Starting up a new business is a lot of work for a small number of hands. You have a limited number of resources to do a large number of tasks. And that can lead to errors and confusion, endangering your ability to grow.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Automation can help you and your colleagues complete repetitive and mundane tasks quickly and easily. That allows you to focus on the more important task of building a successful company.
The Role of Automation in Startups
As an entrepreneur, you and those supporting your new business have their hands full multi-tasking. Time-consuming mundane tasks, such as administrative duties, are a nuisance when there is a business to build. This leaves you with a host of problems that impede how well your company functions.
However, by automating certain functions, you can more easily compete with larger firms and other startups. Tasks such as sales, HR, and marketing functions can be handled by AI. Your business runs more efficiently and your team members are more productive, keeping you competitive in the marketplace.
You need the right tools in place to make this happen. Artificial intelligence provides the solutions you need.
How AI Works in Automating Systems
Artificial intelligence, or AI, plays a key role in business automation systems. Basic AI consists of “rules engines” which are programmed to do simple tasks. However, automation requires a more sophisticated level of AI that includes machine learning and deep learning.
Machine learning systems examine large amounts of data for patterns. Over time, they improve their ability to draw conclusions from this data. In other words, they become smarter over time and perform functions better.
For example, chatbots are a type of AI. They can search for patterns in customer data to provide more focused problem-solving. That provides a better customer support experience for your clients.
Deep learning systems are another type of AI. They are modeled on the human brain and are far more complex. Video gaming AI is the most popular example of deep learning. Other applications include music apps that recommend songs, image recognition applications, and advanced language software.
There are many applications that use AI to support business functions, especially for new companies.
Startups benefit from automating their project management systems. These tools help your team reach client goals and business objectives more efficiently. There are numerous methodologies you can use, such as agile for repeatable processes, like software development, or lean, which focuses on customers, processes, and optimizing your resources.
Once you know what system works best for your company, select a software- or cloud-based system that fits your needs. Automated project management tools keep your team connected and on track with milestones and deadlines. They also alert you when you need to make adjustments.
Automated project management systems ensure that your workflow is efficient. This maximizes productivity for your whole team.
Sales and Bookkeeping
When your business is new, sales processes and accurate bookkeeping are critical functions. Certain functions can easily go off-track without a clear system that pulls everything together. Fortunately, AI makes this easy to manage with sales tools that simplify the process.
- Invoicing systems should provide a clear, easy flow for paying customers while bookkeeping should be seamlessly integrated. Make sure the system you choose is scalable so you don’t waste time and money revamping your software in the future.
- Order and inventory solutions ensure that you have what you need on hand before making sales. With today’s supply chain challenges, order management software must run smoothly and be as up-to-date as possible.
- Customer relationship management software supports your sales efforts. Logging and automating customer interactions will help you close more sales.
As your company grows, your human resource department must scale along with it. Automation supports HR, rather than replacing it, by helping these professionals eliminate mundane tasks. Instead, they are free to focus on organizational and company-building activities.
Some functions HR automation can perform include:
- Streamlining the hiring process using surveys, assessments, and gamification techniques to analyze potential candidates.
- Training new hires with webinars, apps, and recordings.
- Automating digital employment records and benefits administration.
Another important startup task that AI can improve is marketing. Email marketing is the best example of this. You can train your team on email marketing so that they can schedule regular campaigns. They can also learn best practices for writing customer newsletters and how to avoid getting flagged as spam.
There are, however, many other marketing functions you can automate with AI:
- Social media marketing
- Blog management
- Customer communications such as text messaging and chatbots
- Direct mail management
- Managing promotions and other events, like sales or seasonal marketing
Startups should consider automating tasks like these as much as possible.
While it’s important to keep the human factor engaged for both customer and employee support, automation streamlines administrative and mundane task work. This is beneficial when your team is small and growing, so all hands are focused on growing a successful and profitable business.