5 Things to Automate in 2020 and Minimize Operational Cost

The major issue in 2020 is obviously Covid-19. The Corona Virus has affected every country and every sector from business and investment to education and travel. If you have a business, you obviously are looking for how to cut your operating costs so that you not only survive during this pandemic but also save money on staff, even make little more money. Here’s how you can do this.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

CRM software allows you to manage and track your sales leads, appointments, contacts, and conversations without having to manually input everything in a spreadsheet. You can let your sales manager use a CRM to control marketing campaigns, data analysis, and customer care.

You can use Zoho CRM (minimum of $30 per month) to create email marketing campaigns and manage your social media in one platform. SugarCRM (minimum of $480 per year) lets you do sales forecasting and manage incoming customer requests.

Payroll

Most small business owners dread paydays. Not only because you have to shed cash on your staff’s salary, but you also need to spend some time to do various computations for taxes and benefits. Needless to say, you have to make sure that every deductions, claims, bonuses and overtime pay has to be accurate. Fortunately, you can automate payroll and accounting.

The eVantage HR (minimum of $22) provides payroll-related services including calculation of monthly payroll, monitoring and tracking employee and statutory deductions. On the other hand, INFO-PAY (minimum of $420+) has a developed integrated HR system that includes Time Attendance System, E-mail Payslip, Employee’s Web portal, online payments and tracks salary increment.

Invoicing

As a business owner, you need to keep track of your accounts receivable though it means filling out and sending an invoice every time a client makes a transaction. Imagine multiple transactions in a day with only one staff to do the invoicing. This usually takes too much time and effort unless you automate your invoicing.

QuickBooks (starts at $15 per month) allows you to set up a custom invoice template and keep track which accounts are paid or overdue.

Inventory Management

Automating your inventory management can increase efficiency and improve accuracy. While it is vital to have these benefits for your businesses, many entrepreneurs hesitate to adopt inventory management automation. They think it will cost too much and it will take a long time to get used to. While it is true that you have to initially spend on it, it is assuring to know that some money lenders like Cash Martian lend you instant cash for your small business.

When you use an inventory management system, you can easily keep track of your products’ location and availability, retrieve information about a specific lot number, plan out reservations, and calculate how much product to reorder. EZ Office Inventory will let you do these and more at $95.00 per month.

Content Marketing

Automating your content marketing will save you more time and money. Now, these are the advantages all business owners want. Yet, to set your expectations straight, you will need various tools and software to improve your overall content marketing strategy.

There are three things that you can automate when it comes to content marketing: creation, curation, and distribution.

With content creation, no Artificial Intelligence (AI) can come up with truly creative ideas but you can use tools to help you make better content such as the headline analyzer CoSchedule (free of charge). You can use DrumUp (starts at $15 per months) to sort through billions of pieces of content and recommend the most relevant to your target audience. You can also link your blog updates to post on your social media accounts.

Tips to Introduce Automation to Your Business

Once you have chosen which software or app you want to use in your business process, you need to introduce it to your staff. It’s one thing to reduce the workload of your staff but making them adjust to the automation is another story. Here are some tips to help you implement your business automation smoothly.

Let Your Staff Fully Understand the Process

You need to take some time and take a look at the process itself. At the same time, you and the staff who will get to use the software must evaluate the process and look for changes you can still make to maximize the benefits of automation.

Help the Team Adopt

Your automation can only work if the people using it can properly adapt to it. Naturally, change is hard. Allow a training and adjustment period to any automation you introduce to your business.

Calculate the ROI

At the end of the day, the Return on Investment will tell you if you are on the right track. Compare the time, efficiency, and costs it will take to do a certain process manually and with automation. Take advantage of the free trials to get the feet of the automation first before subscribing.

Consider the Security Risks

Automation makes things easier and faster, but it can also do the same for a malicious attacker looking for a backdoor to extract information. Be mindful of your data security and plan ahead.

Consider Long Term Solutions

Make sure that you are using scalable cloud-based systems and third-party apps. When your company grows, your process has to grow flexibly with it. Your solution must adapt to future changes.

The compounding effect of business automation is truly profound. Optimizing on business automation can give your small business a better fighting chance against giant brands. Though automation can save you time and money, even though it might take a while to get used to.

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