How and Where Business Automation Works for Startups

August 10, 2016

4:00 pm

Business process automation (BPA) helps companies eliminate human intervention wherever possible. The benefits of this process are numerous, from decreasing spending to eliminating human error. Plus, with the advances in artificial intelligence technology, it seems that almost every workflow process can be automated.

That doesn’t mean that every task should be left to automation. Decisions that rely on human interaction or instinct can’t be automated and introducing BPA in these areas could do a lot more harm than good. BPA is something of a double-edged sword. Either customers will be pleasantly surprised by fast automated response, or they’ll get a feeling that the company is not interested in dealing with them personally.

Here are the workflow areas which seem to benefit from the automation process:

Human Resources

HR is a very document-driven department. This is exactly what makes it perfect for the automation process. Importing documents regarding taxes, health and safety or benefits can be done without human involvement with services like Allay.

Employee recruitment is also simplified by BPA with digital depositories of easily searchable CVs and job applications. Many HR companies are rapidly realizing that talent management is much more science that art and re-engineering business processes has become top priority.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing can take up a lot of time and effort because the world of social media is always expanding. Luckily, almost every part of a social media campaign can be automated and made more efficient.

Finding appropriate content to accompany your business is always the first step in a marketing campaign. Tools like DrumUp do that for you without human assistance. You just need to set up parameters and thousands of inspirational posters and cute cat memes are at your disposal.

All of your social media platforms should be managed from a single dashboard to avoid confusion and to reach as wide an audience as possible. This can be done with simple tools like Buffer. Once you’ve got all your ducks in a row, automate social media postings by scheduling them in advance – this is especially useful if your start-up is working in different time zones simultaneously.

Email Marketing

With e-mail marketing, the most important thing is finding a balance. E-mails should seem personal and not just something you wrote and sent to a thousand addresses, but it also shouldn’t take up all of your time.

Tools like Reply are great for finding this balance, because although automated, they also sync replies with your inbox, so you can decide on which e-mail you should focus on personally.  

Analyzing Data

Promoting your work on social media also gives you an opportunity to understand your customers in ways that go beyond their shopping habits. Retrieving and analyzing this data can be a lot of work, especially because it comes from a variety of different networks. This process can be automated easily and presented in a simple and accessible way with an app like Dasheroo.

Knowing Your Competition

Knowing your competitors could be the most important thing in starting any business. When it comes to start-ups, this is a very hard thing to do, because start-ups come and go in a very short time. You shouldn’t waste your valuable time on making this research.

Growthlist compiles a database of 5000 start-up companies that are on the rise (companies which hire aggressively or have been funded recently). The list also contains basic info about CEOs or founders and a way to contact them easily.

Offline Branding

The offline world is still here and it still needs to be branded. Putting your company name on office supplies, t-shirts, hoodies, coffee mugs or anything else you can think of is tedious work and it involves a lot of people (also, storage is expensive). Or at least it used to be. Printful makes this process automatic – just synchronize your website with a Printful account and the work is done.

Business process automation is a useful and growing tool. Like any other tool, if used for the right job it can be of great value to the company. It’s up to your business to decide which workflow processes still need a human touch and which could be left to automation. Just remember – cost efficiency is not the only factor you should take into account.

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Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant from Sydney, Australia. His fields of expertise are company management and efficient work environment through latest technology trends, as well as internet marketing. He is also an editor in chief at bizzmarkblog.com.

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