In The US alone there are close to 30 million small businesses active right now. Unfortunately, around 10% of businesses close every year. The current economy is really tough for the small businesses. That is especially true when looking at many different responsibilities and tasks that are associated with actually running the firm.
Larger companies do have the needed resources and the manpower necessary to handle all tasks in an effective way. The small business simply does not and needs to spread administrative duties. This leaves limited time for employees to be able to focus on the core functions. Just 2 of humans can multitask and not perform worse at the same time.
Fortunately, there are many automation options available and all small businesses should consider making a shift towards increasing work efficiencies by automating processes.
What can be automated by the small business?
The viability of any organization is impacted by communication from partners, potential clients, clients and coworkers. Small businesses often hire receptionists or secretaries to handle such tasks but this can easily lead to other problems. Funds are diverted for the new employee and the incoming calls often end up interrupting workflow. There are cases in which dedicated operators are necessary but automated secretary systems will often be all that is necessary for the small business. These systems route calls, intercept the unknown numbers and prevent interruptions.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management)
Customer relationship management is incredibly important for business, especially for the small businesses that work hard to increase brand visibility and maintain current clients. Using CRM software facilitates communication with customers through a cloud based, dedicated system that houses important data like contacts, preferences and purchase history. Analytics can easily be used in order to streamline sales. Similarly to how seed to sale software works, everything is tracked and you can look at the information you gather as you make sales to make modifications in the system so sell even more in the future.
A large company has huge marketing budgets available and uses all media channels. A small company cannot do this because of limited capital. Automation can be really useful, although few managers consider this option.
There are various automated marketing solutions available at the moment. Most are especially created for the smaller businesses. Services offered normally include referral programs, email marketing, lead-scoring and automated campaigns. Marketing automation is actually used by over 60% of the small businesses that outgrow competitors, especially with social media campaigns through Facebook or Twitter.
The automation options mentioned above are definitely worth taking into account. You do have to seriously consider them and you should always look for other ways in which day-to-day operations are streamlined. Technology evolved to the point at which you never actually know what options have been created and that can benefit the small business. Being informed and making choices that reduce workflow problems is always a good idea. This is especially important for the small business that needs to improve results with a highly limited available budget.