How much time do you spend on repetitive tasks?
About 25% of a workers time is spent doing repetitive tasks which do not provide much value to a business. These tasks include data entry and data collection, confirmation requests, and status updates.
Automating these tasks can help your business by:
- Reducing human error through manual data entry
- Allow you to focus on work with higher impact
- Become more efficient and streamlined
- Increase personal time and time spent doing more interesting work
- Allow you to remain competitive
Many businesses also use multiple technology systems and have a poorly integrated stack, which exacerbates the repetitive task problem. For example, if you have a CRM for storing contacts and a website that has a sign up form that is not connected to your CRM, you would be spending hours manually exporting contacts from your form into your CRM. In addition to manual data entry, you would manually have to send follow up emails to your leads to be able to develop a relationship with them. Inefficiencies such as this make it easy for things to fall through the cracks, you might forget to engage with a lead, forget to enter data into your system, or forget to provide additional value to a customer after they’ve made a first sale.
This can have a significant long-term impact on a business, and implementing automation is critical if a business wants to stay competitive. Here are some strategies to help you identify areas of improvement and implement automation solutions for your business.
Step #1: Understand How Your Organization Works
The first step is diving deep into your business workflow. What tools do you use? What documentation do you have for repetitive tasks? How do you currently do work in your organization? It is hard to go for a digital transformation if you don’t first understand your work processes today. Understanding your current systems is an important precursor to developing solutions to the problems in your business processes.
Step #2: Identify Blockers
The next step is to understand what the current blockers in your organization are. What is the main root of the inefficiencies and where are they occurring? 80% of wasted time can be attributed to 20% of your tasks. Identifying the weakest link in your systems will allow you to make the biggest impact on your business. A good way to do this is to compile a list of issues and assigning a value to them to see what issue would have the highest impact if it is fixed. Then you can dive deep into every issue to understand its root cause.
Step #3: Plan Your Solutions
The last step is to plan your solutions before implementing them. Do you have to add new technologies to your stack? What integrations can you use using your current stack? During this step it is also important to inform your team of the changes to be made and how they will be benefitted. You can now look at the blockers you identified and develop ways to automate them to increase efficiency in your business and save valuable time.
Final Step: Your Tools
If you’re doing any of the following tasks by hand, you can benefit from software automation:
- CRM maintenance
- Routinely moving documents between apps or folders
- Copying and pasting data between your tools
- Adding meeting events to your calendar
- Following up with customers or leads
- Sending and collecting documents for signing
- Creating sales proposals
- Processing feedback from customers
- Identifying image content or message tone
These sound like little tasks, but they add up. A simple tool such as Process.st, which is a simple process and workflow management tool, can help you save time and develop long-term solutions that can transform your business.
Recognizing that you can streamline your operations and going through these steps will help you save time and create more value in your business. If you can save just 6 hours per week using these strategies, you will have an extra workday every week, which can transform your business as an entrepreneur. Small businesses need to be able to deliver high value to their clients, and it is more difficult to deliver if they are stuck in the weeds.
Want to save time and streamline your business operations? I can help