5 steps for devising an Automation Strategy for Your Small Business


In the past, only large corporations and chain businesses integrated automation into their business process. To small businesses, automation was simply too complicated, too costly, and indeed, rather unnecessary. Nevertheless, that was then. Today it is different. With the digital era, has come record levels of market competition among businesses, regardless of the size or product and service lines. Most of all, customers have both grown and evolved in their demands, requiring that product and service providers give the very best.

Fortunately, automation technologies have also advanced. Today they are more accessible, flexible and feasible. Even small businesses can ow automate their core business processes to eliminate error-prone and ineffective manual processes. Incorporating automation comes with a host of benefits for small businesses, including easy task scheduling and assigning of responsibilities, and generally, increased efficiency. A business can automate its monotonous and repetitive tasks, freeing employees to handle tasks that require creativity and human effort. Here are 5 steps for devising an automation strategy for your small business.

Choose tasks to automate

The vast advancements in automation strategies make it possible to automate nearly every business task. However, not every business task is worth automating. Some are not that vital to automate when you compare to the cost and effort. The first toward devising an automation strategy for your small business is henceforth deciding which exact tasks to automate. This will determine the level of success your automation strategy achieves for the business. Typically, most businesses would rather automate repetitive, time-consuming and error-prone tasks.

File transfer between systems, and sharing among different users, including with partners, is an example of a task any business should automate. Manual transfers are usually prone to misplacement and sometimes getting lost altogether. However, you can automate their encryption and streamline their transfer in-premise, on-cloud or in a hybrid environment.

Select appropriate automation tools

Upon deciding on, and choosing the specific tasks that you want to automate for your business, the next step is to match it with two factors. First, you match the chosen tasks with the relevant tools necessary to implement the automation for your business. Secondly, you match the level of automation with the process goals of the business, including your personal expectations. In both cases, the objective is to align the automation strategy with your business growth interests.

With the choice tasks now aligned to the automation tool and level of automation chosen, it is vital to decide to choose which automation platform to host your process. These are many, feasible, and accessible for large as well as small businesses. The type of task, including the processes and requirements involved, are critical factors to consider when choosing which automation tool to use.

Set your automation targets

The primary business goal, regardless of the business type and size, is to make profits. Therefore, if you are going to invest to automate it, and create new workflows, the investment must translate to business profits. It is therefore vital that you set the business targets for your automation strategy. Only then, can it boost growth, and prove worth the money, the effort, and the time you will spend devising an automation strategy.

Your target can be to match the performance of your employees without their direct involvement so that you can free them to focus on other creative tasks. It can also be to reduce, or even eliminate costly work process errors, inaccuracies, and resource wastage. Alternatively, your target is to enhance your marketing efforts and increase product sales. Regardless, you set appropriate automation targets at this step.

Tracking and refining your automation processes

By now, you have zeroed down on which business tasks and processes you wish to automate. You have also chosen the most suitable tools to implement the automation process. Furthermore, you have set the business targets that you want your automation strategy to achieve. The next step is now to track the results of your automation, and thereby refine your efforts accordingly. The goal here is to know how much impact automation is having on your business as the basis for adjustments and improvements.

If your automation efforts and tool caters for multiple or even indefinite scheduling of tasks, or if it facilitates task synchrony, you might want to tweak your workflows or task schedule. By doing this, your business can potentially double or even triple your earnings. It can also cut down on your costs by sizeable amounts.

Inculcate an automation workplace culture

You are now only adopting an automation strategy, and your employees have been used to manual processes. Therefore, the final step is to inculcate an automation culture in the workplace. Notice, the automation is new to employees, and they will need to acclimatize. That will take a while, and you should be patient with them. In the interim, the small business should be working to inculcate an automation culture in the workplace.

The employees and everyone working for the business should come up to speed with the automation, individually and collectively. You want every employee to be thinking around task automation, to be on the lookout constantly, and have a say on how the business automation strategy can contribute to increased operational efficiency. They should be automation-minded and contribute suggestions on how to improve the automation process to do more tasks, etc.


A carefully crafted automation strategy following the above 5 steps can do wonders for your small business. Provided the business objective is the focus of the strategy, it will yield unprecedented results. This is because manual processes can be repetitive, time-wasting, and error-prone. However, the shift from manual processes to automation, including in terms of task scheduling and task completion will bring efficiency to your business by eliminating wastage, error, and inaccuracies. It also means that you can release the bulk of your employees to focus on tasks that are more creative and those that the business cannot do without human involvement.