14 Best Automation Tools for Small Businesses
Business automation lets you significantly improve the performance of your company, abolish routine processes, and grow profit. Today, most of the processes can be easily automated, however, there are some nuances and subtleties in identifying what exactly needs automation and choosing the right automation tools for that.
What does business automation stand for?
Business Automation is the performance of all routine and manual tasks using technology. The main goal of introducing business automation into the company’s work is to optimize activities and, as a result, to increase financial performance. With the right business automation tools, all routine actions are delegated to machines and performed in just a couple of clicks. Invoices, tasks, emails and reports are generated automatically – you just need to press certain buttons in the specific apps.
So, it is time to talk about the main tools needed to automate your business and simplify your day-to-day operations. Automation is vital for any business, especially SMBs – it is not just your internal software, it is a competitive advantage that helps to streamline all important processes, save time and accelerate growth.
Project and Task Management
Powerful project and task management software can take your small business to a whole new level. It helps you store every single detail on each client’s projects in one single place. Besides, it lets you easily allocate tasks, track workload and monitor achieved milestones.
Flowlu is a full suite of business management tools in a very balanced way, without a cluttered interface or redundant features. It takes just ten minutes to setup the platform and start your work. Flowlu is packed with tons of professional tools to increase a team’s efficiency and complete projects quickly. It can cover a wide array of a typical small business needs and helps to replace multiple apps with just one.
Trello is a simple, responsive tool for organizing tasks visually as a kanban board. This view aids to instantly oversee projects progress and prioritize tasks. You can assign performers and set deadlines, add checklists, attach links and files. You can also set up rules to turn your task board into an automation machine. An interesting fact is that Trello lets you select the templates from the gallery to avoid starting from scratch.
Marketing is one of the cornerstones of any business. Not only does marketing build brand awareness but it can also increase sales, scale businesses and engage customers. HubSpot offers a suite of powerful inbound marketing tools that automate routine tasks. The software organizes and tracks customer relationships, offers analytics across multiple communication channels, and automates lead generation. Hubspot gives you tools for building beautiful landing pages and web forms, creating email marketing campaigns and segmenting contacts. It is a great solution to achieve your goals and streamline marketing efforts.
Regular communication with the client is imperative for any business. If we are talking about business automation, respectively, we need tools that will allow you to effectively converse with your clients and easily handle past interactions.
The HelpDesk software is a great app for managing customer messages and converting them into tickets. This app has a simple and intuitive interface which makes it easy to get started for support agents. It helps to talk to clients in real-time chat, keep track of all your communication, analyze the data using reports. HelpDesk allows your team to respond faster and more efficiently by keeping the inbox neat and tidy.
Intercom is a powerful communication platform to manage all client interaction in one single place. It incorporates chat, conversational bots, email campaigns and even product tours. Intercom is aimed to help you convert more leads into customers and build better customer relationships. One of our team’s favorite features are macros that allow you to create templates and eliminate doing repetitive tasks.
Analytics is an integral part of any business. If you have ever had a website, you are probably familiar with Google Analytics. It monitors all traffic to your website, giving you all sorts of valuable insights. GA helps you understand which website pages and content are the most engaging and what needs to be modified. It is absolutely free and provides automatic integration with the Google Ads online advertising platform. It also allows you to create customizable reports and set goals to track your business progress.
FreshBooks makes managing your finances easy. The platform is designed with the needs of small teams in mind. FreshBooks lets you create professional invoices in seconds, organize payments and expenses, and calculate spent time. FreshBooks sends automatic reminders on payments and easily integrates with hundreds of popular apps.
Xero is a software that takes care of the financial aspects of your business and helps you keep things in order. Xero is a competent accounting management system that works in line with businesses’ rules and priorities. It brings you a clear overview of your cash flow and lets you manage your payroll. Xero allows you to create invoices, quotes and purchase orders. It also includes tools for managing inventory, files and reports.
Google Workspace is an enterprise suite of cloud services that includes Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets along many other online collaboration solutions. The obvious benefits are that it is free and cloud-based which means you can access your data wherever you are. Google Docs and Sheets allow you to collaborate on your content in real time and keep track of all changes. The best part is that it autosaves your text so you never lose any significant text changes. Google Drive lets you store your files securely and share them with your team whenever needed. Each free account includes up to 15GB of storage.
In the modern world, you do not have to schedule appointments and go somewhere to talk business with clients — you can just invite people to meet online. Microsoft Teams provides professional collaboration and meeting organizing tools including instant messaging, audio and video calls and much more for office communication. It offers a free version with a maximum meeting duration of 60 minutes. You can schedule meetings and share your screen with participants.
Zoom is a cloud-based, user-friendly platform for video conferencing. It can be used for a variety of use cases — agile scrum meetings, remote teams, product training, group mediation, customer support, sales interaction and many more. The free version lets you hold 40-minute long video meetings for an unlimited amount of time.
It is vital for a business to maintain and nurture a positive atmosphere within a team. As a manager, you need to know the state of the employees and monitor their mood to ensure there are no burnouts or conflicts.
15Five is a useful tool that helps to control the mood and engagement within your team, prevent problems, overwork and burnout. Once a week, all employees fill out a questionnaire, note how they are doing, assess how they have managed to approach their own goals. 15Five also allows you to perform 360-degree reviews, learn employee strengths and praise your co-workers publicly.
Motivosity is an affordable platform that allows you to gain insights into your employee satisfaction. It helps the team to build a healthy culture by collecting and analyzing employees’ feedback. Motivosity tools enable you to express your appreciation, conduct personality tests, learn employees interests, build visual organization structure, measure eNPS score and so much more.
Nowadays, there is a wide-variety of different automation apps and everyone can choose the most suitable ones for their specific needs. Note that some of the modern all-in-one solutions, like Flowlu, can replace several apps for business automation and significantly save your money which is extremely essential for SMBs.
There are many benefits to using automation tools for small businesses. Some of the most common benefits include:
- Increased efficiency.
- Improved productivity.
- Enhanced security.
- Improved customer satisfaction.
Some of the most popular automation tools for small businesses include:
- Microsoft Power Automate.
When choosing an automation tool for your small business, it is important to consider your specific needs. Some factors to consider include:
- The size of your business: If you have a small business, you may need a different automation tool than a large business.
- The type of business you have: Some automation tools are better suited for certain types of businesses than others.
- Your budget: Automation tools can range in price from free to hundreds of dollars per month.
There are many resources available to help you find more information about automation tools for small businesses. Some of the most helpful resources include:
- The Small Business Administration: The SBA has a website with a directory of automation tools for small businesses.
- The National Federation of Independent Business: The NFIB has a website with a guide to choosing the right automation tool for your small business.
- The American Institute of CPAs: The AICPA has a website with a guide to using automation tools to improve your small business's financial management.