Since it is undeniable that we have been enjoying the heights of the digital age, it is fitting to take advantage of what it has to offer when it comes to growing your small business regardless if it is a startup or a striving medium enterprise. Business automation is now becoming a sound option especially when the industry has been moving on with the fast paced speed and you have to catch up before you get left behind.
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So how would you automate your business without spending too much? There are three inexpensive ways:
Automating the payroll
A lot of business owners dread paydays, not because they have to pay their employees, but because they have to deal with various computations and make sure everything is accurately counted including the CPF, claims, bonuses, overtime pays and more. Instead of hiring another staff to take care of the payroll, you can get an automated service to do just that. And you have various options to choose from.
- eVantage HR provides one stop HR solutions to various businesses. They support the clients with various payroll related services such as issuance and maintenance of electronic pay slips, accurate calculation of monthly payroll and statutory deductions, monitoring and tracking employee leaves and streamlining the process of handling employee claims. The services cost a flat monthly payment of $30 per employee.
- SMEPAYROLL is an affordable payroll software with various features including the employee’s basic biographic info, photos, contact information, job details such as the department and contract details, salary information, salary payment modes, career progression, leave info, claims, salary deductions and others. Reports are regularly created and customized and the software costs a minimum of $300+ for 25 employees.
- INFO-PAY Payroll Software has developed integrated HR system which includes Time Attendance System, Payroll & HR Software , E-leave (Web based Online Leave Module), E-mail Pay slip, Employee’s Web portal (e-attendance, e-pay slip, e-IR8A, e-personal, e-claim, e-memo) & Project Costing Software which is fully integrated with Fingerprint, Biometric time recorders. It also covers the handling online bank GIRO payments and tracking the increment/promotion history of your staff. The software and training with installation costs $2,800, but since Productivity and Innovation Credit (PIC) scheme can cover this, you can pay as low as $1,150.
Using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System
Since your business is growing, you might have to use a CRM, simply put: management of customer relationships. CRM premiums can be very expensive; however, there can be cheaper options with quite good qualities.
- Zoho CRM can handle the full function of CRM, plus it is on the go since its app is downloadable in Apple’s App Store and Google Play for Android users. It can track and forecast sales activity, execute targeted marketing campaigns, and prioritize and automate your workflow. You can create email direct marketing campaigns (eDM campaigns), documents; manage your inventory, and social media. The data will be presented in graphs on its dashboard. What’s great is that you can use its basic functions for free up to three users. You can get the hang of it before deciding if you want its premium services which costs about $30 a month, per user.
- SugarCRM is a sophisticated and highly customizable CRM platform that automates sales functions such as lead and opportunity tracking, contact management, and sales forecasting. You can easily manage incoming customer request and run eDM campaigns with your mobile devices through either SugarCRM on site or via Cloud. For a yearly contract you have to pay about $3,400 upfront.
- Salesforce is another CRM provider with customer friendly software where you can easily conduct your eDM campaigns though Cloud. You can even track leads, products and conduct sales reports on the go. Various editions are offered at a range of price from $8 a month to $80 a month per user.
Note that you and your staff might have a hard time handling the programs at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will feel that the price was worth it, because you can easily reach out to your customers. Also do not forget that though automated campaign launches are great, organic campaigns can also be utilized in your social media sites through personally putting in some contents every down and then to boost customer out reach. This doubles your chance to get more potential clients.
And when putting contents on your blogs and social media sites you have to create quality contents which bring us to;
Automating Content Marketing
By creating quality contents, you show your potential customers that you are knowledgeable in your industry and thus you create a feel that you can indeed deliver your products and services with utmost professionalism. You can hire a content creation service or a copywriting agency to create contents that you would love to share for your target customers to read.
The contents and style will of course still depend on your taste, that’s why it is important to give specific instructions on the topics you want to be written about and the voice which should be used. You can ask various content writers to create articles for you and then you can choose which one has hit the spot. Then hire only one writer to maintain the consistency of quality and style. Also, you can choose the schedule on when your articles should be put up on your blog, website or social media pages. There are a lot of content management tools you can choose from such as Hootsuite and Sprout Social which can cost as cheap as $50 a month. You don’t have to worry about posting contents on time.
Automating your business does not have to be expensive and you do not have change everything all at once. It is important to make yourself comfortable of the changes first before getting the premium services being offered. Also, do not hesitate to ask questions from the service or program providers if you don’t understand some parts of it, because at the end of the day it has to help you make all internal business functions easier and more convenient.
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