As 2020 is slowly coming to a close, businesses are saying goodbye to a year filled with uncertainties, loss, and rapid changes we have yet to fully understand and embrace. Based on what we’ve experienced this year, we can expect the following one to be one of opportunity to bounce back, but also brimming with uncertainties as a consequence of the pandemic. That said, companies are eager to find smart, innovative ways to increase productivity, profitability, and overall stability. This is where automation in all of its glory will step in to help brands from all industries gain a stronger foothold in 2021.
By EMMA WORDEN
Not only does automation open new doors for employee and organization efficiency, but it also allows companies to focus on core processes and avoid human error in the process. We are fallible, and we need to prevent costly mistakes by relying on different digital and tech tools and solutions, more than ever. Let’s suggest a few of the most powerful reasons automation will be the go-to approach to ensure business growth in 2021.
Unleashing your social media
No matter your industry or your target demographic, you need a strong social media presence if you want to build long-term customer bonds and a notable industry presence. That said, you cannot expect a limited number of people to handle swarms of social media comments, as well as content posting, review management, etc.
For small businesses that typically have just one social media manager, social media automation in 2021 will help these managers focus on creative content output, learning from data analytics and reports, and enhancing customer engagement. Automated posting, advanced scheduling features, and social media tracking and analytics can all be automated and managed with ease.
Keeping your manufacturing in line
However small your business might be, manufacturing is one of those core processes that needs to be structured, transparent, and optimized for growth. It entails everything from vendor communication, order processing, invoicing, all the way to tracking your inventory, and that is why automation can become essential in this area of your business.
More specifically, using manufacturing software for small business operations can help you cut costs through automation, and improve efficiency over time. Such software solutions are designed to help you improve your forecasting potential, always deliver your products on time, and keep your promise to your customers. What’s more, you’ll be able to recognize emerging customer trends and avoid understocking or overstocking your supplies.
Accounting automation for accuracy
Manual, labor-intensive processes abound in every corner of your business, but some are more error-prone than others, and some are fortunate enough to have automated solutions that can whisk your troubles away. For example, advanced accounting automation can help your teams use software and digital tools to eliminate paper-based accounting altogether, introduce speedy and secure invoicing and transactions, automate repeat transactions, and simplify the entire process.
To be growth-oriented, you need the knowledge and the tools to focus on the future to begin with. Automated accounting allows your business to do just that: boost the reliability of your financial analytics, forecasting, and improve your taxation and cash flow management.
Leveraging data reporting automation
How many hours do your marketers spend (or waste is a more accurate depiction) on sifting through piles of data from a wide array of different tools and dashboards, only to create a barely understandable presentation that nobody can use? Too many companies still make the same mistake, but for the sake of data-driven growth, that should not be the case as you approach 2021.
More companies will rely on comprehensive data reports automated with software, so as to eliminate useless information, focus on what is truly actionable, and deliver fast and accurate reports to drive growth.
Customer support made simpler
Human interactions have drastically changed in the course of 2020, partially because the pandemic has spurred the introduction of social distancing regulations, but partly because digitalization has been in full swing for a long time. More brands are switching to remote collaboration and have done so well before the pandemic. Today, more brands are looking for automated, but humanized ways to interact with customers and boost their relationships.
Automated customer service with the help of AI-driven chatbots shows great promise to achieve just that: relatable, reliable digital assistants replacing your human customer service agents, so that they can focus on more complex tasks a bot cannot possibly handle. AI tools of this nature will help your teams become more efficient over time, while automated and cost-effective solutions take over menial, time-consuming work.
These are merely a handful of reasons that will entice more companies to utilize automation and digitalization in their operations. Hopefully, 2021 will be easier on the economy and we’ll be able to focus on growth and progress, with the help of solutions that will take over various menial tasks as well as vital processes, thus increasing their accuracy, security, and overall business transparency. If this year is anything to go by, automation will definitely enable companies to keep their remote operations more resilient and make their employees happy in the process.
- Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends. Follow Emma on Twitter.