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5 Areas Of Your Business You Can Automate

By Bidvest Bank
15-11-2017

If you run your own business, you probably spend most of your time working on projects, selling your products or services and strategising about which direction your company is heading in. With so many things to think about, it can be easy to let the administrative tasks like invoicing, time and project tracking slide. 

The truth is, though, that being organised in these areas can make a real difference in how your business performs, and the service you’re able to provide to clients. Luckily, today there is lots of cloud-based technology available to help small businesses manage their day-to-day activities, and most are relatively inexpensive. Here are 5 areas to consider automating:    

1. Customer relationship management. Do you know exactly where all your prospective clients are in the sales lifecycle? Keeping track of new leads, knowing how close your sales team is to closing deals, and identifying opportunities for upselling to existing customers can make all the difference to your bottom line. After all, clients are your lifeblood, as without their revenue, your business wouldn’t exist. Tools like Pipedrive and Insightly can help you gain a detailed understanding of your sales funnel and sales prospects through one single interface. 

2. Task tracking. Managing teams within a small business can be a huge challenge, as typically you’ll be short of manpower and most team members will be working on many different things at once. Tools like Asana can help you manage your projects more efficiently and give you a high-level view of how all your projects are progressing. Asana lets you share projects among certain team members, assign them tasks and put deadlines on each task, so that you can make sure all projects are completed within a certain timeframe.

3. Time tracking. How are you spending your time? And your employees? Are they spending most of it on revenue-generating activities like actual project work or going to sales meetings, or are they consumed with other peripheral activities? Time tracking tools like TrackingTime, TimeCamp and Toggl let you do this, and are also are good way to ensure your billing stays on track if you charge by the hour, for example if you’re a consultancy or an agency. 

4. HR management. Submitting and approving leave forms. Keeping track of who’s on long term leave. Issuing payslips. Performance management. Keeping tabs on recruiting new employees. If you’re like most small businesses, you probably don’t have a separate HR department, which can make it hard to stay in control of human resource issues. Thankfully, lots of HR management tools available that let you easily outsource your payroll and HR functions in one tool. Examples include bamboo HR, SAP SuccessFactors and Payspace, which is specifically aimed at African countries.  

With all the things you need to think about as a small business owner, it makes sense to automate using available technology wherever you can – especially for those tasks that are time consuming or repetitive. Using the suggestions above, you can invest a relatively small amount of money in keeping your business running smoothly, allowing you to focus on the core activities that will really make your small business a success. 

When it comes to your banking, you want to work with a bank that understands your unique needs as a small business owner, and who can give you the solutions you need. Bidvest Bank’s Business Banking Services can provide you with everything from transactional banking to foreign exchange and asset-based finance, enabling you to make your business the best it can be.