Time is money—or so they say. Does this mean the more time you have the more money you have? Interestingly, yes—this is exactly what it means. And right now the best way to save time and eventually money is by automating business functions with the help of automation software. Automation software tools promise to cut workflow in half (or even more in some cases) and make business processes easier overall. This means you have more time to dedicate to revenue generation and growing your business.
Now, let’s say you want to try automating some of your business processes. Where do you start? Which tools should you use? Which ones work? Sure, you can do a bit of research but it might take you a while to separate the wheat from the chaff. So rather than rely on trial and error, we’ve put together a list of business functions that can and should be automated. To make things even easier for you, I’ve listed some examples of the best automation tools in each category.
Internal communication is crucial to increase productivity, stimulate motivation, share knowledge and increase efficiency at work. A report by the McKinsey Global Institute reveals that productivity improves by up to 25% when employees are connected to each other.
Our pick for team communication automation software:
Slack is an instant messaging platform that facilitates team collaboration. It can be used for direct messaging, calls and file sharing. You can create multiple channels for projects, topics, teams and even to talk to yourself. For information that you might want to keep a bit more private you can create private channels. Also, you can integrate Slack with other automation tools for a truly interactive communication platform.
Flowdock is a workspace platform that brings together all your conversations in a real-time and transparent setting. Team members can organize conversations in threads according to topics, and anyone can join and contribute. You can also create confidential threads and activate screen sharing with simple commands.
HipChat refers to itself as a “team chat that’s actually for business”. With HipChat, teams can enter into group chats, video chats and share screens for better real-time collaboration. On top of this, HipChat can be integrated with the most popular services used at work such as GitHub and hundreds more. This way, you will receive notifications from all your platforms at one place.
Projects are the bread and butter of any company. Therefore, it should be your top priority to manage your projects well and keep track of the process from beginning to end. Did you know that 57% of projects fail due to breakdown in communications? This is because not all team members can see the flow of the project processes.
“97% of companies believe that project management is critical to business performance and organizational success” (source). This is why project management automation tools are a favorite among businesses from various industries. They promise complete transparency, enable seamless communication and present milestones clearly.
Our pick for project management automation software:
Trello is probably one of the most popular project management tools and with good reason. Consisting of customizable boards, Trello helps you classify tasks using cards according to team members, priority and deadlines. You can even upload images, comments and checklists.
Asana is an easy-to-use project management tool and is great for small businesses that don’t have too many complex projects. This handy piece of software helps teams come together and keep track of progress.
Organize all your internal projects under one roof. Basecamp is a project management tool that provides insight into everything that is happening in your business environment. Monitor tasks, schedule meetings and even have a chat with your team.
HR professionals like using automation software to import and organize digital documents, store files, archive records and gather information. And why wouldn’t they? It helps them get work done faster.
Our pick for HR management automation software:
Say goodbye to spreadsheets once and for all with one of the best HR management automation software of 2017 – BambooHR. This tool is perfect for small- and medium- sized businesses. Its top features include:
- Centralized employee database
- Accurate reporting
- Easy to use
- Simple hiring
- Smart reminders
- Controlled access
With BambooHR you have access to all your employee information anytime, anywhere.
HR management is a breeze when using Zenefits. Use it to sync all your employee data, including payroll, recruitment, offboarding, reimbursements and leave requests. Gain valuable insight and minimize time-consuming tasks.
Namely offers modern HR features necessary for any business to function with maximum efficiency. This piece of HR management software gives you access to your employee database, payroll data, documents, benefits and so much more.
Marketing & Social Media
Being active on social media platforms is harder than it seems. Just ask any marketer. You have to do research, create, schedule and reply to posts, while constantly being on the lookout for new trends and strategies. Sit down with a marketer and ask them how they manage all their social media accounts and they’ll probably give you the same answer—automation tools.
Our pick for social media marketing automation software:
If you’re a serious marketer then you’ve probably already heard of Buffer—or are already using it. Buffer makes it easier for marketers to schedule their posts, track post analytics, and manage all your social media accounts in one place.
Hootsuite is another useful tool to manage your business’ social media presence. Use it to connect, schedule, monitor, integrate and analyze all your posts from a single dashboard. Currently, Hootsuite connects you to over 35 social media networks.
If you’ve been sending out email marketing campaigns manually, you’ll be over the moon when you start using MailChimp. This mass email automation tool helps you design the perfect email campaign and send it to hundreds and even thousands of recipients at the same time.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Another business process that you should be automating is your customer interactions and sales. Customers should always be prioritized in your business strategy. There are many software tools that can help your business nurture and close off a deal.
Our pick for social media marketing automation software:
Think of Pipedrive as your personal sales manager. This versatile piece of automation software helps you oversee your sales pipeline and manage leads efficiently. Use Pipedrive for an effective sales methodology, better customer interaction and refined sales management.
Get access to multiple apps that let you reach out, engage and manage your prospects with Zoho. This sales automation tool allows you to create a custom sales sequence for you and your team to follow. Essentially, Zoho helps you build a scalable sales pipeline that meets your business needs using your desired methodology.
Turn your spreadsheets into an easy to track database. Fieldbook helps small businesses keep track of every sales process, including campaign, contact, list, lead and project management, as well as assist them in tracking sales progress.
Custom Automation Software
Off-the-shelf software or shrink-wrapped software, as some like to call it, is convenient, especially if your business needs are simple. But what happens when your business processes become more complex and the commercial software begins to limit rather than assist growth? The most sensible solution is to build custom software that is adapted to and meets the specific needs of your business.
If you want to simplify, accelerate and maximize your business processes you should look into building custom software. Do some research and find a custom software development company that can help you move your business forward via automation.
Are you ready to use these automation tools or build a custom software solution to accelerate your business processes?
Valoso Hub has an experienced team of software developers that can build custom software solutions that’ll fit your business like a glove. Contact us today and let’s talk about your business processes and how we can help.