5 ways automation can help your business

Opinions expressed Entrepreneur collaborators are their own.

Many business owners will tell you that managing other people is the hardest part of owning a business. Having spent more than two decades leading and growing my own company, I can tell you that the main challenges with managing a team come down to the extra time and work it takes to be a leader. To counter this and experience the joys and benefits of leading others, you need automation.

Here’s how it can help.

1. Automation simplifies collaboration

For most companies, effective team communication is the key to success. As a leader, it’s up to you to set the tone for constant, honest communication and prioritize collaboration. Of course, challenges arise when your day-to-day role is already pushed to its limits and your time is stretched thin.

Automation ensures that busy days don’t get in the way of the thinking and camaraderie that are critical to the health of your business. For example, if you use documents in the cloud, your team can easily collaborate on delivery without the stress of version control or workflow. If you use project management software, you can quickly assign tasks to employees and feel confident that you don’t have to micromanage their completion.

Related: 11 Ways to Automate Your Business and Increase Efficiency

2. Automation empowers sales efforts

It’s not a direct part of managing a team, but every business owner should do everything they can to empower their salespeople. After all, your sales—and the relationships your salespeople have with your customers—are the heart of any business.

Automation will free up your sales team’s time for the strategic tasks and complex customer conversations they need to do. For example, your team gets valuable hours out of their day by automating lead nurturing, customer follow-up, and meeting scheduling. Ultimately, sales and marketing automation saves everyone time and sets your business up for maximum sales success.

Related: How to use automation (and avoid pitfalls) as an entrepreneur

3. Automation removes your payroll

If managing people is considered a difficult part of entrepreneurship, managing payroll is often feared. Not only do you need to make sure that there are enough funds in the bank to cover the salaries of your team members, but you also need to ensure that they are paid on time. This requires more logistics than most people realize if you pay manually.

Today, there is no reason not to automate this part of your business and countless reasons to do so. Payroll automation software will help you make your team’s payments on time and give you the confidence to comply with business rules and regulations. This will mean you have one less thing to worry about and happy employees. After all, there are few things that upset people more than not receiving a payment. Automation solves this, making everyone’s lives easier and building trust between you and your team.

4. Automation can become your billing department

Beyond payroll processing, automation provides the single best way to bill clients and collect payments. When you go through an automated billing system, you don’t have to remember when to invoice or chase payments when they’re late.

This not only saves you time and helps you get paid when you should, but also removes the awkward situation of being a debt collector. Such a dynamic can damage supplier-client relationships and leave a bitter taste for everyone. Automating billing will eliminate these scenarios and keep you and your team focused on higher value tasks.

5. Automation can streamline onboarding

This is one area that many don’t consider when looking at the benefits of automation, but it can be a huge support in a number of ways. Automating parts of your onboarding process ensures that every new employee receives the same information and welcome to the company. This consistency can help with morale and brand consistency and save you from having to repeat onboarding training.

You can (and should) still keep the human touch in certain parts of the integration process, but try to automate the rest. For example, you can use workflow automation to onboard new hires through informational videos, short quizzes, paperwork and more. This will reduce the time spent on employee training and make the whole process more repeatable.

When it comes to running a business, managing a team isn’t always the most glamorous part. But it can be most helpful if you remove common points of friction and frustration. Implement automation in the areas listed here and you’ll see a big jump in your team’s satisfaction and productivity—and yours.

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