Entrepreneurs and small business owners are always looking to get more done with less time. With so many tasks to complete, many business owners quickly feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Fortunately, two emerging trends, big data and automation, can reduce the amount of time required to do important work tasks.
While many business owners understand the value of using big data to gather insights and of using automation to complete tasks, the initial set up times often defer them from implementing these strategies. However, with the new year and a new focus on the bottom line, committing to using big data and automation early in the year could lead to big gains all year long.
Entrepreneurs Want These 3 Things in 2019
While there are dozens of wishes that entrepreneurs will likely have for their business in 2019, there are a handful that they can directly control with innovative technology.
Here are three big data and automation New Year’s resolutions that entrepreneurs can keep this year by utilizing tech.
1. Reduce Costs
Reducing business expenses is a common goal entrepreneurs make every year. That is because, even if sales are flat, reducing costs can improve the bottom line and make a business more profitable. Additionally, as employees continue to be better at their job and implement technology to help them, this goal is very obtainable.
Business owners can look for ways to cut costs by evaluating big data internally. Looking for redundancies and trends, entrepreneurs can automate certain processes to streamline workflows – either for themselves or other employees. This could start with managed services to reduce headcount or even implementing SaaS solutions. For example, in an accounts payable department, switching to an automated system, like Tipalti, can mean massive savings on payment processing.
Plus, automation can make employees happier and more engaged because they aren’t spending their time on repetitive, low value work. Engaged employees are less likely to quit, saving entrepreneurs time and money spent looking for extra help.
2. Save Time
Common sense will tell you that you can get more done if you spend less time on specific tasks. One of the best ways to save time is through automation.
Consider an email campaign. According to research, the average email marketer spends 20 hours a week on non-automated email campaigns compared to only 5 hours a week on automated emails. Automating your emails could take about a quarter of the amount of time!
Using tools like Mixmax to create customized email automation sequences can save time on your next email campaign that you could use for other core business activities. For example, rather than sending emails to prospective clients one-off each time, the team can create marketing sequences. For new prospects, create a series of emails that introduces the business and provides key reasons the prospect should work with you.
You can then send the emails automatically and can even spend special emails to individuals who do certain tasks, like open three emails in a row. Rather than spend hours building emails and analyzing who is and isn’t opening them, email automation can get the tasks done in minutes. The software also offers task management capabilities so your team can quickly follow up on outstanding tasks and sync updates across other tools.
3. Increase Sales
More sales equals more money. And while it’s great to attract new customers to your business, it may be more profitable for you to go after repeat customers.
Existing customers will spend upwards of 300% more than new customers over the course of their interactions with you. It doesn’t matter if you’re a Fortune 500 company or an independent online shop, you’ll increase your sales by targeting existing customers.
There are a few ways to entice an existing customer to buy again, all of which can be aided by technology. For instance, providing an IO powered chatbot feature on your websites, implementing follow up email campaign (see above) after a customer makes a purchase, and streamlining customer service phone and email interactions with social can all add to a customer’s good experience and increase the chance they will buy again.
When you do need to add new customers, focus on attracting ones that will bring in the most long-term value. Using big data, look at your current customers and see what characteristics are shared among your reoccurring customers? Dose the 80/20 rule apply where 20% of your customer base is driving 80% of revenue? How can you develop more of these top clients?
Big Data and Automation Resolutions to Keep
It’s not difficult for business owners to keep these big data and automation resolutions if they rely on technology. With a little bit of time spent learning new tools and tricks, they’ll be able to reduce costs, save time, and increase sales in the new year.