The new ordinary has made us rethink many processes, logistics, and businesses. One of the ideas which has gained a lot of steam is widespread automation – an idea we’d been tinkering with before work from home and a bad economic turn.
Global management consulting firm McKinsey had, in a 2015 analysis of the US labor market, predicted that we could automate 45% of today’s paid work with technology. In the current economic reality, it’s the path that James Dhillon, CEO, and founder of Automaters, would recommend to all businesses.
“The essence, right now, is to pick up the pace, reduce unnecessary costs and time lags, and scale up. All of these factors require automation, especially if you’re running an online business,” said Dhillon.
Dhillon’s venture Automaters is touted as one of the largest business development and consulting agencies in North America. The Canadian company claims to generate 5000 booked appointments for businesses every month through innovations in automation.
“My passion lies in building online businesses and helping others succeed where they struggle. This struggle, often, is around processes that consume a lot of time and resources.”
Time management, he believes, is key to running a successful online business, especially when we’re living in no-contact realities. “There is no point in having dollars if you don’t have time on your hands for those aspects which require a creative and business rethink,” he added.
Specifically, we asked him to share the kinds of automation systems which would yield the most impact on an online business. According to him, there were four of them – cold outreach or prospecting system, conversions or enrollment, fulfillment, and post-sales connections.
He advocates streamlining customer acquisition through automated outreach, be it with newsletters, emailers, social media campaigns, and direct processes. “A successful prospecting system will ensure a full pipeline of potential leads; leads you can connect with, convince and acquire for your business,” he said.
Next, focus on a successful conversion – converting the potential client into a paying client. “Elevate above the ordinary and focus on strategy, rather than closing leads. Either upgrade systems or incorporate third-party agents for these tasks. Turn the tide and use the freelancers available right now for these jobs,” he advises.
Now that the orders are in, are you geared towards fulfilling them? Dhillon advises online businesses to introspect on this question. “You need to not just perform up to your demand pipeline, but rethink ways to have more slots.”
Finally, talk to your clients – keep real-time tabs on their happiness quotient and be ready to handle last-minute additions or post-fulfillment needs. “Your automation systems should give you a clear, real-time sense of your business at any point in time. If you’ve got this under your belt, you’re sorted for anything the environment may throw at you”, he says.