Entrepreneurs have a lot to consider while in start-up mode. Budget constraints, product development, sales and marketing strategy – these are just a few of the boldest bullet points that cause long workdays and sleepless nights when you’re starting a business.
Determining how to best facilitate and streamline business processes is perhaps one of the greatest points of contention for many entrepreneurs, as they’re attempting to balance the need for direct control with an inability to be everywhere at once.
Does automation make sense for a business that’s just starting out? Ninety-nine percent of the time, the answer is yes. Whether a mom-inspired bakery or a venture-backed tech firm, there’s a very strong likelihood that at least some portion of your activities can and should be automated.
Here are just a few things to consider before taking the plunge.
Can Your Processes be Automated?
The best processes to automate are those that have a consistent, structured progression that can be clearly defined. If you’re unable to distinctly identify the steps involved in completing a certain process because there are too many exceptions to the norm, advanced workflow automation might alleviate an already volatile activity.
That being said, it’s best to focus on those manual processes with less complexity, such as Accounts Payable processing, customer service support or compliance/quality assurance. In such circumstances, the process can typically revolve around an “if x then y” rule that allows automation to eliminate the need for human facilitation and errors.
Is the Issue of Scalability Relevant?
If you’re starting a firm that is anticipated to be a high-growth venture, then scalability should be one of your greatest concerns. Don’t waste resources by relying on old-fashioned, human-based processing when there is technology available that can simplify and streamline your activities right from the get go.
Companies that don’t appropriately plan for high-growth can find themselves unable to meet demand when customer inquiries advance quickly. One of the most condemning experiences for new businesses is their inability to give customers what they want, when they want it simply because they can’t process the requests.
What Processes Can You Automate for the Best ROI?
Everyone knows that one of the most significant benefits of automation is the potential cost-savings. The consequent reductions in time and errors resulting from human processing have been shown to save firms hundred of thousands annually.
That said, before converting every manual process to an automated alternative, start-ups should look at each process individually and consider the current cost for sustainability against the cost of managing an automation alternative. With often limited resources, it’s critical that start-ups identify and begin to automate processes that offer the best net return.
Start-up success is plausible because entrepreneurs gave themselves the opportunity to focus on the aspects of their business that required their individualized attention. The redundant and structured processes that all organizations encounter are merely holes for consuming resources.
By leveraging business process automation effectively, entrepreneurs can develop strategies that are the very foundation for continued growth and success.
How do you automate processes in your business? Share with us in the comments!
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