation is often heralded as a destroyer of small businesses, it can actually help them succeed. In particular, automation is a beneficial component in helping small businesses scale. Traditionally, small businesses looking to scale would have to invest in people and processes, but automation can help small businesses scale without having to hire more people or invest valuable resources in revamping processes.
Overall, automation can help small businesses digitize their enterprise by taking tasks that were previously done manually, such as customer information management and data analytics, and streamlining them. Here are three areas where automation can improve internal efficiency for small businesses.
Sales and Marketing
According to emailmonday, a marketing consultancy firm, 51 percent of companies are using marketing automation. With new technological innovations in marketing, small businesses can automate repetitive tasks, allowing them to reach a wider audience and increase sales. Marketing automation software allows small businesses to reach customers on multiple channels, including email, social media and websites. It can help small businesses generate new leads and allow them to act on leads more easily. Automation can also help small businesses more easily access information on how potential customers react to their marketing efforts. This can help small businesses adapt their marketing campaigns to better entice potential customers and convert these leads to sales.
Finance and Accounting
According to a recent report by software company Xero, 72 percent of small businesses continue to rely on human accountants despite advancements in automated accounting technology. But automation in the finance and accounting sectors is growing exponentially and for small businesses in particular, automating these processes can free up resources. Recently there have been a number of technological advancements in payment processing. These new softwares speed up processing times and reduce costs. They also eliminate the need for manual accounting as payments are tracked automatically.
Automation can be utilized by human resource departments to streamline the talent acquisition process. According to a recent report by Ideal, a recruitment automation company, the processes human resources officers would most like to see automated are interview scheduling, background and reference checking, analytics/measurement, and sourcing candidates. New software programs have been created to handle inbound talent searches. And new tech like chatbots and artificial intelligence is even being used to interact with candidates. Artificial intelligence alone is currently being used in job postings, sourcing, candidate rediscovery and resume screening. Companies are utilizing this technology to conduct interviews and evaluate candidate behavior. Automation can also help throughout the hiring process with applicant tracking.
By automating different sectors of their operations, small businesses can increase efficiency and focus valuable resources in other areas that allow them to grow and thrive.
If you’re thinking about incorporating automation into your small business, but don’t know where to start, contact TTG for a free consultation. We offer customer service automation solutions that grow with your business. Our cloud-based software, provided in partnership with Zendesk, allows small businesses to provide an exemplary customer service experience.