The four tasks that all SMBs should really automate

small business owner happy about technologies

A small team can be very helpful for small businesses. The vast majority of small businesses have fewer than 100 employees. Millions more are considered "micro-businesses," meaning they employ no more than nine people. The owner of an SME is often the only employee.

Being the only member of your department can be beneficial in terms of overhead, but very detrimental to your work-life balance. 

If you have a lot of ambition but few resources, see if it is possible to automate some of your tasks.

What is work automation?

According Integromat"In its simplest form, work automation refers to the process of leveraging technology to accomplish tasks without human intervention."

In general, this means investing in software to handle basic repetitive tasks so that you can focus on more important tasks.

In its simplest form, work automation is the process of leveraging technology to accomplish tasks without human intervention.

Do you hate data entry? Can't stand being glued to social networks? Think you need a personal assistant to help you manage your schedule? Automation can help you outsource the things you like least about your job. 

No wonder 31% of companies have automated at least one work process. If you want to follow them, consider one of these four tasks as your starting point.

Automated marketing

It is extremely difficult to attract new customers if no one knows who you are. But getting known can be a full-time job on its own. That's why many small businesses choose to automate this task with social media scheduling tools, automated email campaigns, and solutions that monitor online mentions about their business.

Marketing automation results in an average 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead.

How effective is it? Recent studies published by Invesp CRO shows that "marketing automation results in an average 14.5% increase in sales productivity and a 12.2% reduction in marketing overhead. 80% of users who used marketing automation saw an increase in leads, and 77% experienced an increase in conversions."

Planning software

If managing your calendar is so laborious that you can't even imagine keeping track of an entire team, it's time to use a scheduling tool. Many of them make it easy to book meetings and can even help with planning the assignment of teams and colleagues abroad. 

The more you are able to collaborate with stakeholders, the smoother your operation will be. Tools such as conversational agents, targeted messaging and automatic email forwarding become very useful to ensure that no one misses anything important, even when your team is away.

Automated accounting

Who has the time to run a business and play accounting expert? With automated accounting tools, you can rely on technology to track income and expenses until tax time. 

Some software even offers users free versions with optional payroll features that can be managed from your smartphone. 

Conversational agents for customer service

You don't need to be available 24/7 to respond to customers as if you were. Forms, emails and chat can all be tracked by a conversational agent and handled with a simple automated request. A quick, friendly message can save you time. It can also incorporate relevant pre-made text to address questions and concerns in real time. 

You may also decide to use your knowledge base with automation tools to direct customers to forums, FAQs or blog posts that could answer their questions without them having to wait to speak to a representative. 

Automating work can give you a competitive edge while preventing burnout. Remember, while doing more with less sounds great, be careful not to automate everything. Your business is only as good as the people you hire and the personal relationships you build with your customers and partners.

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