There are so many business tasks that were once done manually that can now be automated. By automating these tasks you can save time, reduce errors and make admin less tedious.
It’s worth noting that while you can automate many work tasks nowadays such as writing blog posts and answering the phone, automation is not always the best solution. Tasks that require creativity and emotional sensitivity are still often better in the hands of humans. However, most repetitive and mundane tasks are usually better automated.
Just what are some of these tasks that you should be automating? This post lists a few prime examples.
A lot of accounting tasks are worth automating. This includes various calculation tasks such as calculating earnings, expenses, accounts payable, accounts receivable and tax on earnings (for making tax self assessments easy).
Many accounting programs can be linked up to your bank accounts, as well as any ecommerce software you may have, in order to record exactly how much you are earning and spending in real time. Such software can also help you budget by tracking upcoming bills and invoices to tell you what you owe and what you are owed.
There are a lot of accounting programs on the market that you can look into. Some are catered to specific industries or specific sized businesses.
Invoicing is technically a part of accounting, but worth mentioning on its own. When you need to send a client an invoice, automation tools can allow you to easily fill out a template. Once this is sent, automation tools can help track unpaid invoices for you and send reminders if an invoice is overdue.
Such tools can ensure that unpaid invoices do not go unnoticed and that you know exactly how much you are still owed.
If you are an employer and your employees work different shifts each week, consider whether it is time you started automating shift scheduling.
There is software out there that can track your employees’ contracted hours and their availability before automatically filling out a rota for you. This can save you time having to work out which shifts to give each employee. Restaurants, hotels, shops, gyms and healthcare clinics are some of the common businesses that can benefit from such technology.
On top of automating shift scheduling, it could be worth automatically tracking the hours that your employees are working to make sure their pay is accurate. Some employees may not turn up for shifts, may leave early or may work overtime – and you need to make sure these last minute changes are accounted for.
Digital time clocks can record when employees clock in and out. This information can then be automatically sent to your payroll software to tell you exactly how many hours each employee has worked and how much pay they are owed.
You can also automate the process of paying your employees. Each employee’s pay can be automatically set up to go out of your account at a certain time every month or every week (depending on when payday is).
This can save you time manually paying each employee and also reduce payment errors.
Data entry involves recording data on clients, stock, inventory and other aspects of your business. By using tools like automated contract data extraction and RFID scanners, it’s possible to automate the majority of data entry.
On top of automation data entry, it’s also possible to analyse this data and automatically create graphs and charts. This can give you a better visual idea of the types of clients you’re getting, the types of products you’re selling and so on
Backing up all data on the cloud is important for security purposes. However, you shouldn’t be manually backing up each file.
Most modern computers and cloud servers can automatically back up all files for you. This ensures that you don’t forget to back anything up.
When it comes to mailing lists, you shouldn’t be individually emailing each person. Bulk mailing services can email everyone on your mailing list at the same time.
Such tools may even be able to personalise certain information like recipient names. You can also automatically track each email – including which emails have been opened and which have been replied to.
Sending reminder messages
Reminder messages are also worth automating. This could include reminding clients of an upcoming appointment or payment instalment so that they don’t forget about it. Such reminders are typically sent via email or text.
You can also set up reminder messages to be sent to yourself. This can be useful for reminding you of appointments or payments so that you can prepare for them.
Social media post scheduling
Updating social media with regular content is important. But you don’t necessarily have to be logging onto social media every day. Most social media platforms allow you to schedule posts in advance, which makes it possible to plan out an entire week’s content (or even an entire month’s content) all in one day.
Scheduling posts can also allow you to schedule content to publish at specific times where you may otherwise be occupied. This could even include scheduling posts to be published while you’re asleep if you serve customers in other time zones and want to target them with content.
Sharing blog posts to social media
Sharing blog posts from your website to social media is a great way to boost their readership. There are handy automation tools that can allow you to automatically post links to blog posts on all social media platforms as soon as you’ve published them.
Such plug-ins can even regularly share old blog content to social media. This can help you to continuously attract new readers for this content.
(Some) employee training
Finally, it’s worth considering digital training or e–learning. This involves sending new employees information, videos and interactive tests to allow them to train themselves – instead of having to train them manually.
Not all training should be digitised. However, most companies can benefit from digitising some of it – particularly digital tasks like how to compose emails or health and safety protocol. There is customizable training software that you can use for this purpose. You can automate certain training tasks to be sent to employees via this software at specific times.