We recently conducted a survey of business owners, employees and entrepreneurs to get a better understanding of their attitudes and plans regarding automation. We were delighted to find that the vast majority of respondents are keen to automate parts of their businesses – they understand the freedom and potential opportunities that automation can provide. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the key findings from our survey, and examine why business owners are so keen on automation. Stay tuned for more insights!
Who completed our business process automation survey?
Since we launched the survey in April, we’ve been delighted to receive so many responses, and fascinated by some of the answers given. The majority of our survey respondents are business owners but we’ve also had submissions from employees and freelancers.
Businesses have ranged in size from one-man bands to organisations with over 50 staff, with some based in the US and Canada, and others in the UK and Europe.
Some of our respondents do ‘all the things’, like many business owners do, juggling sales, marketing, operations, finance and administration. Others are based in finance, administration, operations sales, marketing and technical departments.
Some of the challenges they face include having too much work that only they can do, and needing more team members to lighten the load. We know that so many other businesses experience these issues, particularly when starting out.
How many businesses use business process automation?
We were delighted that a huge 88% of people know about business process automation. It means the word is getting out about how effective it can be to streamline workflows and it’s the first step to working smarter, not harder. However, only 53% of respondents actually use automation in their business.
For those that don’t use it there are a variety of reasons why, although one stood out as a major blocker – business owners are simply too busy keeping their heads above water to consider automation.
Other reasons include:
- They think it will be time consuming.
- They’re not sure of the benefits of BPA.
- They think automation will be expensive.
- They work in a large organisation and don’t think it would work there.
- Zapier doesn’t integrate with the proprietary software tools they use.
Are these valid concerns for not using business process automation?
It’s understandable that business owners are cautious about taking time out to improve their processes and adopt automation. Time is precious, but we know that refining your processes and setting up automations will reap dividends – not just in the long term but IMMEDIATELY!
You can read more about why think it’s worth investing in automation. We have written about automation myths in this article, one of which is the thought that it might be too expensive to implement. We also cover some of the many benefits of automation in this post.
You can find out more about how Zapier works here, and you definitely don’t need to be a developer to connect your apps using their pre-built integrations.
Which automation tools and software do our respondents use?
Of the businesses which use no-code automation tools, nearly 73% use Zapier, and the others use Microsoft Power Automate. We are also fans of Zapier here at Solvaa, so it’s great that our community is using it too.
59% of our respondents use the Microsoft Office suite which includes Word, Excel and Outlook. 35% use Google apps such as Gmail, Google Sheets and Google Docs, and only 6% use Apple products. What’s useful to know is that both Microsoft and Google apps can be connected using Zapier.
Which business areas do they automate?
The businesses who responded to our survey automate a wide range of departmental functions.
This data is borne out in the recent Workato report which concludes that 66% of organisations now have 5 or more departments using automation and the number of organisations with 7 departments automating has nearly tripled since 2019.
It proves what a massive impact business process automation can have across the whole business and we have written blogs specifically to explain how automation can help Operations and Marketing Teams. Watch out for more of these guides as they are invaluable for giving businesses plenty of ideas about what kinds of tasks are perfect for automation. We also cover how Sales Teams can really maximise efficiency and win more business using a CRM in this post.
How do businesses want to learn more about automation?
By far the most popular way that businesses want to learn more is by using education resources such as webinars and workshops.
We agree that training is really useful for learning more about automation. Luckily Solvaa can help, as we have a wide range of free resources that will get you started.
Firstly, there’s our YouTube channel which has a range of short videos and webinars that demonstrate how you can automate some popular business functions.
Another recent video in YouTube is a webinar that explains how to streamline business operations using automation. It includes answers to all your burning questions including what the benefits of BPA are and what are the best practices for implementing automation.
Our free Introduction To Zapier e-book explains the benefits of business process automation, how Zapier fits in and examples of automations for each department within your business.
And we also have a free cheat sheet with a checklist of Zapier’s inbuilt function which can supercharge your automations.
Our founder and chief automator Kelly Goss’ book, Automate It with Zapier
Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon. It includes some ready-made templates for various examples so you can get started really quickly.
Check out our automation training programme
And finally, if you’re really keen to transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.
It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!
Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.
Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘.
Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.
Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.
Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors.
Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.