Does automating business management really improve business productivity (and 4 reasons why every business needs to do it)?

The accelerated digital takeover

The pandemic and subsequent lockdowns in 2020/1 led to people relying heavily on communicating virtually via the internet while working from home, as well as being forced to shift their goods and service offerings online, accelerating the pace of digital transformation in many spheres. This transformation was of course already taking place (a 2020 survey conducted by McKinsey showed that the pursuit of automation in business was gaining traction before lockdown*), but the pandemic certainly brought digital automation in business to the attention of a greater audience.

Although not everyone imagines a world where robots are killers, it’s not hard to imagine a future where artificial intelligence and automation might make a substantial portion of present day jobs obsolete. Instead, the current reality is that the way we work is changing. Automation today is about how technology can support humans and free up our time to do things that only humans can do (which usually involves such aspects as creativity and high level strategising  in business). We are assisted by artificial intelligence as opposed to being controlled by it. This will likely evolve as technology always does, but it’s important to keep pace with the changes.

What is business management automation?

Forward-thinking businesses are increasing their automation efforts by using business management software to automate processes which were previously done manually. These cover typically repetitive, standardised, or time-consuming tasks, but machines are also helping humans collaborate with each other more efficiently. Automating these processes becomes useful as a small business begins to scale and is also essential for large corporations who manage large teams and projects. The McKinsey survey emphasises that businesses should view automation as a way to enhance human productivity rather than a way to replace manual labour. The key is that business management software helps us work smarter, not harder.

Some examples which business automation software can help with are:

  • Project and team management
  • Keeping track of sales and leads
  • Managing customer relationships via a CRM system
  • Managing a company’s service or help desk
  • Billing and expense tracking
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Any other typical repetitive business tasks (the list is almost endless)

A common type of business management software available is cloud-based and runs as a service (SaaS – software as a service) to which a business can subscribe on a monthly or yearly basis. The huge benefit of subscribing to a service, as opposed to a stand alone software, is the long-term support provided by the team of developers that created it. If they are doing their job properly, they’ll consistently add new features, update the technology and streamline the existing system. Your software won’t be in danger of becoming obsolete, and you’ll be able to keep your business running smoothly into a technology-driven future.

Why automate your business management?

Why go to the effort of digitising your business processes? The answer is simple. Business management software helps you to control and optimise a very important resource: time.

Businesses have many moving parts which become hard to track and keep connected. It’s not uncommon for business owners to feel scattered, out of control of their long to do lists, and worse: burnt out from all the time spent doing tasks that could be done by software. Again, the key is to work smarter by optimising your use of time. In practice, good business management software can provide some of the following useful benefits:

A sense of control and peace of mind (a happy business owner)

There’s nothing like having access to all your clients, projects, teams and tasks all in one place, to help you sleep peacefully at night. Project management software helps you maintain a birds-eye view of your projects, including time tracking, and providing a forum for online collaboration. It’s easier to find things quickly and simply instead of spending ages scrolling through emails to find a particular comment thread. The key is that the software helps to connect all of the moving parts without the human element which, by definition, is prone to error. And instead of one individual (the business owner or project manager) having to track down what everyone else is up to, the information becomes available in real-time wherever it is needed.

A happier and more productive team

65% of workers are less stressed at work because they automate their manual tasks according to Zapier’s State of business automation* 2021 survey. Project management software also helps reduce stress for team leaders because they can keep track of their team’s progress on tasks easily and manage project progress. This is incredibly beneficial for remote or large teams.

Productivity doesn’t mean working longer hours and getting more done, or gaining more time so you can fill that time with more and more work. It means better quality work and also more efficient use of the time you already have. For many businesses time capturing is essential to keeping up to date with the billing but it’s tedious (for both the worker and the boss). The best kinds of business management software makes time capturing feel effortless. This means that workers can focus on the high level aspects of their jobs without wasting time filling in manual timesheets. As human beings we gain more joy from doing tasks that challenge us and tap into our innate skills – filling in timesheets and other mundane tasks don’t usually fit that bill. Team members that are operating in this high level zone will feel happier and more fulfilled, and studies*  back this up by showing that overall ‘happy’ workers are 13% more productive. They’ll give more energy to their job and make your business better as a result.

Happy and satisfied customers (that choose you over competitors)

Zapier’s survey showed that 88% of small businesses find automation helps them to compete with larger companies by helping them move faster, close leads quickly, spend less time on manual work, reduce errors, and provide enhanced customer service.

Business automation software helps businesses to manage customer relationships digitally including having an automated service desk, tracking leads and sales, and also providing detailed and accurate billing. With competition online becoming ever fiercer, companies that provide genuine, fast, and efficient customer support stand out amongst the noise. But it’s not easy to keep track of manually. Automating this portion of your business helps customers to interact seamlessly with your brand.

Time saved equals money saved

American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn, once wrote: “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” This is not a new thought, but it seems like the value of time and productivity has come to the forefront of collective consciousness of late. Perhaps one of the reasons business management software has grown in popularity is because it helps businesses to gain agency over their time management in ways that have never previously been possible.

One way business management software is revolutionising small businesses is by helping them to scale up without the heavy team management, administration and cost burdens traditionally associated with growing a business. For a one person business, automated business management software can remove the need to hire a (human) assistant.

Which business management software should you pick?

It’s no secret that there are some big name players in the online business management software market and you may have already tried one or several. So how do you know which one is right for your business? The honest answer is that one software as a service (SaaS) product might be perfect for one type of business, but not for another. We’ve designed Chronodesk with small business owners and also larger teams in mind. We’re a proudly local South African team, based in Johannesburg, and we’re excited to be bringing our product to both the local and international market.

Our system is lightning fast, it’s simple and intuitive, and it has a lot of great features that can help you enhance your team’s productivity. We’ve studied our competitors and we’ve focused on filling in the gaps where they fall short.

The innovative Chronodesk team constantly updates and improves the software, and there are a number of exciting new features being developed! We offer quick support, via email or phone and we want to make the process of automating your business management easy, so let us help you get set up.

Book a demo with our team today.



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