3 Easy Ways Startups Automate and Save Cash
Discover the science of BPA (Business Process Automation) and how to automate time-consuming manual tasks into streamlined operations.
A shocking, but true statistic: 50% of startups fail in their first five years. Inefficient labor, misinformed predictions, slow processes and high costs are the usual culprits stunting growth in early-stage startups during their first few years. But with such a high failure rate during those initial years, how is it only 10% of those startups fail the following year, and only 6% after ten years? It could be these businesses are founded on the philosophy of building slow, but steady growth is more favorable than taking risks before revenue growth stabilizes. Albert Einstein put it: “A ship is always safe at the shore, but that is NOT what it is built for.” So perhaps it’s because the successful 50% of startups recognize how to stave off those pesky perpetrators of failure.
Business process automation (BPA) is technology-focused way to transform time-consuming, manual tasks into streamlined operations. A well-designed BPA gives early-stage startups two resources they are constantly in need of: time and money. Some of the advantages include efficient process execution, but with less capital tied up in necessary, yet routine business operations. Moreover, because BPA automates the manual labor required in business operations the potential for costly human error (that startups can not readily afford) is significantly reduced.
1. Cost Reduction
Money is always on everyone’s mind. Young entrepreneurs often shy away from investing in automation doesn’t pay long-term dividends. While automation can initially be somewhat expensive, its long-term ROI has proven to be exceptional. Companies who choose to automate their accounts payable, purchasing processes and customer management save huge amounts on operational expenses. BPA decreases the need to rely on manual systems, thus driving down operational costs. For example, Cisco Systems saves around $270 million annually by automating their customer management system, while R.J. Reynolds reduced invoice processing costs by 53% with automated AP functions. Even smaller companies like Pebble Limited Partnership saves more than $8,000 on basic paper supplies each year just by automating invoices.
Today, thanks to modern employee management software, tasks that previously took hours to complete can now be done in just a matter of minutes. According to an Aberdeen Group study, streamlining transaction times along with the ability to support employee autonomy helps businesses achieve 18% higher employee engagement than their competitors. When employees don’t have to spend hours on mundane tasks, they have more time to accomplish their core duties during normal work hours.
3. Targeted Marketing
Marketing automation can help startups target prospects, isolate real buyers, and identify new opportunities to test new products and services. With so many cost-effective marketing automation solutions available on the market, even budget-conscious startups can invest in a robust automation tool to implement sophisticated marketing systems that automatically deliver highly targeted acquisition campaigns. US advertising firms spend around $1.5 billion on mobile video ads, according to eMarketer analyst David Hallerman. Luckily inexpensive solutions, like AerServ, empower startups with the technology to control how they sell their ad inventory, who they sell it to, and in what ad formats.
Arguably one of the most time consuming marketing processes is optimizing paid advertising efforts since there are so many search and social channels advertisers can choose to show their ads. Knowing this pain point for marketers, some MarTech solutions have developed the tools to automate not just some aspects of marketing, but virtually all digital advertising efforts. AdStage allows businesses to manage digital marketing campaigns across numerous ad networks including AdWords, Bing, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google Analytics. Back in January, TechCrunch reported on AdStage’s new product, Automate, designed to help advertisers reduce the amount of manual work to execute daily search and social campaign tasks. In minutes you can create and launch performance-based rules, alerts, and schedules to apply automatically across all your campaigns — on any ad network. The ability to automate tedious campaign tasks, means advertisers have more time to focus on strategic account optimizations to improve campaign performance, scale advertising efforts, and outperform targets.