5 Business Processes You Need to Automate

Starting and operating a profitable business is one of the most rewarding experiences you will encounter in life. The rewards extend far beyond dollars and cents. For many startup founders and entrepreneurs, their business becomes a way of life and touches every aspect of their existence.

So it makes sense that you want to take good care of your baby and see it prosper!

As you know, growing your business out of the startup stage and making it profitable is all about leverage. Without leverage, you will simply grind yourself into the dust trying to achieve positive cash flow.

One of the best ways to create leverage in your business is by using advanced technology to replace human workers in select parts of your operation. Digital technology, online systems, robotics and artificial intelligence can drive down your costs over the long run and bring your business into the black in a big way.

Here are five processes where you can use technology to automate your business and drive profits.

Online Sales

Look around you today, and you’re likely to notice a serious trend: brick-and-mortar businesses are shifting toward online sales. Why? Because people are shifting their shopping habits from retail stores to online stores.

But many companies still didn’t get the memo.

If your business doesn’t yet have an e-commerce website set up to make sales automatically, then that needs to become one of your top priorities. Retail software and email automation streamlines the sales process — improving customer interactions and boosting conversions.

Many of your competitors are already making automated sales through their websites while they sleep. What is holding you back from doing the same?

Get that e-commerce website up and running ASAP!

Social Media Marketing

Another process you can automate is your social media marketing. Sure, you’ll still need to have real humans create content and interact with your followers and customers, but there are many aspects of social media that can be automated to reduce costs and free up resources for other tasks.

The most efficient way to manage your social accounts is to batch the content creation and then preschedule all of your posts to go out automatically according to your publishing calendar.

Today’s social media software tools make it easy to set up posts and automatically distribute them across all your social channels. Just load all the text, images and videos. Then schedule the dates and times for each of them to go live on each platform. All it takes is a few hours every quarter to set everything up—maybe even less than that.

In-Store Cashier Checkout

You’ve probably already used the self-checkout lines at supermarkets and retail stores yourself, so you can see how easily this process can be automated. Replacing human employees with machines isn’t just the wave of the future. It’s already here and is bound to expand in ways that many of us cannot even imagine.

As the technology improves and becomes more affordable, start looking for ways to eliminate low-value entry-level positions and automate them with machines and artificial intelligence. There is a lot of potential here for cutting costs and streamlining processes.

Manufacturing

According to Primus Builders, “Automation brings many advantages, starting with energy savings. Automated spaces require a smaller building footprint, reduced cubic space and a smaller roof surface.” Aside from energy savings, factories have been using machines and robots to improve efficiency and productivity for decades, saving on time and overall costs.

But if you are just getting started, you might still be relying on humans at many points in your manufacturing chain. Setting up machines and robots to eliminate many of those manufacturing jobs will speed up production and reduce costs in the long run. It’s really not even an option. This is something that you need to do as quickly as possible. The return on investment makes it a necessity.

Lead Generation

If you run a B2B or service-oriented business, then lead generation is vital to your success. You need to have a steady flow of leads in the pipeline to fuel future sales, but outbound sales can be a slow and costly process.

This is where inbound marketing and lead automation comes to the rescue. With a solid content marketing plan in place, you can set up your website with landing pages to capture new leads that are drawn to your blog content.

You can have separate landing pages depending on the stage that your website visitor is at in the buying process. Warmed up leads can go straight to a sales page, while cold leads can be sent to a free tripwire product where you can get them into your email funnel and begin building trust with them as you introduce them to your brand and services.

Once all the landing pages and email content are set up, this whole process can take place automatically without any interaction from you or your employees. It can move along on autopilot, converting cold leads into paying customers 24/7/365.

To get your business up to speed, efficiency and leverage will be key, and automation will play a big part in your success. Start taking a more in-depth look at the various processes of your own business and see how some of these tips above can apply to your operations.

There are a million ways to cut costs, speed up production and automate sales, marketing, and distribution. Hopefully, the ideas presented here will act as a springboard to help you implement necessary changes and take your company to the next level.

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