A Place for Automation in Even the Most Hands-On Business
Ideas for automated workflows are easier to think of for some businesses than for others. For example, an e-commerce business would make extensive use of online forms and automated workflows. A business that makes reservations, matches clients with service providers, or schedules in-home services would almost require automated workflows for gaining a competitive edge.
Other businesses, however, aren’t obvious candidates for automation, but they could probably benefit from it anyway. For example, a catering business is very hands-on, and the core business process of providing food to customers can’t be done by an app. But with almost every business, there are back office and administrative tasks that benefit from automation. And hands-on businesses that bring in clients through a website need online forms for the greatest efficiency. In other words, there is a place for automation in even the most hands-on business. Here’s why.
Configuring Optimum Orders
You could pick products for a particular order yourself, and in some cases, you may have to. For instance, if you’re catering an event where you’ll serve seasonal local produce, you’ll probably pick it out yourself from a local supplier, or have one of your employees do so. But in other cases, you may frequently buy certain ingredients and need to order based on inventory levels, price, quality, and delivery options. An automated workflow that accounts for inventory levels and makes orders based on need and price from a curated selection of vendors can save massive amounts of time.
Managing a Digital Marketing Strategy
Every business wants to make its marketing budget stretch as far as possible to maximize marketing ROI. Using automated workflows to manage the various tasks involved in digital marketing helps you do exactly this. Say you want to release a video a day or two before a new product release. An automated digital marketing workflow can schedule the video for upload and promotion so that it appears on fans’ and followers’ news feeds at exactly the right time. You could also make an advertising purchase workflow that metes out your monthly marketing budget based on various social media analytics so you get the most bang for your advertising buck.
Small businesses may not have regular employees but may use contractors on an as-needed basis. Being able to plan ahead benefits both your business and the contractors you use. Suppose you created a workflow that would allow your contractors to input days of availability a month (or even a week) in advance. Or suppose you created a workflow outlining your contractor needs for the upcoming month or week and distributed it to your contractors to fill the slots on a first-come, first-serve basis. Either way, you can schedule ahead, and your contractors will have an easier time scheduling their workload, making them more likely to continue to work with you.
Obtaining Customer Feedback
Online Electronic Survey Forms for customer feedback have been around for a long time, and they always get better response rates than paper-based feedback forms. Whether you distribute feedback polls and forms via email or have them on your web page, you can easily collect the data from them and make sense of it much faster than you could with hand-completed surveys. Make your customer feedback forms mobile-friendly, by minimizing typing and maximizing things like radio buttons and drop-down menus, and you will be even more likely to get good response rates.
Some businesses are and always will be more hands-on than others. After all, they’ll probably never have an app that can shoe horses or produce an award-winning buttercream frosting. But even in the businesses where there’s a lot of hands-on work, many tasks benefit from being made into automated workflows. The right workflow software, like PerfectForms, can make all the difference.
PerfectForms allows you to Create Online Forms and automated workflows from scratch or using a range of pre-built, customizable templates, all using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface. You don’t have to be (or hire!) a programmer to create the exact online forms and workflows you need to make your business run at its most efficient and productive. Interested in learning more? We invite you to watch our demo video, to witness for yourself what custom, automated forms and workflows can do for your business.