4 principles of business automation: how not to make a mistake
The topic of business automation is one of the hottest in recent times. Many experts talk about the capabilities of various tools and how they can improve your company’s performance. However, automation can also cost your business dearly if you set up your processes incorrectly. In this article I will tell you what principles we were guided by and how we managed to ensure that the efficiency of Vilgud car services is two times higher than that of competitors.
Principle 1. Find your weak spot – where you miss the most resources
The very first step you need to take during automation is to identify the weak point of your business through which the largest amount of resources leaks. It is from him that automation must begin.
For example, you are the owner of a beauty salon. Your main resource is customers and salon working hours. What happens to those owners who manage the business manually? More often than not, they think that their main task is to make the client come, and it is important to serve him well, that is, they consider only the number of those visitors who arrived at the salon. However, they do not think about how many potential customers they lose when they visit the site or call the administrator. But if they need to provide 10 visitors, 1,000 people should go to the site, and 100 of them should sign up. That is, the largest number of interactions occurs precisely at the site stage – which means that automation must begin with it. If you start with a different process, your performance will not improve much, because you will continue to lose a significant amount of the resource in the very first stage.
Principle 2. Proceed in stages
After you determine the number of interactions with clients at each stage, line up all the processes in a funnel. So you understand the algorithm of your actions. It will also be your guarantee of security – if at some stage an error occurs, you can look at the whole picture systematically and analyze what needs to be finalized.
Principle 3. Define your performance indicators
In business, as elsewhere, the Pareto principle applies – 80% of revenue comes from 20% of customers. This means that it is not at all a fact that your business needs a huge flow of customers, because not all of them will purchase the most expensive products or use the most expensive services. Again, if you are the owner of a beauty salon, many clients can come to you for manicures and pedicures, and very little for coloring. However, if you focus on attracting more customers who need staining, you will get more profit.
How to do it? A CRM system will help you with this, which will show how often one or another client comes, and other criteria by which you can understand how you can attract your target audience.
Principle 4. Stop on time.
The best, as you know, is the enemy of the good. Therefore, in automation, as in any process, it is important to stop on time. How to determine exactly when: if every month you get the expected financial results that are fully consistent with your strategic planning, you have automated everything as much as possible. If for some reason the indicators do not meet your expectations, look for that business process that has not been worked out to the end. The second principle mentioned above will help you here.
We have more than 130 car services in the network, so our task is to make sure that each of them shows approximately the same figures. If the indicators vary greatly, then we still have something to work with. At the same time, even if within one service station the indicators are different every month, this is a signal that not all business processes are optimized and debugged. On the one hand, it may seem that the problem may be in the employees at this particular station. But we need to look at things more broadly: it is not so much in the staff as in the failure of the training system or in the process of selecting personnel. Therefore, for us it is a signal that these processes must be regulated.
I’m sure that these principles will help you create an effective, manageable and easily scalable business in almost any industry.