Changing the way you do business is a tough decision. Depending on how long you’ve been running things, the process can seem disruptive, overwhelming, and unappealing to everyone who works with you and for you. However, automating your operations shouldn’t seem that way to anyone. Automating your operations is meant to make your business run smoothly and give you more time to deal with other aspects that are holding you back from success.
Let’s look at seven questions to ask before you automate your operations and why each of these questions are essential to making the right choice.
7 Questions to Ask Before Automating Your Business Operations
Is automation right for your industry?
Not all businesses and services will be right for automation. This will depend on your industry, the size of your company and the types of processes you have in place for dealing with everything from internal communication to leads to client satisfaction. Before you answer this question firmly, sit down with a business operations specialist to determine what is right for your particular company.
Do you utilize a paper-heavy process that tends to fall through the cracks?
Any business still using paper as its primary source of communication and record keeping needs to take a hard look at how they’re doing business. Going paperless is something many companies are transitioning to and it helps make everything smoother by ensuring there’s a digital footprint to track. If you find that having a paper-based business is causing issues, such as miscues in communication and tasks falling through the cracks, it’s time to consider business automation and leave paper behind.
How often do your employees or contractors waste time finding the information they need to do their job?
When information is stored in multiple places, whether paper-based or paperless, it can be hard to find what you need when you need it the most. By automating your business practices, especially paperwork, everyone can find the forms and information they need to perform any task in one central location instead of wasting time searching for it.
How many different places do you store information to do a job?
Many companies that are still paper-based or utilize multiple tools online to do their job tend to have redundant information all over the place. This makes it harder to find everything from client communication to contracts to other pertinent data to do your job right, especially when dealing with vendors and clients. By automating how you store data and how it’s accessed, you can quickly find what you need without logging into several different places to do it.
How often does miscommunication, or lack of communication, affect your day-to-day business?
Miscommunication can be the difference between keeping clients on board and sending them to the competition. Whether the miscommunication occurs between client and customer or client and an employee, communication is critical in today’s marketplace. By ensuring communication takes place in a single entity between both client, employee, contractor, and customer, you can stay on top of any issues that develop, inform one another on tasks before completed, and ensure issues are nipped in the bud.
How many processes throughout your day can be combined to give your more time for other tasks?
Have you performed an audit on your business for redundant processes? You’ll be surprised once you do. You’ll find tasks that should be under one umbrella, processes that should take one step and not two, along with other cracks in communication and the way you handle things that will make your business run more efficiently. Automation can help reduce the number of tasks per day and give you time to focus on more pertinent matters throughout the business.
How often do tasks fall through the cracks when someone is on vacation or takes a day off?
Do you bang your head against the wall when a task falls through the cracks and it costs your business? Who doesn’t? By automating your operations, you can cut down on issues that cause mistrust and miscommunication among your employees, contractors, and most importantly, clients. By automating tasks that might get lost in the process, you cut down on the amount of human error that creates conflict on the job.
If you’re still struggling with making the decision to automate your operations, we recommend talking to a professional who can sit down and go over just what you want to get out of your business through automation. They can answer any questions you have, give you practical applications of automation, and explain just how the process can help your business succeed.