Business Process Automation: Which Tasks in Your Startup Can be Automated?
When you’re out saving the world with your startup, it can feel like you’re being pulled in too many directions. Often, it’s exhausting to make sure that all bases are covered – from sending invoices, following up on sales leads, hiring new people, and so on. If your team’s rote tasks are piling up, it’s a good time to consider ways on how to automate your business.
Choosing a process that you should prioritize to streamline can be a challenge, especially when you have so many things that need to be done. How do you know which tasks are ripe for automation? We look at several opportunities that you can evaluate to help you decide how to implement business process automation.
1. Marketing Tasks
Having a strong marketing team at the early stages of your business is crucial for your budding startup. If your team is usually overwhelmed by the volume of leads that reach out to you on a day-to-day basis, it’s time to consider automating a few tasks.
Marketing platform HubSpot explains that marketing automation is about “using software to automate marketing activities.”
This means creating a simple and standard process for your marketing efforts, using a tool for repetitive tasks (such as email marketing, social media management, and even ad campaign creations), and measuring your results.
Not only will automation help you make your marketing campaigns measurable and repeatable, it will also increase your team’s productivity and efficiency without you having to add to your headcount.
2. Sales Functions
When you leave the management of your sales pipeline to humans, it’s easy to overlook leads that need to be followed up or contacted. This is a perfect opportunity for business automation.
Instead of sending out sales pitches manually to leads who have contacted you, you can set up a workflow to send email templates to qualified contacts. There are many SaaS platforms that can do this for you, including HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, and SalesForce, to name a few.
3. Human Resources Functions
According to a 2018 report by Lightspeed, half of startups failed to meet their hiring targets in 2017 because of the lack of a dedicated recruitment team. If you don’t have the internal resources to get you the talent that you need onboard, growing your team can be a challenge.
Automation can boost your recruitment efforts and help level the playing field with your larger competitors. There are HR automation tools available that can help you screen job applications, standardize the onboarding process, and manage your employee information system. Many HR information systems in the market today can also help you manage your employees’ schedules and payroll.
4. Finance and Accounting
Most cloud management accounting tools today can simplify your invoicing and payment processes. You can use an accounting software to set up recurring billing, so you can easily track payments, especially if your business runs on a subscription-based billing model.
Many cloud-based finance and accounting tools come with their own app, so you can have access to your financials at your fingertips. This will help you stay on top of your budget and expenses, which can come in handy if you’re often away from your office.