Ultimate Guide to Workflow Automation for Small Business
A business is only as good as its ability to be agile. Efficiency and productivity are the two biggest ways you can improve your business’s agility. Thus, workflow automation for small business is the most efficient way to do this. This is because small businesses are often understaffed and overworked. As a result, they often don’t have the time to spend on repetitive tasks. This leads to a lot of wasted time and a lot of lost opportunities. For example, if you’re missing a data source, you can use automation tools to connect to it.
Making a repeatable process and removing as much manual intervention from it as possible is key to efficiency and better productivity. Oftentimes, a small business doesn’t have the time or money to hire someone to handle their workflow for them.
A workflow is a process that focuses on tasks that need to be done to achieve a business goal. There are many different types of workflows and you can automate those. The reason why you automate your workflow is to make sure that it is done consistently, correctly, and on time. Automating a business workflow may sound like an easy thing to do. If it’s a small business, you might think you don’t need to automate. However, you always need to look at how you can make your business more efficient and to take things off your plate.
Workflow management automation
Workflow management is the process of automating business processes, such as those found in an office. A workflow management system (WMS) is a type of backend automation system which provides automation of all the processes in the workflow. This is a form of enterprise automation that allows for better coordination, efficiency, and management of business processes. Moreover, a workflow management system manages all of the business rules that relate to the business processes. Further, workflow management systems might be used to manage the workflow of a business from order management to shipping and delivery. These systems allow a business to reduce the cost of the business by eliminating repetitive, manual tasks.
Moreover, workflow automation for small business helps to manage the business processes, including the following: Scheduling: It is a part of the workflow management system which helps to schedule the tasks and workflow. Management: It helps to manage the task list and workflow. Reporting: It helps to report the progress of the workflow and tasks to the users. Automation: It helps to complete the workflow by providing the tools to complete the workflow. Here’s how you can automate your business workflow in 4 steps:
Table of Content
- Determine what business processes you need to automate.
- Find a workflow management system that works for you.
- Set up a workflow management system.
- Determine what business processes you need to automate
Business processes are the lifeblood of every business. Just like a human body, a business needs to function at peak performance and efficiency in order to survive. However, unlike the human body, business processes can be broken down and simplified into a series of steps that can be easily automated. For any business, there are some processes that are more critical than others. These are the items that should be at the top of your list for automation. Let’s explore a couple of different ways your business could benefit from automating some of the more common business processes in your day-to-day workflow:
- Marketing. With workflow automation, a lot of your more mundane business marketing tasks can be automated.
- You can automate your Human Resources. Give you more time to analyze your HR processes and see where you can make the process more streamlined.
- You can automate your accounting and finances. Automate processing travel requests from staff, pending reimbursements from team members and budget approvals waiting to be authorized.
- Find a workflow management system that works for you
It’s no secret that small businesses struggle to keep up with the latest in technology. Many businesses do not have a formal system in place to get the most out of their business. However, the answer to that problem may not be as difficult as one might think. With workflow automation for small business, you can save time and money and create a better experience for your customers. Below are some of the most important things to consider before you get started.
- Simple Setup. You need to look for workflow management software that is:
(a) Cloud-Based – Meaning, you’ll be able to start using the software instantly without having to deal with the installation.
(b) Reasonably Priced – Today, most automation software companies charge based on # of users, have freemium models, and are generally not that expensive.
- No-code, drag & drop workflow designer. Meaning, just about anyone from your organization can create and edit processes with zero knowledge of the software.
- Web-Based Integrations. To get the best out of your workflow management system, you need to be able to use it alongside all of your other favorite tools.
3. Set up a workflow management system
Whether you’re running a small business or working from home, you’ll want to make your life as simple and streamlined as possible. And if you’re like most small business owners, you already have a lot on your plate. That’s why it’s important to streamline your workflow and automate your business as much as possible. Workflow automation is a great way to save time, save money, and make your life easier. Now, we’ll be going through some of the best ways to create workflow automation for small business.
The small business guide to improving your workflow. The first step to simplifying your workflow is to determine what processes you need to automate. Also, take note that the best way to get a solid understanding of the workflow is to interview actual users. Then create a workflow diagram so the team can easily visualize each workflow step and provide feedback. Low-code workflow automation systems like Integromat can simultaneously provide the flow diagram representation and actual implementation of the automation. The platform is highly visual and easy to use. Business users can automate workflows using simple drag-and-drop tools in the workflow editor. Afterwards, test the workflow to find and fix bugs making sure the workflow runs smoothly. Then, regular monitoring and optimization is necessary. The only way to have highly efficient workflows is through optimization. Finally, share consequential success stories and recognize the efforts of the team.
By now, you must be convinced to automate your business processes using workflow automation software. True, workflow automation can be a daunting task for small businesses. Further, while there is no one size fits all approach, there are some methods that can help make the transition into workflow automation a bit easier. Moreover, there are times when it’s easier to just do it yourself, but there are also times when it’s easier to let a machine do it for you. To give you an example, it’s difficult to keep track of every single person who views a post on Facebook. But, when you use a tool like Integromat, that can automate your following and unfollowing, it’s simple to manage your posts without the extra work. We hope you enjoyed our Ultimate Guide to Workflow Automation for Small Business. We wanted to share our knowledge to help out small businesses that are looking for ways to automate their business. If you are interested in learning more about workflow automation or business automation join our free workshop with our automation expert.