Four Nontraditional Businesses That Benefit from Workflow Automation

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Workflow automation software sounds very straight-laced, doesn’t it? In fact, it is about bringing order and consistency to business processes, but it can be applied to just about any business in any industry.

While it may be obvious how workflow tools can benefit an insurance brokerage or publishing house, it’s not quite as obvious how they can benefit nontraditional or offbeat businesses. But rest assured, there’s a place for workflow automation in these off-the-beaten-path businesses too! Here are four examples of nontraditional businesses that can benefit from using workflow automation software.

1. Farmers’ Markets

Farmers’ markets are simple in concept: bring together local food producers and consumers on a scheduled basis. Behind the scenes, however, is significant organizational work, from securing a location to getting press coverage to soliciting farmers to managing all the vendors and collecting market stall fees to pay expenses. Workflow automation software helps you create custom workflows for countless tasks, from distributing rules and bylaws to assigning spaces to arranging schedules.

2. Food Co-ops

The food co-op concept is similar to that of a farmers’ market, but it generally involves ordering food beforehand and may include the sales of meat, poultry, and game in addition to produce. Before doing anything, it’s essential to inquire about and comply with local laws governing food co-ops. To succeed, these community-owned entities must be run with precision to make it worth everyone’s time. Workflows for taking orders, tracking deliveries, and issuing receipts are just a few examples of the processes involved. Sustaining operations involves the coordination of many moving parts, and workflow tools are designed to do this job optimally.

3. Architectural Salvage Business

As people retreat from the “house-flipping” mindset from before the housing bubble and start looking at their homes as long-term investments, they are also starting to appreciate many of the features of older style homes. In many cases, their features can’t be bought new or, if they can, the reproductions aren’t nearly as high-quality as the originals.

Architectural salvage businesses “rescue” things like door frames, decorative windows, mantelpieces, and banisters from buildings that are scheduled for destruction, then resell them. Keeping up with stock, scheduling acquisition, and remaining aware of buildings set for demolition can be done with far greater precision and efficiency with the help of customizable workflow software.

4. Online Bookstore

Like many architectural salvage businesses, many online used bookstores “rescue” books disposed of by local libraries to make them available to readers, students, and collectors online. Not only must new titles be entered into the online store system, they must be organized, shelved, and processed when someone places an order.

With workflow management software, facilitates getting a book from the shelf to the packing material to the shipper to the customer with great efficiency, helping keep costs down and keep customers happy. If special procedures are required for purchases of rare, first editions or otherwise collectible books, these can be put into their own workflows. The result is a well-run bookstore that gets the books people want into their hands efficiently.

Just because a business is nontraditional doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have to abide by smart business principles to thrive. Whether you operate a consignment clothing boutique, a tutoring service, a food truck, or a dance studio, keeping track of vendors, customers, deliveries, and the dozens of other details necessary for running a successful business is mandatory. Workflow automation software that can be customized to any use rises to the occasion beautifully.

PerfectForms is workflow automation software that is customizable to any business in any industry. With its user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, PerfectForms allows non-technical users to create online forms and workflows that are exactly suited to their needs. Since it is run in the cloud, PerfectForms doesn’t require investment in lots of IT infrastructure or on-site servers. Plus, all forms and workflows can be made mobile-friendly for maximum convenience.

Best of all, you can test drive PerfectForms for free. Just sign up for a free trial to discover for yourself how the right workflow application at your fingertips can make running your nontraditional business efficient, cost-effective, and best of all, responsive to an appreciative customer base.

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