“You’re either the one that creates the automation or you’re getting automated ”
— Tom Preston
Automation is dangerous. I get it. But more so for people who are not smart enough to leverage its benefits. You see — automation is a double edged sword, on one side lies lazy, stupid people whereas on the other hand lies opportunistic and smart individuals treating technology as a tool and using it to his own advantages.
In the 19th century when better tools for farming were being developed, the farming sector all over the west was caught in frenzy. Many of them were forced to lose their jobs and move to the cities. While this was a disruptive time, the effect was gradually but surely weighing heavily on the farmers. Many of them were distressed, forced to suicide and retire penniless. They simply could not catch up with the times.
On the other hand, there were a fraction of masses who moved their asses, hustled their way into cities and made a life for themselves in the face of predicament. In the same way, most rich farmers adopted the new technologies and turned their craft into gold. They walked away with all the super-normal profits and crushed the meager farmers.
As capitalistic as it may sound — it was true and it happened.
And it is due to happen all over again.
“Adversity causes some men to break; and some men to break records” — William Arthur Ward
Pardon William sir for the gender anomaly but his words are gold in this context. It was true ages back when medical science was flourishing which led to the demise of all those ayurvedic, traditional sages who would sit under trees and cure people with leaves, honey and other special ingredients which no tom, dick and harry understood.
Now when automation is creating robots and technologies that IS substantially replacing all the receptionists sitting in hospitals and hotels — We are freaking out!
No wonder human beings have a really short term memory span.
Now that we have established how automation is both a threat and opportunity for us, let’s look at some ways small businesses can create wonders for themselves by employing automation that could eventually both save time and make money:
1. Become more effective, far quicker:
SaaS (Software as a Service) is software delivered over the internet, rather than the old school CD installation route. Remember ‘Encarta’ anyone?
Anyway, the point is that with such a massive variety of online software available at the click of button, you’d be crazy not to leverage someone else’s genius to accomplish a task quicker and better.
You can become far more effective, far quicker, by leveraging automation. Best of all, SaaS is usually free or available pay-as-you-use or through a monthly subscription model.
Entrepreneur has a great list of tools for small businesses to use right over here.
2. Focus on value addition:
Automation is no holy grail. It is not perfect. It is just a tool designed to help us, humans. Can it go wrong? Yes, definitely and it does more often than you think. Even after automating, you need a couple of human beings as backup to look after the processes. Now when shit hits the roof, you would need stable minded people on board who can turn up with the work despite the glitch.
What automation solves is simple — you get more time of the amazing commodity that is the human brain; which otherwise would have been wasted on sending 100 emails. (Think Mailchimp!)
3. It reduces the mistakes that can occur between processes:
Since all the marketing and sales funnel are “running” in the same place, the information of leads and prospects are connected in the same platform and can be accessed with ease. Instead of going through different tools and different people to find a specific piece of data, a software can assemble similar information and make life easier for managers.
4. Gives you time to focus on something much more vital:
Networking, building relationships, brainstorming new ideas — this is where your vision, creativity and drive should be invested.
Invest time in sitting with your core group of people and make stuff happen so next time when a similar article about ‘small businesses’ appear, you can gladly say that you have moved ahead of that phase. In fact this is what we are brilliant at; to take your business to the next level.
Stop wasting time as an entrepreneur on customer management, billing and support. You need to put your energies where they are most beneficial to you — specifically as a small business.
Automating your processes and tasks that are clunky, repeated, and time-consuming will give you the freedom to do just that.
Automation is the answer.