This blog post is part of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s Invest to Grow campaign. Invest to Grow aims to inspire and inform businesses around investment in R&D, innovation, technology and machinery and how it can help boost productivity through case studies, expert opinion pieces and briefing information. Click here to find out more and don’t forget to join the conversation on social media with #I2G18. Part 2 of Invest to Grow focuses on investment in technology and machinery and is sponsored by MCS Corporate.
Building a business takes time, but it also takes investment, and it takes people. A strong team is the solid foundation of your business.
But hiring people and just keeping them busy isn’t the way a successful business grows.
"I hire people brighter than me and then I get out of their way."
That’s what Lido Anthony "Lee" Iacocca famously said, and he was right. But that can be misconstrued.
Hiring the right people to do the right job is certainly a great move, but not when they start to get bogged down with all the associated tasks and admin that comes with their role.
You might feel like this too. You’re really good at those core areas of the business that really bring in the business and you have drive for improvement and growth, but the tasks that come hand in hand with growing the business are holding you back.
We’re often asked ”Why do we need automation?” or “How could software help our business?” and the simple answer is: Time.
You need time.
Without the right systems, you’re strangling your business
Think about it. Actually, you could test this instead. Get your team to record all the tasks that they do that are not revenue generating tasks or at least those that are not tasks that move the business towards its goals and aspirations.
Record the times they’re stuck doing paper work, emails, admin tasks, or those constantly repeated jobs they have to do before they can do ‘XXX’.
It’ll make interesting reading.
The simple fact is: we’re all guilty of doing jobs over and over again and accepting them as the norm. You might want to build that new product or create that new service but…
“There’s not enough hours in the day!”.
There are enough hours; you just need to spend less time on tasks that could be handled by systems.
Systems beat humans
Systems like bespoke software are simply faster than humans so adding them into replace the basic day-to-day makes a lot of sense. The good news about software is that you’ll empower your workforce to get more done and apply the very skills they bring to your business more often.
If you could aim for them to do their core skills 100% of the time, do you think it would help and grow your business?
Building software to replace humans isn’t what we’re about. We’d rather build in a system or process, or build some bespoke processes to give your business and its employees the time to do what they love, not something a machine could do.
You’ll no doubt have processes in your business so you’ll already know how much quicker and howmuch more efficient you are because of them. When you automate tasks or processes with software it all works in the background so you don’t have to think about it. This enables you to work faster, turn around quotes quicker, or have more people out there selling instead of writing proposals or follow-ups.
Too many systems create human overwhelm
Cloud-based systems are great and they’ve given us the power to work anywhere, anytime. Remember when ‘remote access’ was the holy grail of a business owner? Now it’s pretty much the norm.
But with all these new systems comes an issue. There are more of them, not just one big system and internal server. Now you have clouds within clouds and unless you get them talking… the humans have to play mediator!
This can be overwhelming. Linking systems together with a human is expensive, risky, and slow.
Software can create new business and opportunity
With great system and faster processes you’ll find new opportunities and new avenues when your team are freed up. Now they can work with more time and head space; knowing that they just ‘feed’ a system and then add that value that you hired them for.
Remove your team from simple everyday tasks and create more business instead
Your high-level team, sales people, experts, or whoever you have in your business shouldn’t be copy and pasting text, sending and pushing content that could be systemised, or filling out information away from your system. Processes help you build and stay stable and you shouldn’t pay annual salaries for these to happen if you can help it.
It’s a harsh way to view it, but it’s one end of the spectrum and could give you some clarity about software, systems and automation.
Now, of course, software needs updating and with constant cyber security threats it’s never quite this simple, but you do effectively create your new process or software, put it in place, and then benefit from it for a long time to come.
You’ll be freed up from those everyday dull processes and they’ll get done faster and more efficiently too. A recent example from us includes linking three databases together in one central hub so that a sales person just puts in one set of data to get the result combined from the three systems.
It saves time, it’s more accurate, and it saves money due to the lack of mistakes. Computers don’t have emotions, bad days, or get tired. They work or they don’t work. They’re black and white, on or off. They’re simply better at a lot of things. With our guidance and human touch added in, you’re really onto a winner.
“Ask yourself: Can we automate this?”
Every time you do something in your business, ask yourself this. It’s quite a refreshing way to look at the operations of your business. Task someone to review all the processes and tasks and list them out. Look at them, discuss them, and then try to find a better way of doing them.
You can probably save time and eventually money by building a system to handle them.
If you’re looking to grow your business then look at creating some software to enable you to do it. You’ll be amazed at what’s possible.
ioSTUDIOS specialise in business changing bespoke software development, end-to-end digital transformation projects and custom mobile apps using proven Microsoft technologies. Established for over a decade ioSTUDIOS have successfully delivered 100s of business changing cloud based software projects. www.iostudios.co.uk