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How Simple Software Automation Is Helping SMEs Get More Done Every Day

October 15

As SMEs, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of menial tasks, rather than focusing on the creative endeavours that can really grow our business.

How Simple Software Automation Is Helping SMEs Get More Done Every Day

As SMEs, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day drudgery of menial tasks, rather than focusing on the creative endeavours that can really grow our business.

Thanks to the rise of intelligent, automated software, it’s now easier than ever to use meticulous technology to handle those annoying, repetitive tasks.

While it might take some time to integrate the right platforms in the right way, once they’re established, automated software can turbocharge your efficiency and your profits.

Here are some ways that simple software automation can help SMEs get more done, every day.



Finance

The challenge

Most business owners come from a background connected to the product or service they’re selling, be it hair styling, advertising or retail. They tend not to be experts in finance.

It used to be necessary to bring in expert help to carry out fairly straightforward financial tasks, such as posting invoices, logging transactions, or generating standard financial reports.

Thanks to advances in automation, you can now bypass many of these, cutting your costs dramatically.

The solution

For many repetitive and time-consuming financial chores, software platforms such as Float can perform those tasks faster and better.


Float’s main purpose is to schedule, organise, plan and manage cash flows. It can be combined with accounting software to ensure bookkeeping data is automatically updated across all your platforms, meaning any data entry is never duplicated.

AutoEntry is another useful platform, which abolishes the manual data entry of invoices, bills, statements and receipts. Simply email, scan and upload, or take a snap of your documents with the software’s mobile app and all the relevant data is extracted and inputted into your accounting software. Clever, huh? It strips all the heavy lifting from data entry and ensures that minimal errors are made.

By teaming these platforms together, you can eradicate hours of work from your business. This gives you back more time to really analyse your numbers, spot trends and use deeper insights to direct the next move of the company.

 

Operations

The challenge

Masses of manpower is unnecessarily wasted on basic business operations, such as keeping track of employees’ time off or running your reception desk efficiently.

By embracing automation in these areas, you’ll sprinkle some magic dust on your business, reducing mistakes, saving time and keeping your business running smoothly.

The solution

One of the biggest-hitters in terms of business operation management is CharlieHR. It provides a simple and user-friendly way of efficiently tracking holidays and sick leave. CharlieHR warns you when holidays and time off will overlap, and even notifies your employees when they get close to their annual holiday entitlement.

 

Salon.Life is another golden operational opportunity. It performs the role of a digital receptionist in beauty salons and spas by taking appointments online, sending text and email reminders to customers, and managing your calendar.

It can’t make coffee (yet!), but this valuable platform saves you hours of going back and forth to your phone or email – giving you more time to spend with your customers, or on the future direction of your business.


 Communications

The challenge

When it comes to communications and marketing, SMEs who use automated software to support their human efforts, can boost their business performance – and their reputation.

A key challenge for SMEs who advertise or sell products through their website is providing the 24/7 customer care that consumers have come to expect. Long response times are unacceptable to modern-day shoppers, so it’s important you have a system that provides immediate, relevant and useful communication with customers.


 The solution

The integration of chatbots into company communications is taking the commercial world by storm. Forbes reported that chatbots and self-service options not only create the illusion of increased customer care, but bring additional profits for your business, too. In the case of global clothing firm Tommy Hilfiger, research found that chatbots were directly responsible for an 87% rate of returning customers.

At a more local level, Co. Antrim-based horse tack and lifestyle store, The Old Mill Saddlery, has pioneered the use of chatbots in the equine industry. When customers land on its webpage, a chatbot appears on screen. It recognises and answers frequently asked questions, directs customers to the right specialist or department when extra help is required, and highlights related products and offers.

Getting the best from a chatbot means spending time upfront developing a detailed compilation of FAQs. In the short-term, SMEs might balk at the time and effort involved in compiling this. But it’s important to remember that once you’ve done it, the bot will save you time and money – and boost your customers’ experience.

Wrap-up

 Smart and savvy SMEs are constantly seeking more efficient ways of working. Yet, for many, investing in automation still feels like a complex and time-consuming step into the unknown.

Businesses that choose to embrace the latest technology will quickly reap the benefits, and gain a competitive advantage by revolutionising how their company operates.

Investing time and money now can help future-proof your SME and transform your productivity and success for the better.


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