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  • Business Automation


4 things you should be automating
13 March 2017

One of the major announcements made during Budget 2017 was the introduction of the SME Go Digital programme. This programme underlines the need for small businesses to become part of the ever-growing digital economy and boost their operations with technology. Here are 4 things your SME should consider automating to adapt and evolve with the changing business climate:

Social media management

Marketing automation is the buzzword for 2017—and for good reason. Not only does it make updating your social media easier, results show that the automation makes boosting your online presence much more effective.

Marketing automation goes beyond merely scheduling your social media posts in a queue. It also allows you to track your performance, streamlining it to attract a wider base. It can track the best time to send emails for a higher click rate or send follow-up emails for customer retention. Over a short span of time, automation software has emerged with overwhelmingly positive results.

 

In a survey conducted by Entrepreneur, 78% of marketers saw a rise in revenue after automation.

 

This is because delegating repetitive tasks to machines frees up time to strategise and plan better campaigns. Automating social posts, for instance, can save more than 6 hours per week—6 hours that can now be spent analysing consumer trends to better cater to them. The automation also allows companies to post more relevant content based on previous history, which can increase sales by up to 20%.i

 

Software like Infusionsoft, HubSpot and Eloqua rank amongst the most popular marketing automation software used by businesses.

Workflow efficiency

Automated personal assistants have become increasingly popular these past few years. Software like IFTTT and Microsoft Flow simplify work processes, doing fixed tasks when certain actions are triggered. These actions include automatically backing up key data like email attachments and sensitive files.

"This is especially vital given that data loss costs local SMEs over $1 billion annually." ii

These task-automating applications have proven to be time-saving productivity boosters, with IFTTT even dubbed "The web's most powerful tool" iii. They can also help you save money by tracking price drops in items you want, or even add your transactions to a Google spreadsheet once you snap a picture.

Mobile bill claims processing

With constant connectivity becoming a must, more businesses are shelling out for their employees’ phone bills. Although this is a perk for employees, it just means more work for HR. StarHub's Split billing eases the tedious monthly claims process and eliminates human error for more accurate, efficient claim calculation of your employee's mobile expenses.

Human Resource

Complying with changing mandatory MOM regulations requires time and consistent checks to stay in the loop. Added to the fact that now employers must provide each employee with a monthly itemised payslip, this cuts into a large amount of HR and accounting time. Automated solutions like StarHub's ePayroll automatically update to meet the latest standards, generating payslips that are precise and up to date.

 As the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME) highlights:

"Singapore small and medium enterprises (SMEs) must embrace what automation and technology has to offer to solve their most common problems – manpower shortage and the constant pressure of increasing productivity." iv

With the government encouraging SMEs to go digital, it is only a matter of time before automation becomes part and parcel of every business. The key to coping with digital disruption however, is to ensure that you are at the forefront of adopting new technology.

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