How Automation Changes The Game For Startups
Automation is one of these big buzzwords that you tend to hear being thrown around the business sphere. However, automation does hold the potential to help businesses increase their efficiency and productivity if implemented well, especially for startups.
When a startup fails, many might simply write it off as a bad idea that was never going anywhere. However, In most cases, it is more due to a lack of planning, resources, or execution. The biggest reason for this is that startups tend to lack the capabilities, both human and financial capital, that bigger companies have. But startups around the world are beginning to believe that automation is the key to success.
The helping hand of success
Every startup founder or small business owner knows exactly how hard it is to scale their business. They might find some success, and maybe even a small core customer base, but they find themselves unable to take things to the next level. It is just like the old saying: “You have got to spend money to make money”. In order to become a bigger business, you are going to need access to more resources.
This is where automation comes in. Automation technology can take many forms and perform many functions, but in general, it lets you do more with less by allowing you to streamline certain tasks and continue scaling without requiring additional resources. In terms of startups, automation can offer several key benefits:
Automating business processes that you have otherwise been told to handle by hand can save you a lot of time and hassle. Automation helps to free up this time so that it can be better used elsewhere.
When information is stored manually, it can easily become compartmentalised and scattered throughout an organisation’s teams or systems. This makes it difficult to find the correct information you need. Imagine if a client calls, asking for specific information that you do not have. You will have to scramble to find someone who does have said information, wasting precious time. Automation can help streamline the communications between different departments to more effectively serve customers.
The advantages that automation offers make standardisation across the board a much more realistic and achievable goal for companies both big and small. People can sometimes be rather inconsistent, especially when it comes to the storage and retrieval of information. As such, automation can help to deal with many errors and issues that startups typically have to work through in the early stages of growth.
A better use of employees
People often say that AI will take away many jobs. While to a certain extent this may be true, automation technology is actually well suited to allow companies to make better use of their human capital. Rather than having employees do tedious repetitive tasks, automated systems can take over, freeing up employees to do more engaging work.
Some areas where automation can be useful
There is a clear value in utilising automation in a business. However, most entrepreneurs and small business owners might not know where to begin implementing automation. In general, there are four areas you can start with to get the most bang for your buck. These include:
The marketing department is a crucial part of a small business’ success. Marketing automation is the process of streamlining marketing efforts without taking away the warmth and empathy of interacting with customers and clients.
Marketing automation is invaluable if a company is experiencing rapid growth and no longer has the time to manually reach out to every potential lead. Complex marketing processes need to be simplified. An example of marketing automation would be a website visitor filling out a subscription form and opting into your email list. When a user decides to opt-in, they will click the button, and a welcome email is automatically sent to their inbox.
HR departments will often rely heavily on documents, form, and resources. Keeping track of it all will take a large and efficient team, requiring a substantial amount of time and preparation. Automation can help by eliminating repetitive tasks such as employee onboarding administration, payroll, timekeeping, and benefits administration. This frees HR employees to focus on more strategic tasks that are more valuable to the company while also leaving less room for human error.
Supply chain and logistics
Trying to manage supply chains and logistics manually can be a nightmare. People have to deal with changing orders and processes from month to month, which can result in the removal of some consistency. Automation in supply chain management can come in the form of both software and hardware. Software supply chain automation can involve tools to help handle menial data entry tasks, while the hardware can include AI-driven robotics to help with warehouse management and product storage/retrieval.
One lesser known use of automation is to conduct effective competitive analysis so that companies can understand their marketplace better and what is going on around it. This is doubly important for smaller and new companies who need to be hyper aware of their surroundings to ensure they are able to keep up competitively.
One example of competitive analysis is using automated price comparisons. These are a fantastic way to benchmark against competitors and incorporate business intelligence into the pricing strategy.
Making automation work for you
As you probably already know by now, automation is a very broad term. It can be used to refer to any number of tools. However, the most basic function of automation should be to make life easier on you and your business. It streamlines mundane tasks, consolidates resources, and gives you and your employees the ability to focus time, energy, and money on more complex and high-returning tasks.
Read More: Are You In Danger Of Being Replaced By AI?