Our response to the 7 common workflow automation mythsKris Thain
Workflow Automation—the word that sends chills through the spines of many business owners. Putting your precious company data and functions on autopilot might seem too risky to some, but we’re here to tell you why you shouldn’t be afraid of automation, and why it’s time to embrace this buzzword that’s popping up everywhere these days.
Automation and business go together like peanut butter and jelly. In fact, automation has become so commonplace in today’s business world that it’s hard to imagine a business without at least some degree of automation. But, despite how common automation is, there are still some commonly held beliefs about automation that are not true.
Let’s look at these 7 automation myths and see how we can debunk them:
1. Automation is so expensive
If you look at the numbers, that’s just not true.
While it might be tempting to think of automation as an expensive luxury, the truth is that it can be a cheaper alternative than paying out salaries to employees on payroll.
Put simply, your time is valuable and you shouldn’t squander it on menial tasks. Automation is an excellent way to spend that time more effectively, even if the capital cost at the outset is higher.
By taking the time to automate your workflows, you can dramatically reduce and sometimes eliminate the need for human intervention. This helps free up you or your employees to perform other essential duties, and will increase efficiency and productivity month over month, and in turn increase revenue.
2. Automation won’t work with my business
As a small business, you’re constantly doing more with less. Your time is precious, and there are only so many hours in a day.
So why not make the most of them?
Automation lets you do just that—and it’s easier than you think.
The truth is, we waste tons of time every day by not automating the simple tasks that we do over and over again. Everyone from big companies to small ones to individuals can benefit from automation, because automation saves time and time is money.
For example, think about Gmail’s spam filters or your phone’s autocorrect feature: these are all forms of automation that save us time. If you’ve ever used those features, then you’ve already automated!
And if you’ve ever done one task every day that never changes… chances are you can automate it too!
3. Automation means you’ll lose the personal touch in your business
Customer engagement is a cornerstone for customer retention, trust, and loyalty. It can help you build brand awareness and improve the customer experience. For this reason, it’s important to engage with your customers as often as possible in order to build a relationship and create connections.
But there are only so many hours in the day—and sometimes, even if you’re lucky enough to have a team of people who are always on call to answer customer inquiries and help solve problems, you still might not be able to reach out to every single customer as often as they’d like. That’s where automation comes into play.
If you want to maintain good relationships with your customers, one way is by relying more on automation to manage customer relations—while still making sure they feel loved!
Automation can save time, money, and resources—and if you’re looking to streamline your customer communication efforts, one way to reap the benefits is through implementing an automated workflow around who gets contacted and when so that everyone gets their turn at being the apple of your eye.
4. Automation is hard to set up
All right, let’s get one thing straight: workflow automation is not something that only the biggest nerds can use. It’s not just for high-tech companies either. In fact, we’d argue that it’s actually quite the opposite.
If you think about it, the technology we use at work is pretty much second nature to us now—we don’t even have to think about it anymore! We just move from task to task with ease because we’re so used to using our devices. That’s why when something like workflow automation comes along and makes our lives easier, we’re all like “wow, what a great idea! How did I live without this?”
Even though automation is based on technology, it turns out, automating your workflows doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s not some super-technical thing that only programmers can do. Anyone can easily get started using software like Zapier and there’s load of resources and help on hand too.
5. Automation will replace people
Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but automation isn’t going to take anyone’s jobs.
It’s true! The most common myth about automation is that it will take people’s jobs away.
As a human, I find this to be a comforting thought. I’m tired and want to spend the day watching Netflix (or maybe learn how to knit or something) instead of working, However I don’t think this is going to happen anytime soon.
Humans are still necessary in business; we just won’t be doing the same things. Automation is meant to take care of repetitive tasks while we focus on more time-consuming and complex tasks. Your job will change, not disappear.
We have already seen this happen with the advent of technology: We don’t use typewriters anymore; we use computers, and no one is upset about it because we get more done faster now than ever before.
6. I’ll lose control of my business
Sure, handing over your first-born child to a stranger seems like a BAD idea. But there are times when you have to do it. Like when you go to work and can’t bring your kid with you. Or when you need to go on a business trip and can’t take them along. Or when you need to use the bathroom and don’t want them in there with you.
It’s not that these things are better for your child or for your relationship with them—it’s just the way it is sometimes.
Similarly, automation software is powerful, and it’s easy to give yourself panic attacks thinking about what might happen if you lose control of it.
But here’s the thing: you don’t lose control when you automate your business processes. You gain control. You’ll be able to see what’s going on in every corner of your business, because it will all be in one place for you to manage. And you’ll have access to reports at any time so that you can make sure everything is running smoothly.
In the unlikely event something does go wrong with the data, you’ll be able to see it and stop it before it turns into something unmanageable, thanks again to all that information being digitalised and in one place for easy analysis.
7. You can automate everything
Ah, automation. The thing that can do anything, right?
Well. Yes and no.
All automation can do is what you tell it to do. If your business process is broken or inefficient, a new automation tool won’t be able to fix that — it will just follow the broken or inefficient process to the letter. It’s like when your GPS tells you to make a left turn, but there’s a huge roadblock in the way… automation can’t get around that roadblock; it just tells you to make a left turn, no matter what.
So why should you use an automation tool?
Because it makes repetitive tasks repeatable, and lets you get all of your time-wasting chores out of the way so you can focus on more meaningful work. Automation doesn’t solve every problem — but it does solve some of them!
Automation myths debunked
We hope that this post has removed some of the mystery surrounding automation.
At the end of the day, automation saves you time and money. And, it’s those two things that are really important in business if you want a competitive edge.
If you have an interest in learning more about how automation can take your business to the next level, then definitely contact us to arrange a free discovery call.
Ready to work with us?
1. Join our Facebook group NocodeVA where we share in-depth content and trainings on automation and the latest no-code tools
2. Book a Power Hour where we will hang out on Zoom, share screens, focus on your automation plan, problem solve any tech issues you have, map your workflows out or just brush up on your automation skills. The choice of what you spend the hour on is yours
3. Sign up for interactive Zapier or Airtable training. The training will help you to run your business better and faster.
4. Work with us on a 1:1 basis to create bespoke business automations specific to your workflows. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org