Increasing profit is at the top of every business's to-do list, but finding areas to cut back isn’t always straightforward. Trimming budgets is challenging, especially in small businesses operating on a lean budget to begin with. Even if you try to cut back expenses, the same amount of work still needs to be done, and a smaller budget means you have fewer resources to complete it. But business process automation increases efficiency while simultaneously reducing costs.
Finding ways to automate business processes doesn’t just save time, although that’s an enormous benefit. It increases accuracy, reduces costs, ensures necessary steps are taken, and can provide your company with reliable, consistent results.
What is a Business Process Automation
Some tasks or processes need to be completed daily, weekly, or semi-regularly when certain events occur, such as hiring a new employee. When an employee has to manually take each task from start to finish, they spend precious time completing these regular tasks which could be done automatically.
Automating business processes means making these tasks occur automatically with technology, with little or no human input. Automation can help complete steps such as data entry or moving a process to the next step without needing a human to do it.
Benefits of Automating Business Processes
The benefits of automating business processes stretch beyond the financial and time savings. Automating processes can:
- Result in increased accuracy
- Reduce the need for manual data input
- Ensure all the appropriate steps in the process are completed
- Result in cost savings
- Allow employees to complete more work in less time
- Give employees opportunity for career growth as repetitive tasks are taken off of their plates
- Help scale your business without adding to your employees’ workload
Some process automation examples include payroll, invoicing, chatbots, employee onboarding, and even tasks like customer support.
5 Key Areas of your Business to Automate
Almost any business can benefit from some level of process automation. Small businesses can benefit from using business automation software and sales automation tools, while larger businesses may even consider hiring a service to build specialized software to help them automate their processes.
When you’re thinking of how to automate your business, look for tasks that are
- Don’t require a lot of unique thought
- Have standardized steps
- Prone to mistakes with human input
No matter what type of business you have, here are a few key areas you should consider automating processes.
Accounting and Financial Processes
These processes are excellent examples of automation in business. Payroll occurs regularly and, when it requires human input, it can easily lead to errors which then take even more time to correct.
Invoicing is another process that can be automated, and even payment reminders and confirmations can be automated. Moving to cloud invoicing helps you get paid faster and keeps your customers informed.
Expense tracking can also be automated by scheduling recurring expenses, automatically categorizing them, or sending reminders of bills due so you never have to make a late payment.
Marketing automation software for small businesses may include services like chatbots to help answer questions when your employees are off the clock, follow-up emails, and even implementing processes such as email drip campaigns. When these processes happen automatically, your revenue can increase without costing your employees time.
Human Resources Management
Small business automation tools can help make processes such as onboarding a new employee flow seamlessly while avoiding piles of paperwork, skipped steps, and confusion for new employees. Employee time tracking can also be automated with time tracking software and can be billed directly to clients when needed.
Client Success and Customer Support
Your employees aren’t always available, but automated customer support can be on the clock at all hours of the day. Using automation business ideas like chatbots, email automation, and self-service help centers are just a few ways automation can help your business and your customers.
Closing sales may not be completely automatable, but sales automation tools can help you narrow the gap between prospects and sales. Automating business processes like follow-up emails can make sure you never forget to follow up with a potential customer, and automated email nurturing sequences can turn prospects into buyers. This can be especially beneficial for small businesses, where automation can have an even greater impact on sales.
How Elorus Could Help you Automate Your Business
Automating business processes doesn’t require a degree in programming or other advanced technical skills. Software like Elorus can help you automate multiple processes with one easy-to-access solution. Here are just a few of the benefits of using Elorus to help automate your business processes.
Invoicing has never been easier with Elorus’s automated invoicing. Customize your invoice with your logo and terms and conditions, and pick the color schemes and styles that match your brand. You can even bill your customers directly for hours worked without the hassle of calculating them yourself.
Using the invoicing software, you can send clients quotes, which they can accept or suggest changes to. You can also automate recurring invoices by scheduling billing to automatically generate invoices.
Do you have international clients? Elorus’s invoicing software issues invoices in seven languages, but you can add your own translations too!
With Elorus’s time tracking software, employees can easily track their work time with the click of a button. Better yet, this time can be categorized as billable or non-billable and billed directly to clients when needed. You can also share timesheets directly with your clients through the dedicated client portal.
You can view total work hours by day, week, by project, and more, so you’re always aware of your expenses and on top of your budget.
Elorus also integrates with project management software, helping keep your team moving on projects and making sure everyone is on the same page in the workflow.
Managing expenses has never been easier with Elorus’s expense management features. Quickly upload receipts, tag them as billable if necessary, and assign them to certain projects to help simplify your accounting and invoicing. You can directly upload any receipts, saving you the time of filing and managing paper. When it’s time to do your taxes, invite your accountant to your Elorus account so (s)he will have direct access to your expenses to follow the prescribed procedures.
Business automation has enormous benefits for your company. Not only does it save your employees time, but it also increases accuracy and efficiency by reducing or removing the need for employees to complete repetitive tasks.
Learning how to automate tasks may take some thought at the beginning, but workflow automation is key for small businesses to grow and lower their overhead. As your company grows, automated business processes keep your employees from getting overwhelmed and keep your overhead manageable so you can avoid the growing pains many small businesses have.