Leveraging Automated Business Solutions to Grow a Small Business

Thursday, February 27, 2020TOPICS: Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Man looking at marketing analytics on a tablet.

In a small town, a young entrepreneur has just established a business, selling books online as well as in a brick-and-mortar store. The store owner utilizes automation to grow their audience and achieve greater revenues with minimal time investment. Their efforts include computer-generated email marketing and automated digital ads. By incorporating these technologies into their business design, they’re able to slowly grow their digital sales, contributing to the success of their entrepreneurial endeavor.

Building a business from the ground up has become easier in some ways and more complicated in others. The technological age has brought with it numerous automated business solutions that companies in many industries implement throughout their operations. These tools have allowed companies large and small to gain insight into every corner of their business, opening doors to unprecedented business opportunities.

What Are Automated Business Solutions?

Automated business solutions are processes performed by computer programs, software, or other mechanical or digital assets without (or with minimal) human assistance. They can be physical tools, such as machinery on a production line capable of pumping out products around the clock, or digital tools, including computer software.

Employee Analytics Software

For companies with dozens, hundreds or even thousands of employees, keeping track of workers can require considerable oversight. Modern businesses can use complex, industry-specific software and smart devices to gain insight into their facilities and workforce regarding labor patterns, communications, break habits, workload distribution and more. Management can use the data gathered by computer programs to create positive change in a business, saving time and money while increasing employee satisfaction.

Robotics

Ever since Henry Ford established the modern production line in his automobile shop in the early 20th century, businesses have been searching for ways to streamline and modernize their facilities, often turning to robotics. While today’s robots might not be like Star Wars’ C-3PO, they’re still capable of performing all sorts of tasks, from carrying out laboratory research at the South Pole to fulfilling orders at shipment warehouses.

Artificial Intelligence

When people think of artificial intelligence (AI), they might think of Haley Joel Osment’s character from the 2001 film AI: Artificial Intelligence or a robot-like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Terminator. While today’s AI isn’t capable of independent thought and action, modern AI tools are quite advanced. Consider digital assistant technologies, such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa, and their ability to respond to commands and questions on different topics. These types of technologies have many applications in the business world, providing unique services to employees and consumers alike.

How Can Automated Business Solutions Help?

Though different automated business tools and solutions can bring about different results, some of the most common benefits stem from integrating automation into the work environment.

Worker Efficiency

Modern employers want to ensure that employees can focus on primary, high-level tasks rather than minutiae such as data entry, time tracking or other secondary tasks. Business software helps workers sort through large data sets, create charts and graphics, find mistakes in spelling or mathematics, and otherwise provide quality checks on work to ensure fewer errors and better profits while minimizing the time humans spend on such tasks.

Facility Management

In large and small office settings alike, automated business solutions help companies manage their physical space and save costs on expenses such as heating and electricity. For example, offices can use motion-sensor technology to turn lights on and off, ensuring that people don’t leave lightbulbs on in empty rooms, which wastes energy and leads to increased costs. Businesses may also use software for employees to reserve meeting rooms or conference facilities, eliminating the need for a facilities manager and reducing issues such as double-bookings. AI solutions can also track the use of resources over time, allowing businesses to better understand whether they need to invest in more space, adjust energy settings or make other changes.

Customer Support

Some large businesses can afford call centers with operators standing by to answer consumer questions or file complaints around the clock. That’s not possible for most small businesses, which might be able to afford only a small customer support team. However, with the help of AI chatbots and other automated business solutions, small businesses can have customer support lines accessible at all hours. AI technologies are able to understand questions and provide basic answers, helping customers with minor problems to fix issues at off-peak hours. Though these systems are not yet perfect, they can help solve many issues, taking the strain off customer service representatives.

Marketing Automation

Businesses of all types rely on marketing, whether they’re selling a product, brand or lifestyle or influencing people to feel a certain way about a subject. Even the world’s largest and best-known companies, such as Coca-Cola and Google, have billion-dollar marketing budgets to reach people through television, radio, digital advertising, social media and more.

While marketing departments and copywriters still have a large say in the development of advertisements, companies also utilize AI and other systems to make their marketing more direct and effective. Marketing software can help businesses identify trends and data points from massive data sets, enabling them to send targeted emails and serve ads to the right audiences at the right times.

For example, a bicycle company’s software might determine that people tend to replace tires about two years after buying a bike. The system can then automate an email to customers approaching the two-year mark highlighting deals on tires, increasing the likelihood of click-throughs and sales. Even more advanced AI and data software can track users’ browser and purchase history, allowing them to optimize their marketing efforts and reach the right audiences.

Explore More With the University of San Diego’s Evening Part-Time MBA

Understanding automated business tools and their impact is a crucial skill for business professionals in the 21st century. These professionals benefit from an advanced degree that combines practical knowledge, hands-on experience and a grasp of business’ global scale. Discover how the University of San Diego’s Evening Part-Time (MBA) program prepares professionals for success in the modern business landscape through courses in marketing analytics, financial analysis, and sustainable business design and innovation.

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Sources

Business Insider, “AI and Automation Are Radically Disrupting the Future of Work — Here’s What You Should Know”

CIO, “What Is RPA? A Revolution in Business Process Automation”

Entrepreneur, “15 Tools to Create Automation in Your Small Business”

Forbes, “The New Wave of Technology: Why Automation Is Good for Business”

Investopedia, “A Look at Coca-Cola’s Advertising Expenses”

Small Business Trends, “20 Ways to Automate Your Small Business for Free"

University of San Diego, Evening Part-Time Master of Business Administration (MBA) Program

Contact:

Renata Ramirez
renataramirez@sandiego.edu
(619) 260-4658