Automation helps business operations streamline and increase their efficiency. It is a crucial part of running large corporations. Where small businesses are concerned, however, automation as a necessity is debatable.
We called on the experts to gain a better understanding of automation and its necessity for smaller businesses. Business and tech experts discuss the importance of automation and whether it is necessary for smaller businesses to ensure their success.
Necessary: Scaling Up
We are lucky to be living in a digital age where information is being processed at top speed. Digitalization and automation are also more accessible than ever. Small business owners should realize that automation can also be utilized in their companies.
Automation allows small businesses to scale up their operations without the need for hiring additional employees. There are also a lot of automation tools that can track a company’s operations more efficiently. These are cost-efficient methods to help the business run in the most effective way possible.
Emily Cooper, Founder, and General Director Oliver Wicks
Necessary: Sales and Marketing
Definitely yes, automation is necessary for small businesses. Small businesses can automate monotonous processes with new technological breakthroughs in marketing, allowing them to reach a larger audience and enhance sales.
Small businesses can use marketing automation software to reach out to customers through a variety of channels, including email, social media, and websites. It can assist small businesses in generating new leads and making it easier for them to act on those leads.
Small businesses can also benefit from automation by having easier access to data on how potential customers react to their marketing efforts. This can assist small firms in better tailoring their marketing campaigns to entice potential clients and convert them to sales.
Daniel Foley, SEO Manager at MCS Rental Software
Not Necessary: Creativity Should be Used With Analytics
I don’t believe that automation is a necessity for small businesses. In an industry like SEO, where both creative and analytical thinking is key, automation isn’t something I like to implement. Every client and day is completely different, and too much can change in the landscape at any one time.
Critical thinking is too frequently required when running a small business, and the risk of one process becoming automated and then failing is far too great and would take up far too much time to recover. I’d much prefer to pay trusted freelancers to fill any knowledge/skills gaps.
Joe Fisher owns the SEO Agency; Opticlick
Necessary: Finance and Accounting
Automation in the financial and accounting industries is rapidly expanding, and automating these operations can free up resources for small enterprises in particular. Payment processing has seen a number of technological developments recently. This new software reduces processing times while also lowering expenses. Payments are tracked automatically, which eliminates the need for human bookkeeping.
Zaeem Chaudhary, Architectural Draftsman at AC Design Solutions
Necessary: Human Resources
Human resource departments can use automation to speed up the talent acquisition process. Interview scheduling, background and reference checks, analytics/measurement, and finding candidates are among the procedures that human resources executives would like to see automated, according to a study. In order to handle incoming talent searches, new software systems have been developed.
Even new technology such as chatbots and artificial intelligence is being used to communicate with prospects. Job advertisements, sourcing, candidate rediscovery, and resume screening are all using artificial intelligence. This technology is being used by businesses to conduct interviews and assess candidate behavior. With applicant tracking, automation can also help during the hiring process.
Gerrid Smith, Founder of Corporate Investigation Consulting
Necessary: Improving Customer Experience
Yes, for sure. One of the most important benefits of small business automation is the ability to improve customer satisfaction by improving communication. Whether it’s a complaint or a simple query, you can effortlessly send automatic messages to clients to guarantee that their cases are being handled. Responding in real-time helps you to effortlessly increase brand loyalty.
Ariana Flynn, Marketing and Communications Manager at ProxyRack
Not Necessary: External Operations Should Have Human Connection
There is no doubt that automation is the future for all types of businesses. But in my experience, people gravitate towards small businesses for the human connection and personal touch of talking to someone when they are looking for information and want to ask questions.
It also builds trust for different consumer segments while handling financial transactions. At the end of the day, small businesses thrive through loyal customers, and the way to do that is not by automating external business transactions.
Necessary: For Internal Operations
On the flip side of this, automation will allow small businesses to compete with large corporations, but that isn’t the appeal that draws in consumers to small businesses. Therefore, automation should be done for only internal operations for small businesses, not external ones.
Marc Tonkin, Founder Travel Blog; JTG Travel
Necessary: Simplify The Workflow Of Your Business
Automation is very important in order to simplify the workflow of your business. Most employees have repetitive tasks that take up their time, so when you automate them, they can start with their other tasks, those that need analysis and logical thinking. When they have more time to do more complicated tasks, then their outputs are produced faster with higher quality.
Automation also allows the data to be error-free. This is especially important in inventory and sales data. With error-free inventory and sales data, you can order proper items that need to be restocked, and you can correctly analyze the trends in your company operations.
If employees are the ones inputting the data, there is a high chance for human error, which can result in wrong data analysis and even wrong items ordered for the inventory. This can greatly affect the company’s finances.
Craig Miller, Co-Founder Academia Labs LLC