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  • Writer's pictureDavid A. Schneider

How To Automate Your Business

Very often, business owners become trapped inside their own luxury prison.

They have built a great company, thriving with revenue and employees. But somehow, instead of now having more freedom to do what you want you become soaked up in all those day to day activities.

The actual success starts to become a burden. Family members turn into strangers. The more problems you solve, the more seem to pop up all around you.


But it does not have to be that way.

To make sure your business will not drain your life but will give you the best opportunities, you can learn how to automate many processes and tasks in the daily grind.

And how to do that is what you will learn in this article.



how to automate your business
Automation these days is not as expensive as it used to be.


The first step to gaining more freedom, making the business more productive and achieving more results with less of your personal input is to automate certain parts entirely.

Automation itself is often associated with Fortune 500 corporations that are replacing entire production lines of workers with robots or specialized machines.

This form of automatization is extremely costly and only available to very few of us.

If you are among the lucky few who can afford to invest millions in totally automating your production, congratulations on that.


But for the majority of small and mid-sized businesses this level of investment will likely remain a dream right now or the budget might allow for 1-2 new machines that will make things faster and easier but that will probably be about it.


Thankfully with the technology available to all of us today, we can automate a whole lot more and do it much cheaper.

Welcome to the 21st century.



How small businesses can automate too


Automation today is hugely boosted by the massive amount of software solutions that are available to all of us, even to small business owners.

And today you can automate many parts fully which prior required manual work from employees or yourself.

This not only makes you more efficient in your business, it also saves massive costs.

However, automation is based on systems that have to be set up before you can automate.


Hint:

If you have also read our blog post about how to systematize your business you will have a better understanding of this overall process now.


First we analyzed every detail of the business and took a step back to look at the big picture, because exactly these insights now allow for a better understanding of where and how you can automate your business.

To move forward you often have to step back for a moment and think about the overall processes and why you do what. Then start asking the right questions such as how you can improve the situation and how you can make everything more efficient.

This kind of thinking will help you uncover


The exact steps of automatizing your business will depend on your industry.

Not all businesses are created equal and some requirements might strongly differ from others, which makes it hard to give you a general plan for doing so.


However, in some industries partly automatization has become a standard in some cases.

For example, if you run a hotel it is not special today that guests can automatically go to your website, choose a room they would like to book and make their reservation online.

The reservation then is directed to an automated booking system which is connected to the infrastructure of the hotel - checking how many rooms are still left, at which date and for how many people all the time.

The process works in real time and requires zero people, it is fully automated.

All is done in an electronic system adjusted for your exact business and its requirements.

Everything you need is a PC, software and internet connection.



On the other hand, there are still hotels that have no website, where you have to call and ask for a room.

Employees then write on a paper how many rooms are booked and are free.

This not only allows for a wide range of human failures, but it also requires people to operate.

As we all know, payroll is expensive, people get sick, people get tired and people forget about things.

The more such human-dependent processes in your business exist, the harder it will be to become an automated business. No wonder such business owners are struggling.




Welcome to the 21st century.

In our example we could not only automate the booking and reservations for rooms.

It goes even further than that:

There are adjustable programs for the housekeeping with checklists and procedures, measuring how much time is spent to clean each room and showing where to clean next, allowing basically all important parts of the hotel to be observed, optimized, measured and improved all through software.

Some of these programs even give recommendations on how to optimize the schedule of your personnel.



how to automate your business
Hotel checkins these days are fully automated. The software is actually cheap.

In other industries than the hotel industry, automatization is not that common and not that widely available.

But this doesn't mean that it doesn't exist.


Traditional restaurants for example often have a very low degree of automatization so far. But there exist automated order systems with the entire menu aligned even with ingredients.


This means the software tracks that if X amount of cheeseburger gets sold, the restaurant will need Y amount of new buns and Z amount of new patties to be ordered.

It can also tell you when the lettuce expires or how long the chicken breasts can be kept frozen without loss of quality.


There is no need anymore to manually track your inventory and send people to the fridge to check it 5 times a day.

With modern solutions available to all of us, software can tell you what deliveries need to be ordered for the next day to fully operate and serve your guests.

It can even track expiration dates and send a warning signal before ingredients turn bad to make sure you dont waste any precious food.

And yet there are countless restaurant owners checking their inventory manually, making all kinds of mistakes and wasting food because nobody checked the expiration dates.

And wasted food means wasted money in this case.


Or let’s look at sales organizations:

The same scenario exists in sales where fully automated CRM systems and even AI solutions exist to create new leads, establish lists to call on, establish processes for how many times your people have to interact before accepting a “no”, remind salespeople of which customers they did not have contact with since months, who to follow up with and on and on.


And then there are those salespeople wondering who to call today, trying to figure out with whom they spoke a year ago and wonder what to do after the customer rejected them once.



Ladies and Gentlemen, let me be clear.

Such a sloppy and inefficient behaviour of any kind in any industry is a thing of the past.

If you are the owner of a business, and this is how your people work, then there is only one person to blame: you.


Today we have software solutions for every single part of a business.

They are customizable to your exact situation, and often require only a minimum investment.

Even if you have a totally specialized business and there is no way anybody designed a software around it - there are countless cheap IT freelancers who are experts in their field and can create software based on open source programs fast and cheap.


For a relatively small amount of money you can even have a software designed for your exact business model that will suit your situation exactly and allow your business to operate much more efficiently in the long term.


There are also many open source solutions, meaning parts of a program or interfaces that another programmer can use.

The market for these software “parts” is enormous and most of them are even freeware.

So it is very unlikely that any IT expert will have to start designing your software at zero, and instead can use a base for it in almost any industry.

This again makes it much cheaper and allows for much more customization than you ever could dream of.


The right solution your business needs to become faster, more effective and earn more money might just be one click away these days. Your business can be automated too with just the right tools in place.


If you ever heard about dropshipping - this is automation in a business model in action. There are millions made without the seller ever even seeing or touching their sold goods.

It all runs automated, from the order in a webshop or platform like Amazon to the fulfillment and shipment of the product.

Not one human being has to interact in any way - a customer order online and the system and software takes care of it all.

If you have no idea what dropshipping is, check out our article on How To Make Money Online.


In the same manner, you can automate your bookkeeping, your inventory, your customer service, your billing and much more!


As long as there is any repeatable process in it, you can build a software around it that makes the human effort necessary thereby a minimum.


Your business will become leaner, better managed, save costs and stay more competitive than ever.


As soon as you have systems for your business in place, automation is the next step to take. It will not only give you more freedom and energy, it can totally transform the business into achieving much more with much less.


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