Have you thought about what it could mean for your business if you were more productive? It’s sometimes hard to measure productivity gains, but think about how you could use the time you save by being more efficient in your business. Recently, our chief problem solver and founder, Kelly Goss spoke about increasing business productivity with automation on The Business Essentials podcast. You can listen to the podcast here.
Here’s a summary of the points she discussed.
The lifetime value of a customer
Think about the lifetime value of a customer, for example. Any time you save by making your everyday tasks more efficient could be spent nurturing valuable leads. You’ll have more time to provide existing customers an even better service and give them an excellent experience working with you. For example, if you’ve automated some of your processes then you’ll never forget to do anything, you’ll never be late for a meeting, and will always follow up when you said you would.
Better experience for staff
If you streamline your processes it also makes working conditions better for your staff. They have more time for the jobs they enjoy rather than boring, manual tasks. This increases job satisfaction and job retention, so you’re less likely to lose a good staff member to a competitor.
Mistakes are costly
Have you thought about how much mistakes cost you? It could be a data error when keying into a system, or an accounting error. These types of human error cost money, incur reputational damage and take time to fix. If the manual processes were automated then errors wouldn’t happen due to humans transferring data from one system to another.
Automation can increase your profits
Small business owners often make the mistake of thinking that small changes won’t have a big impact. But if you could save just one hour per day from automating processes then that gives you an hour to spend on billable work instead.
One hour per day, 5 days a week, 52 weeks a year could give you 260 extra billable hours. At £35/hour you could bill more than £9000 extra, or for $50/hour, you could bill an extra $13,000!
When you’re juggling many different hats as a business owner you may worry that you don’t have time to take a step back and improve your processes. Rather than trying to address everything at once, we believe small businesses should adopt a continuous improvement mindset instead. Small changes add up over time and if you can constantly adapt to changes in the market then you will keep abreast of competitors or even help you move ahead of them. It’s important to stay agile and you can use technology to help with that.
Why do businesses resist automation?
Larger businesses don’t always embrace automation because the words ‘process’ and ‘automation’ are seen as negative words. Employees think their jobs could become redundant if their tasks were streamlined. If only a member of the management team would explain that it’s actually an opportunity, a positive step, and that staff would be able to focus on the tasks which are more interesting in their role. They can spend more time on the more creative tasks, those that need a human touch, for example, better customer service, marketing, and design. Doing boring, mundane tasks doesn’t inspire staff or promote job satisfaction, so if they can be automated then companies will have a more engaged workforce.
In smaller businesses, leaders may not realise what introducing processes and automation can do for them, and how cost-effective it can be. App subscriptions are very inexpensive and people can do it for themselves rather than needing to pay a consultant. It’s surprisingly straightforward to implement efficiencies. As a business owner, you know your processes really well and can probably improve them before even thinking about automating them. But once they have been streamlined then you can implement automations without needing to write any code. It’s really easy to learn and tools like Zapier make it super simple. It’s not even very time-consuming to do.
Once you’ve improved one step in a process and have adopted a ‘continuous improvement’ mindset you will want to do more. These efficiencies will reduce costs, save time and keep you ahead of the competition.
Real-life business examples
At Solvaa, we are fortunate to be able to work with many different types of business, so we see at first hand the powerful effects that introducing automations using Zapier can have.
Here are just some examples of projects we have been involved with.
How Solvaa helped a membership platform to automate their bookkeeping processes
One Year No Beer (OYNB) is a membership platform that helps people give up alcohol and replace it with something more beneficial in their lives such as exercise or yoga. We helped OYNB streamline their entire accounting process, which was vital as they grew from processing a few hundred transactions to thousands every month.
Sales transactions, bills, and expenses were transferred straight into their accounting system using integrations and automations.
One Year No Beer saved an average of £2800 per month of bookkeeping costs. Not only did this save money but there were no human errors from mistyping data.
Read more about the One Year No Beer Project here.
How Solvaa helped an architectural glass manufacturer automate their operations
Another example is IQ Glass, a business that makes architectural glass for homes and businesses. Their operations needed to be streamlined, so we set up integrations for recording timesheets and feeding information straight into the project management system. We automated website leads by recording them straight in their CRM system. We removed the duplication of information, increased accountability, and created time savings of 45 hours per week, the equivalent of a full-time member of staff.
Read more about the IQ Glass Project here.
How Solvaa helped a dental practice automate lead nurturing and onboarding
Our final example is a group of dental practices, Ascent Dental, where we streamlined their lead nurturing processes, to automate the transfer of data into their CRM system. We added nurturing sequences to automatically send potential customers SMS text messages and emails. We also scheduled personal phone calls into the lead management process.
When the leads converted into customers, we created an onboarding email sequence to introduce the practice, the dentists, and support staff. We automated all the reporting too.
The client reported that the changes we’d made were “life-changing”. It has transformed their customer relationships in such a positive way with increased retention rates and social media engagement.
You can read more about the Ascent Dental Project here.
Find out more
The biggest lesson we’ve learned in the past year is to be adaptable, and flexible. Many businesses have been presented with enormous challenges during the pandemic but if you can adopt a ‘continuous improvement’ mindset, be agile and improve productivity then it will pay dividends.
Here are some resources to help find out more about productivity:
Free e-book : Automate! The Essential Guide To Business Productivity
Free masterclass : Supercharging Productivity With Automation
Youtube videos : Solvaa Youtube Channel
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.