People often talk about improving business productivity with automation but don’t explain exactly how to do it. Our founder and Zapier Certified Expert, Kelly Goss, recently appeared as a guest on the Habitz podcast to suggest ways that business owners and members of staff can remove inefficiencies and streamline their tasks.
Habitz is a community that helps small businesses and has a YouTube channel as well as a regular podcast. When Kelly spoke to Lauren she recommended three habits that will transform productivity in every area of the business. These habits simplify, connect and automate business processes to make the business more efficient.
Where do businesses go wrong?
Businesses go wrong when they constantly deal with manual and repetitive tasks inefficiently. For example, if they have an e-commerce system then they might be copying the data manually into their invoicing platform. This manual task is slow and is prone to human error.
Businesses don’t take time to look at how things are done on a granular level to try and make their processes more efficient. If they looked at them regularly then they would notice the inefficiencies and streamline them.
When changes happen in the business, rather than taking time to evaluate how best to implement them what often happens is that existing processes are tweaked. Over time, this can make them overly complex, manual, and unwieldy.
Businesses have a lot of technology but are not able to move data from one system to another. They should harness the cost-effective technology available in the market to connect their systems.
If a business wants to improve business productivity with automation then taking time to look at their processes and systems is essential. Doing this will deliver long-term efficiency gains, with just a small upfront investment of time.
Three habits to improve business productivity with automation
There are three steps to saving time and improving productivity with automation. Kelly’s method has been proven to work for all the businesses she has worked with, and it will work for you too.
1. Simplify your processes before you think about automating them
Organise a brainstorming session with your team to make a list of the top five ‘pain points’; these are the processes that are the most time-consuming, manual, and repetitive. They are often costly when errors occur, in terms of financial loss, reputational damage and time wasted on correcting them.
Choose one process and then document it, and as you do so try to simplify it by removing any steps which are unnecessary.
2. Review the technology in your business
Make a list of all the systems you use, for example, the platforms you use for social media, the software you use for sales and invoicing. Also, the apps you use to communicate with customers, for example, the email platform, SMS sender, or CRM.
Then see where each system fits into the processes you previously documented and then work out how you can connect them all.
3. Automate processes as much as possible
There is a range of no-code tools on the market which you can use to connect your tech stack, and you don’t need to be a developer to use them. Examples include Zapier, Integromat, and Microsoft Power Automate and these all allow you to connect your apps and pass data between them.
These are all no-code solutions that anyone can use. Most have simple interfaces and often provide pre-built templates which give you a head start. Once you’ve created your first automation you will realise how simple it is and will have the confidence to do more.
Lastly…Review these habits regularly
Regular reviews will ensure you stay on top of any changes to your processes, and make them as efficient as possible. This will help you get ahead of your competitors as it will affect every area of your business, every touchpoint with customers, and improve them.
It’s easy for any business owner and staff member to implement these habits to improve business productivity with automation.
We have some great resources to get you started:
- The Solvaa YouTube channel includes Zapier demos for some really useful zaps
- Our free e-book is the perfect introduction to business automation
- Our Zapier functions cheat sheet delves into the powerful inbuilt helper apps which can supercharge your automations
If you’d like to be guided through every stage of getting started with Zapier then our founder, Kelly’s book, Automate It with Zapier, is available on Amazon and through the publisher Packt. It explains a range of automations and you can download templates to get started really quickly. Here are links to Amazon (.co.uk) and Amazon (.com) to get yours now.
The book is perfect for seasoned pros as well as brand new Zapier users.
Or check out our FREE MASTERCLASS with Kelly to learn about how business process automation can help you increase efficiency and allow you to run your business on autopilot. Get access below:
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.