Technology is here to stay. However, that doesn’t mean it’s going to appear in your business without any effort. If you want to keep up with the technological times, you have to be proactive.
There are many simple ways that you can integrate tech into an existing business. Tech and automation have always been helpful for reducing menial tasks and freeing up manpower for other activities. In the post-coronavirus, remote-first era, though, it can be extra helpful to have automation on your side.
Here are a few of the best ways that you can automate your business in 2021.
Often it’s the small things that causes the biggest headaches. When the world went remote in 2020, businesses shifted to online operations overnight. Over time, small in-person activities began to pop up that required an online solution. One of these was signatures.
Unless you’re ready to equip every remote employee with a fax machine, signatures are a business item that is ripe for automation. There are already electronic signature software options available. These don’t just make it easy to sign an electronic signature, either. Some automate the entire signing process.
From requesting a signature to signing and maintaining digital copies, e-signatures are a great automation move for the upcoming year.
2. Website Analytics
Analytics aren’t just important. They’re the future. In most cases, the more data you can gather and process, the better off you’ll be. This is even truer for e-commerce activity. Running an e-commerce website requires landing pages, shopping carts, and payment options.
Throughout this process, it’s wise to harvest as much customer information as you can. In the past, the best way to do this was with surveys and phone calls. Now, you can install a program like Google Analytics to do the work for you.
Analytics programs track visitors to your site. They also can monitor things like conversions and dwell time. By automating your analytics process, you can arm your business with an arsenal of powerful information. You can use this to make important decisions in the future.
In spite of its age, email remains a mainstay of the business world. It’s used for internal business operations on a daily, often hourly, basis. It also is a key factor in many marketing strategies. There are many different ways that you can automate email, such as:
- Sign ups: Embed a signup form on your homepage. If you have a free piece of downloadable content, offer it in exchange for customer emails, too. This is a great way to automatically generate leads.
- Email funnels: Email funnels are powerful selling tools. They consist of a series of consecutive, prewritten emails sent at specific times. For instance, when someone signs up for your email list, they can automatically slide into an email funnel. This can send them an email a day for a few days showing them more information about your company.
- Abandoned cart emails: Abandon cart emails are on the other side of the sales process. These are sent when a customer leaves unpurchased items in their cart. If they leave them too long, you can have an automated email sent to remind them of their pending purchase.
There are many ways to automate email. In fact, prioritizing the automation of your email is more important than most things on this list. Why? Because the average office employee spends a whopping average of two-and-a-half hours a day managing emails.
4. Office Supplies
It doesn’t matter if your team is working remotely or in a physical office. You likely need office supplies from time to time. However, hunting down good prices for small office supply purchases can be time consuming.
You can save both time and money by joining a Group Purchasing Organization. This is an organization that does the dirty work when it comes to getting discounts and buying in bulk. GPOs represent multiple smaller businesses, which enables them to find the best prices and haggle over contracts for you.
5. Customer Service
Another great way to automate your business activities is to use a contact center as a service (CCaaS). This is a form of customer service software that organizes and streamlines your customer interactions.
Good CCaaS software can bring all of your customer contact points together into a single location. Everything from online chats to phone calls and emails are funneled to a single piece of software. From there, communications are automatically directed to the customer representative that can serve them best.
In addition, using a CCaaS means you won’t have to worry about bothersome updates or time-consuming IT concerns. The third party software is kept up to date for you.
It’s estimated that automating payroll reduces up to 80% of the costs associated with the activity. This is thanks to the fact that automation reduces human error. In addition, it can save you time spent dealing with forms, calculations, deposits, and so on.
Automating payroll also means you don’t have to worry about legal repercussions from tardy or incorrect payroll interactions. In other words, computerized software can send error-less paychecks with impeccable timing. You can also look into global payroll solutions if you plan to expand your team internationally. Choosing the right software now will save you time in the long run.
If you opt to automate your payroll, you can do so in multiple ways. For instance, you can purchase a stand-alone software and continue to conduct the activity in-house. You can also use a cloud-based third party software online. This is often helpful, as it stays up to date and has live help available.
As 2021 moves on, it’s wise to take steps to ensure that your business does, as well. The last thing you want to do is have your tech fall behind as you’re trying to recover from 2020. So review the above list. Then consider areas where your business is lacking automation. Are you avoiding it for a reason? Or have you simply not had time to address the issue?
If it’s the latter, take steps today to start finding a solution. Research your options. Once you’ve selected an automation software that you like, start considering what additional steps must take place. Do you need to train staff? Is there a recurring cost that must fit into the budget?
However you go about it, take the time to automate your business today. You’ll be thankful for it tomorrow.