Businesses at their initial stage of growth might not need to automate their operations as their processes have yet to reach a certain level of complexity. However, as these businesses expand and grow, along with it comes the hiring of more staff and the introduction of new product lines. These will then entail the implementation of additional business processes that require more time and effort. Without automation, these processes will potentially create bottlenecks that might slow down the entire operation.
Here is a good time-saving tip: as a business owner, you can consider various online tools to help you stay ahead of the competition and grow your business. These tools can automate small business tasks such as social media scheduling, team collaboration and management, task management, and accounting. Some of these main categories and their associated popular tools are:
The productivity of a business depends on good communication and collaboration between its team members. The following tools can facilitate communication within and between teams.
Slack — It is a complete hub for messaging, file transfer, brainstorming sessions, event announcements, and more, making it a popular team collaboration tool used by entrepreneurs.
Zoho Cliq — This team communication tool offers users real-time messaging, audio and video conferencing, file sharing, and unlimited storage. It is specifically targeted at small and medium businesses.
Microsoft Teams — This platform allows instant messaging, the sharing of documents, hosting of online meetings, and many more helpful functions for business communications.
Accounting and bookkeeping can take up a lot of your time, and the possibility of errors while maintaining records manually is inevitable. The following accounting tools for business can make accounting a much easier and more efficient process:
AccountEdge Pro — This tool offers features such as inventory accounting, sales and invoicing, payroll, and a comprehensive inventory management module that comes with a Shopify connector.
FreshBooks — It is an accounting tool that offers bookkeeping functions, invoicing, expense reporting, time tracking, and client project management.
Xero – It is an all-in-one accounting software that automates administration, cash flow tracking, and tax filing.
Business task management tools can help you save time through the planning, organising, and prioritising of tasks and processes. Some of these tools include:
ProofHub — This software allows you to create task lists, custom workflows, custom reports, and projects. It also has a built-in chat module that allows for real-time collaboration between team members.
ClickUp — It has the potential to manage multiple projects and allows you to create templates for recurring tasks, prioritise tasks, set reminders, and customisable interfaces to suit your needs.
Asana — This task management software allows you to monitor your team’s progress, organise the tasks and enhance collaboration.
Digital marketing tools are essential to market your brand and measure traffic growth, promote content, capture leads, and analyse all related metrics to identify buyer trends. The following marketing tools are popular in this regard:
Google Analytics — It provides valuable insights into data points such as user demographics and interests, number of visitors, the types of keywords used in online searches, and different types of referrals.
HubSpot — It is an all-in-one-marketing solution that allows you to manage content across multiple channels. It provides features used for content optimisation, marketing automation, analytics, lead management, and social media management.
Ahrefs — This Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) tool allows you to analyse your competitors, know what the top keywords your customers are searching for, and monitor your website’s ranking progress.
Social media management is essential, as it helps grow your customer base and create brand awareness. However, it is equally important to ensure that the social media posts to engage the consumers are consistent across all platforms. For small businesses, without a proper corporate communications team in place, this can be a difficult task as there are many social media platforms to keep track of, like Facebook and Instagram. The following tools can be used to carry out social media management:
Buffer — It can help you post status updates on various social media platforms at one go. You can even schedule the posts to be posted at specific timings. Buffer also has an analytics feature that allows you to analyse the effectiveness of your posts.
HootSuite — It is a popular social media management tool here in Hong Kong. Widely used all around the world, Hootsuite’s popular features include a content scheduler, social ROI tracker, a social media ads planner, and much more.
CoSchedule — It is a marketing calendar that allows marketing groups to be organised in many different countries. Additionally, it enables teams to collaborate in one place and allows for the streamlining of their executional process.
By using such automation tools as part of their business project management, small business owners are able to receive the following benefits:
Manpower optimisation: Using these tools will help reduce the reliance on manpower that is required for all operations.
Reduce errors: Based on a report by Impira, 66% has stated that automation plays a critical role in error reduction.
Increases productivity: According to McKinsey Institute, the automation of different tasks can increase productivity growth by 1.4% per year.
Speed up operations: Faster processing leads to better overall efficiency.
Reduces costs in the long term: 57% of IT leaders stated that automation helps save costs, approximately 10% to 50% from previous manual processes.
Improved customer service: They help reduce response time for customer queries and increase customer satisfaction and brand loyalty.
Growth: Business processes can be easily scaled as the business grows.
Environmentally friendly: Employees can work in a paperless environment where all information is stored and transmitted digitally, so there’s neither the need to write or print on paper nor organise papers in physical files and folders.
With time-saving tools in place, you’re on your way to providing a seamless experience for your customers. But business success doesn’t end just there. Providing good delivery services to your customers is equally important, which makes it essential to partner with reliable logistics providers like DHL Express for seamless delivery solutions. Whether you want to include time-definite delivery as part of your last-mile services or offer your customers more flexibility through on demand solutions, you can trust DHL Express to provide you with what you need. Sign up for a DHL Express account with us today to leverage our expertise for your business.