Automation

Technology Should Boost your Business, Not Bury It: Tips on Automation

Entrepreneurship Op-eds

Since the start of the pandemic, many business owners have had to increase their automation in order to take their brick and mortar experiences online, in ever creative ways, without overwhelming them.   

We’re in the digital information age and in order to remain competitive, we have to learn to  adapt to the ever changing times. That certainly doesn’t make the selection process any less daunting for CEOs trying to navigate these social networking streets.

In this article, I’ll address 3 ways technology (through automation) should boost your business, not bury it. I’ll provide an example of what each looks like. 

Remote Software for Collaboration

Remote software technology has been around since 1987 when it first made its appearance in the United Kingdom, using a MS-DOS software program. While it was and has primarily been used since as an IT help desk function, since the pandemic, it’s become a means of accessing and maintaining complex systems all around the world.  

As the need for remote access and work increased, so did the need to be able to access any device, no matter where it was physically located. 

Tanisha, a beauty shop owner, has 7 locations across the country. You go girl! Tanisha does not like technology and feels it can add more problems than solutions.  

Buried In It: Tanisha is going to have to travel to each of those locations to physically look at online books, reports, and data she needs to do taxes, access funding, etc. 

Boosting It: Tanisha sets up remote desktop software at each of her locations where she can access the programs and data she needs as if she were right there at the computer herself.

Automation of Repetitive Human Tasks

Using the right set of tools to automate human tasks can dramatically change your business and the time you spend in it. While I certainly understand the need to hold on to essential operating tasks, it’s important to know the stronghold that may have on your ultimate growth. 

James runs and operates an ecommerce business on Amazon and eBay. James does not want anyone else to do these tasks because he feels nobody else is as capable as he is.    

Buried In It: Every day James has to sort through product data to determine the best items to sell, check his inventory, make sure things are restocked at the warehouse, and send all the transactional communication to clients pre and post purchase.   

Boosting It: James automates his emails with commands (If this happens, send this; if that happens, do this.)  All of these commands are “triggered” by the customer’s behavior using Customer Relationship Management, or CRM, software like Salesforce or Keap.  He then uses a program or Chrome Extension like Helium that automatically sources for new products and finds out how many people are selling it, right as you browse the website. With the program doing this for every single item you look at, imagine how much time he’s going to give back to himself by not having to manually source for products to sell. 

Cross Posting on Social Media Apps

Just as it sounds, cross posting is merely sharing the same content on multiple sites.  It can be time consuming if you have a profile on more than 2 or 3 sites. Not only does this strategy save time, it creates a social media strategy that can be streamlined. It also increases brand awareness by reaching people where they are.

Renee is a Health and Wellness Coach. She has 10 social media accounts. She doesn’t have any staff members.

Buried In It: Renee’ logs into each and every account, formats each post for that platform, and takes 2 entire days to create and schedule content for an entire week. 

Boosting It: Using a social media management platform like Hootsuite, simple tweaks to format the content for each platform inside one dashboard can save her an entire day of scheduling posts the old fashioned way.

There are a breadth of automation software tools out there. Find some that are specific to your industry and needs and keep in mind that free is not always best.

Author: Latasha Chubb

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