How automation could help you save time

How automation could help you save time

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Working hard is in the DNA of small business owners, from marketing to accounts and inventory management to reporting, there’s always a hefty to-do list to work through. 

Some of the everyday activities involved in business ownership can be repetitive and time-consuming, but super important nonetheless, which is where automation can come into play.

Automating some of these time and resource-heavy tasks can allow small business owners to work smarter, aka, maximise time and free up manpower to concentrate on activities beyond the day-to-day that can help their business grow and flourish. 

Sounds pretty good, right? In this article, we’ll explain the benefits automation can offer business owners, and how you can introduce automation to your small business today.

The benefits of automation

1. Time

We’ve already alluded to the fact one of the biggest perks up for grabs with automation is freeing up time, after all, time is money as the old adage goes. 

Time is invaluable, and every small business owner will testify that sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Automating routine tasks and processes can free up heaps of time, allowing you to concentrate your efforts on making your business the best it can be.

2. Efficiency

We’re all human, and we all make mistakes, but automation and turning to technology can significantly reduce human error and streamline operations. 

Take, for example, end of day reporting - manually inputting this information after a long and busy shift can inevitably lead to errors. The beauty of automation is that machines don’t get tired, and they’ll take the heavy lifting off you while producing accurate output time and time again.

3. Staff management 

If you’ve ever been in a situation where:

a) Your employees didn’t show up for their shift because they didn’t realise they were working or,

b) You’ve been away from the business and come back to find important tasks hadn’t been carried out, 

You’ll know all too well how frustrating it can be.

Crossed wires and miscommunications happen, but automation makes managing your workforce a doddle. Having a single point of reference everyone turns to can help with assigning tasks, rota management, monitoring progress, and pay. 

4. Speed

Automation can drastically reduce the time needed to complete routine tasks including inventory management, accounting, reporting, and taking payments. 

All of the above and more can be completed super quickly and super accurately, without compromising on quality, with automation. 

5. Productivity

Automation essentially allows you to do more for less. Wave goodbye to sizable chunks of the day being lost to tedious, repetitive, but important tasks and say hello to concentrating your efforts, and those of your employees, on more meaningful work aimed at growing your business.

You can rest easy in the knowledge the important tasks are being carried out efficiently while focusing on activities that make or break a business’ success like boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty. 

How to introduce automation

Now we know why automation can be such a valuable asset to businesses, let’s take a look at how to get your hands on all the perks up for grabs.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting to use automation to your business’ advantage you don’t need to be super tech-savvy, so don’t let your IT prowess put you off. In fact, introducing automation is simple, and you might already have some of the tools at your disposal and not even know it.

Here, we’ll break down a list of common business tasks, and explain how automation can make them that much simpler.

Inventory management

Traditional stock-taking is arduous, to say the least. Tools like those built into our market-leading EPOS systems make it a piece of cake. 

No more time-consuming trips to the stockroom, instead, you can automate the whole process and manage your stock levels from one place, get notified when items are running low, and even make automatic purchase orders too.

With EPOS, you’ll have access to all this information from anywhere you have access to the internet thanks to its cloud-based back-office system, so you won’t even need to be on-prem to keep things running smoothly. 

Email campaigns

Whether you want to let your customers know about upcoming offers and promotions, target certain groups, or send post-sale communications, emails can be time-consuming but powerful.

Automation tools like MailChimp will do all the heavy lifting for you, sending out personalised and relevant messages at the right time to the right people, without you needing to lift a finger.

Staff management

Employees are a hugely valuable asset to any business, but from rota management and performance reviews to training and paying your staff there’s a lot involved in the smooth running of a workforce. 

Once more, automation can streamline the entire process. With EPOSmove, you can:

  • Set staff rotas
  • Monitor performance at certain times on certain days, and 
  • Identify areas for improvement.
  • Plus, employees can clock in and out of the system so you’ll have precise information when it comes to payday. 

Social media marketing

The rise of social media has been astronomical, and it’s now one of the most powerful marketing tools on offer. But, with so many platforms on offer, managing your business’ presence across the board requires time and dedication.

With automation tools like Hootsuite and Buffer, you can set up and schedule your social media posts in advance, taking the hassle out of the process and freeing up time. 

Automating your social presence allows you to post the right content at the right time to capture your target audience’s attention, without having to take time out of the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day.

 

Accounting & reporting

We don’t need to tell you what an important job this is for business owners, but it can take a long time, especially if the numbers don’t add up.

With EPOSmove, you can take the hassle out of accounting by integrating with packages like QuickBooks, Xero, and Sage, saving hours of reconciliation with end-of-day reporting that can integrate into your accounting package.

Next steps

We covered five of the big business tasks that automation can streamline in this article, but with EPOSmove you’ll have access to an inbuilt app store so the possibilities for automation are endless. 

If you’re looking for ways to take your small business to new heights and harness the power of automation to get you there, we’re here to help.

Reach out to a dedicated takepayments advisor today to learn more.

Bryony Pearce

Bryony Pearce

Copywriter

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