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Your Automation Journey: Getting Your Business Running, Hands-Free

If you’re new to the world of automation, it could feel like a confusing landmine. After all, what is it and how can it help your business become more efficient?

Well let’s start by covering the basics! IBM describes automation as “a term for technology applications where human input is minimized” and we couldn’t agree more!

Typically automations (aka workflows) are systems that help simplify your business by removing the manual, on-hand work that’s needed. It outlines a certain framework of operation that your business follows and does it automatically so that you or employees no longer have to do it - it makes your business run hands-free!

All in all, by doing it automatically it cuts down work and human errors which then makes your business run more efficiently. Want to find how to start your automation journey and get your business running hands free? Read on to learn how you can get started!

Monitor + Identify

Once you’ve chosen the automation platform you’ll be using, the first step in starting your automation journey is finding out what in your business can be automated as well as what needs to be automated. You do this by monitoring your current operations.

Take a look at things like:

  • Accounting

  • Finances

  • HR

  • Customer Journey

  • Inventory

What tasks are you doing every day or on a weekly, monthly or yearly basis? Even if these are not tasks that are clearly outlined, what things are taking up the time of you and your employees?

What do you think is working well in your business? What is causing you frustration or something you hear employees or customers complaining about routinely?

From there, start to identify what you’ll want to create certain processes for. For example, with the customer journey, from the moment a customer makes a purchase, what should be happening? Does an email need to go out? Do they get updates? Notate these processes and the areas you’d like to remove employee involvement.

Start writing out operations that solve the problems you’ve been monitoring!

Create + Implement

Once you’ve outlined what you want to automate, the next step will be to actually create the automations!

Based on the processes you’ve set up, go into your automation platform and enter in the workflows. Once entered, you’ll want to double check it with the right/designated departments that it's meant to help. Walk them through the workflows/automations you’ve set up and ensure there are no steps missing.

If all checks out, then next on the list will be to implement them!

And before running them blindly, you’ll want to make sure the automations are working as intended. So for every new automation you implement, you’ll want to keep an eye on them the first few times they run.

Are they doing what they’re supposed to? Are any complications or issues coming up from customers or employees? If so, then you’ll want to go back to the drawing board and see what's missing from an automation and what’s keeping it from running with its intended purpose. Once you identify the problem area, you can address it and re-run the automation.

Continue doing so until it runs without problem. At this point, you can then take off your watchful eye and direct your energy (and that of your employees) to more income generating tasks!

The main thing to remember when using automations is to make sure that they’re taking work off of your plate rather than adding to it. And you’ll also want to start at the monitor/identify phase at least once every year or closer together. Because as your business grows, so will its operations and you’ll never know when an opportunity for automation shows itself unless you’re on the hunt for it!

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