I have never met an entrepreneur who hasn’t had issues with the workload their business caused. Particularly at the beginning, when setting up the business, there are so many things that come into mind and so many ideas that scream for execution, such that every new business owner quickly gets into the mode of overwhelm. Do you know what I mean? – I know what I mean, I have been there myself. I have faced times when I didn’t know how to organize myself, how to prioritize my thoughts and ideas, and how to get the things done without having anything essential slipping through my fingers. I was longing for some help in the guise of business automation.
What can Business Automation do for you?
I wished there was a magic software (or a magic button) that would take the burden off me, the burden of some of the tedious tasks that I didn’t like doing. Certainly they were necessary, but they weren’t exciting and basically consumed my time, attention and temporarily, my joy.
Like every other entrepreneur, I worked a lot in those first months. I learned a lot of what is working and what isn’t. I found tools that helped to terminate certain manual tasks into automated tasks. And step after step, I realized that automating my workflows freed up a significant part of my time, resources, shortened delivery times and helped me to work more efficiently. It was of course a path of trial and error that I took, but I know for sure now that technology is the greatest weapon in a small business owner’s arsenal to help grow the business. Using business automation tools to streamline and automate my business’ processes helped me to stay sane and maintain a sustainable business.
I know that many solopreneurs are facing similar issues. I therefore wanted to write a series of articles that would provide help and understanding for the not so tech-inclined business owners in understanding the topic and realizing how to use automated processes for their business’ advantage.
In this first part of the article series, I am providing more of an introduction to this topic. I will go more into details of how to identify the workflows and processes that can be automated in a business in the second part. In the third part, I’ll introduce to you the most popular and promising tools that specialize in business automations and show you to move forward.
Managing your business to weather any storm
Allowing machines to do the more tedious tasks of your general business routine will have a bunch of positive side effects. They may or may not all apply to every business, but if not at least one of them applies to yours then there isn’t any need to spend your time setting up such an automated workflow.
“Any task that introduces an unreasonable amount of inefficiency to your business is a candidate for automation, as is any task that you hate doing.”
Potential advantages of automating business processes can be:
- Time: Automating daily tasks & freeing up time
- Expertise: Showcasing your expertise
- Credibility: Raising your credibility
- Help: Helping more paying clients
Why business automation shouldn’t be ignored
You might have heard of the recent development and improvement of artificial intelligences. It is a topic that raises concerns in many – to some extent it also does so in me. I am not someone who blindly believes everything that is written somewhere. I am a German native speaker, and in German, we have the saying that “paper is patient”, meaning that paper will endure anything that you write on it. In regards to the intricacies of this topic, I sometimes get the feeling that some news reporter gets all too excited about the progress the research on artificial intelligence takes and they don’t seem to question very much, the possible side effects of these developments.
However, if you are a regular reader of my articles, you might have spotted that I nourish a certain security awareness. I think there is reason to do so. And for this same reason, I maintain a careful attitude about artificial intelligence and automation that may potentially change our society in not so positive ways.
However, I also know that it is up to each of us to determine how technology is being used: in either good or bad ways. Yes, it can extend in any direction and we have to stay conscious and alert as to how far we want to go with it, what’s reasonable and what’s morally justifiable. If we look at the way computer technology has evolved in the last 10 to 20 years, we get the idea that there is certainly more to come. For business people, it will be essential to keep up with the speed. Digital Darwinism, the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt, is a fate that many organizations in many industries will face. If you aren’t very tech-inclined, you are probably one of those candidates who will have trouble to keep up with the pace.
“Fast forward 15 years from now, and we’ll be even more shocked when we hear of companies operating outside of the Internet of Things.”
But do not despair, as there is something you can do about it to stay competitive. Even the most tech-averse person can take baby steps and learn how to use technology and methodology wisely to set up a solid and healthy foundation for of your business.
Setting up automation isn’t magic, even though the results may look like it. In the upcoming article, I will be going into the details of processes and workflows that are prone to be automated, how to identify them and how to make the first steps in upgrading or overhauling your business processes.
If you felt called by the prospect of freeing up some of your precious time, raising your credibility and showcasing your expertise, but aren’t really sure about how to move forward, you may consider getting in touch with me. I regularly help small businesses with setting up their technical infrastructure in efficient and reliable ways.