Although building a business can be a lot of fun, there are some tasks that you’d rather be without. After the one-hundredth time of doing a stock take, for instance, it starts to get a little old. You’d often rather focus on the creative stuff that really adds value to your business.
Fortunately, technology is advancing rapidly in the direction of automation. Software upgrades and machine learning now mean that robots, whether physical or digital, can perform many of the tasks that business owners used to assume that they had to do themselves.
Automate Marketing Emails
Creating effective marketing emails is a challenge. Making sure that the fields are correct and relevant to customers can be a time-consuming process, not to mention the hassle of actually creating something that looks good.
But smart software is helping small businesses today write emails in a way that many never thought possible. Services like Thunderbird make the process of setting up and customizing email marketing more straightforward in the past, allowing you to embed things like graphics, seamlessly and in a way that promotes open rates.
Implement New Learning Robots In Fulfillment
Fulfillment is a labor-intensive process: or at least it has been up until now. However, as rnaautomation.com points out, there are now numerous opportunities for small businesses to acquire custom automation systems, reducing their labor costs dramatically.
We’ve already seen automation make a big difference at large ecommerce firms. JD.com says that within the next year, it wants to create a fully-automated fulfillment center in China, where everything from the moment products reach the warehouse to when they leave gets done by machines.
Automate Your Stockroom
Stocktaking is a real hassle. Nobody wants to do it. But for businesses that sell physical products it has, up until now, had to be done by actual humans. Those days may soon be gone, thanks to smart software that connects to POS. Companies like Vend offer subscription services to retailers which allow them to track what they’ve got in their stock room by combining supplier data with POS data. The software can then make recommendations about which products need to be resupplied and can even tell retailers whether they have the product available or not, allowing them to automatically de-list it if it is not in stock.
Chase Late Payments
Late payment can be a serious issue for small businesses, ruining their cash flow and forcing them to take on expensive bridging loans to cover the difference. What’s more, chasing up late-paying customers is time-consuming and stressful: not something that many company managers want to do.
But now, though, there may be a way to automate at least part of the process. Cloud-based accounting products enable companies to import bank statements, automatically telling them if a customer has paid or not. Software can also flag up accounts that haven’t paid and send notifications automatically, without forcing an account manager to send off an email manually. These communications can be customized to a particular client, depending on how late the payment is.