Automation is the future, but it’s the present as well. Automation works for so many niches and in so many departments. It can save you money, but it saves you from massive logistical headaches as well, which is why business should consider automating.
In this article, we’ll talk about five automation areas that can transform the way your company does business. If you haven’t looked at automating these areas yet, by the time we finish, you might want to look into various SaaS options and the useful software suites that exist now. Any business should consider automating these processes.
The accounts payable department is one of your company’s nerve centers. This is where you have the individuals whose job it is to monitor the bills that come in. Those bills might be for things like:
- Raw materials with which you make your products
- Various services your business needs to keep running smoothly
You should have a good relationship with your vendors. You want to be able to quickly pay any company or individual that supplies your business with whatever it needs to survive and thrive.
You’ll want AP automation because without it, you’re stuck keeping track of all those invoices. You’ll probably need to maintain lots of filing cabinets that take up a lot of space. You’ll need to rent a brick-and-mortar location, which is another monthly expense.
The other option is a building purchase, which costs even more. AP automation allows you to forget about all of that. Also, you can more easily comply with government oversight if the state or federal government requires that you maintain all those invoices for tax purposes for multiple years.
The accounts receivable department is just as important as accounts payable. You might argue that it’s even more critical because:
- This department keeps track of everyone who owes you money
- They maintain records of who your biggest buyers are
You want to automate this department for many of the same reasons you want AP automation. You won’t have all those paper copies of bills you’ve sent out to your various clients.
If anything happens to your paper copies of bills you’ve sent out, that could be a disaster if you haven’t backed them up in the cloud and automated the whole system.
You might not be able to determine who bought what from you, and what discounts or special deals you gave them. If they’re dishonest, they might tally up the total differently, and you won’t have any files to dispute those claims.
Your Social Media Marketing Efforts
Nearly all businesses these days need to use social media. If you don’t have a social media presence, you seem like a lumbering dinosaur. Other companies that are active on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., will seem like the far superior choice if you make similar products or offer identical services.
You’ll probably want to hire a social media marketing manager to handle the daily posts. You don’t want to bombard your followers with constant content, but you should still be consistently active, regardless of which platforms you’re using.
It’s a time waste if you have your social media manager waiting for the right time of day to send out each message, though. They probably have other things to do, like tabulating market research and analytics analysis. They will need tools like a top Instagram bot to automate follower growth for instance.
You can use handy automation tools like Hootsuite to post your social media messages at whatever times of day you determine the most people will see them. You’ll need to engage in some research to determine when those times are, as well as what kinds of content your fans respond to the most. You can even automate liker apps for Instagram, amongst other social media platforms.
Your Blogging Efforts
Assuming you have a business website, you’ve also probably decided to feature a company blog there. This is where you can speak about anything business-related. You can also talk about topical subjects if you feel like they relate to your services or products somehow.
Much like social media, you could assign someone the responsibility of posting a new blog on what seems like the best day to do so. You might post two new blogs per week, or whatever number seems best based on your analytics research.
You can automate this process as well. You can tell WordPress or whatever other content management system you’re using when you want to publish each new blog, and it will do that for you.
This way, you’ll know that you have fresh blog content up every week. Having consistently new content is one way that Google will keep your company’s website at the top of the rankings.
You can also feature a company newsletter every week that talks about your services and products. Maybe you’ll also use it to talk about your stance regarding hot-button topics within your industry or outside of it. If you take a stand for or against a particular issue, that can be a great way to attract some new customers, provided you handle the topic delicately.
You can automate newsletter publication if you have a list of previous customers or those who have signed up for the newsletter via your website or social media channels. The automated newsletter goes out, and it’s a way to subtly remind your fan base each week that you exist and have things they might want to purchase.
You can also automate marketing emails that tell your current and former customers about sales or promotions you’re running or new products or services you’ve created. The trick is only sending out enough marketing emails to keep them interested without bombarding them with content. One or two emails per week are probably fine, but any more than that is pushing it.
Companies love automation because it can simplify many tedious tasks that would otherwise monopolize their employees’ time and energy which is why business should consider automating. You might be able to avoid automation if you’re a large company. If you’re a small one, however, you don’t have unlimited resources, and there are probably more productive ways that all of your employees should be spending their time. Any business should consider automating these processes.