Most people would agree that business automation is important, especially as your business grows. It’s difficult to scale your business if you don’t have the tools and systems in place to support that growth. But there are several schools of thought about when is the best time to start automating.
While some would argue there’s never a bad time to kick-start some automation, there are ways to be strategic about it. Certainly, some businesses are well and truly winding down for a break in December, but we’ve got some thoughts about how the holiday period can be a lot more productive.
What is business automation?
Business automation encompasses a range of different things. Essentially, it means automating parts of your operations to make things more efficient. Who wouldn’t want a bit more efficiency? The issue is, people don’t always have a good understanding of what can be automated, let alone how to go about it.
You can actually automate a lot, including marketing tasks, sales, accounting, delivery and logistics, and all types of workflows. One of the more popular ways to automate tasks is by implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) system. Businesses all over the world use CRMs to handle email communication, sales workflows, customer service, and all of a sudden, life gets a whole lot easier!
The benefits of business automation
It might sound obvious, but business automation can absolutely transform the way you do things. Let’s consider for example, you’ve got a small to medium business employing around 20 people. You might have a sales team, admin staff, payroll and accounting, and perhaps a warehouse managing deliveries. Until now, you’ve done everything manually or using a range of different computer systems. Data is transferred manually, there’s duplication, and your staff are bogged down in repetitive tasks.
Your sales team spend more time on admin than they do on making sales. Your managers can’t do much about strategy and business growth, because they’re bogged down in paperwork too. So, how do you grow your business when nobody has any time?
Rather than throwing more staff at the workload, the smarter choice is automating your processes.
Why is December a good time to plan?
Many businesses treat December like a wind-down period. It’s natural after a long year to sit back and celebrate achievements while looking forward to a break. But this period also usually comes with high hopes of business growth and more success in the new year. But the holiday period, as much fun as it is, can seriously slow down that intended business growth.
When you come back from holidays in January, there’s usually a lot of catch-up to do. Lots of work to do, orders to process and customer issues to manage. Once again, those plans for business growth start to fall by the wayside.
So, in December, if you can find time to start implementing some automation, you’ve got a great opportunity to start the new year with a fresh approach.
Workflows can be implemented in December, making task allocation so much easier in January. Install a CRM in December, with staff training ready to kick off in the new year. You can automate marketing tasks, even sales communications. So, you’re gathering new business and leads even while the office is closed.
Ultimate, December is actually a great way to start some serious planning for the new year. Enjoy the celebrations, but use the time wisely to start thinking about business automation. With any luck, your December celebrations may be even bigger next year!