Business Automation Mistakes To Avoid

Businesses often fall into the trap of backlogged leads and forced busyness. To prevent this, you must create processes that will help keep your business streamlined and focused on what matters most.

When processes become out of sync and inefficient, your business can quickly fall out of alignment with its mission. In this article, we will discuss business automation mistakes to avoid.

Not Knowing What To Automate

You can’t automate something if you don’t know how it should work. Before jumping into the world of automation, take some time to identify what processes would be most beneficial for your team.

The first step is finding out which repetitive actions are wasting time and energy – these are the ones that should be automated first! You may also want to consider automating essential tasks that require too much manual effort.

For example, if the sales process is long and cumbersome, consider sales acceleration and sales automation software so sales activities occur in a single interface and teams can set up multiple workflows and engagements straight to leads through a single platform.

Moving from manual to automated will save a large amount of time for important business activities.

Starting Too Big

Starting too big is one of the most common business automation mistakes. Start with what you need now and add more features as you see fit. Automation software makes it easy to add features and functions later, so there’s no need to start with a ton of bells and whistles that you may never use.

Not Automating Your Sales Funnel

Automating your sales funnel is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Marketing automation software such as Zendesk or Marketo is the best way to automate your sales funnel.

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This will help you track prospects through their entire buyer journey, from just being aware of who you are up until they make a purchase decision. If they don’t become customers at each step along the way, then there must be some problem with how you’re communicating with them.

By automating your sales funnel, you’ll see where exactly in the process these prospects are getting hung up (or “stuck”).

Insufficient Training

Training is one of the most important aspects of automation, but it can also be misunderstood. Many companies fail to realize that exercise is about ensuring that no one gets hurt and enabling employees to do their jobs more effectively.

The truth is that many companies are struggling with automation because they don’t invest enough time or money into training their employees on how to use it properly. This often leads to many mistakes and can even cause injuries or fatalities if you’re not careful.

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Failing To Plan For Hiccups In The Future

Automation is excellent, but it’s not perfect. No matter how much time and effort you spend setting up your system now, something will inevitably come to a point where something goes wrong with your program, or its hardware/software components need updating or replacing. 

When this happens, you need to be ready for it – otherwise, things will quickly spiral out of control at work, and you’ll have no choice but to shut down the entire system until everything works properly again (which may take days or even weeks).

Automating In-House

Automating in-house can be a mistake because it is hard to scale. Large companies use automation to help with repetitive tasks and improve efficiency.

However, small businesses can also use automation software to enhance productivity and ensure they are always on top of their game.

When you automate in-house, you are essentially creating a robot to do specific tasks for you. This could include updating social media accounts or sending emails.

While this may seem like a great idea at first, there are some downsides, including:

  • It isn’t easy to scale. If you have multiple employees who need to be able to use the automation software, it becomes difficult for one person to manage everything.

    The more people who use your automation software, the more complicated it becomes for someone else to step in if needed.

  • It’s not always easy for others to understand how it works or troubleshoot problems when something goes wrong (which happens).

  • Creating an effective automated system can be expensive if you are not familiar with coding or programming languages such as Python or Ruby on Rails.

No Metrics Or ROI

If you’re not measuring the results of your automation activities, you’re probably not getting the most out of your investments.

This is often a significant mistake made by small and midsize companies in their first forays into automation. They don’t yet have a clear understanding of how much time they save or the money they make by automating tasks, so they don’t measure their ROI or set goals for improvement. 

The result is that they don’t know if their investment is paying off or if they should invest more resources into it. The good news is that measuring ROI isn’t hard – you don’t need an MBA.

All you need to do is track how much time it takes to do specific tasks manually and then compare that with how long it takes to do them with automation software.

For example, if you spend 20 minutes every week scanning documents and entering data into your CRM system manually, then use a workflow automation tool like FlowDocs to automate the process and save yourself 20 minutes each week.

No Supervision

Automation is not a substitute for supervision. People still need to monitor their machines and check on the status of projects.

When something goes wrong with an automated process, someone needs to be able to fix it. If no one is watching over your automated system, you won’t know when there is a problem until it becomes severe enough for customers or employees to complain about it.

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This can lead to lost revenue, poor customer service ratings, and unhappy employees who feel they have no control over their job responsibilities.

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Automating The Wrong Processes

If you’re thinking about automating a process, there are some things you should take into account:

  • Is the process repetitive? Automation is a good idea if it happens repeatedly because it will save you time by performing these tasks automatically.

  • Can any human error be avoided? If so, then automation may be the way to go because it will eliminate potential human error.

  • Is there an existing solution that already performs this task? If so, you might consider using that instead of building your system or hiring someone else to make one for you.

Not Enough Security

Business automation is a powerful tool, but it can also be dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Here are some basic rules of thumb to help avoid disaster:

  • Don’t make your automation too complex. While it’s tempting to build complicated automation that does everything you could want, this will only lead to confusion in the future.

    Complex automation is hard to maintain and troubleshoot when something goes wrong. Instead, start with simple automation to get the job done and add more features as needed.

  • Don’t run offsite or cloud-based automation software on your company network unless necessary.

    Your company network is an integral part of your company’s security system, so it’s best not to overload it with extraneous software or traffic from outside sources like social media or cloud-based services like Google Docs or Dropbox.

    For example, don’t use Google Docs as your primary word processor because this will expose sensitive data like passwords and customer information to potential hackers who might attack your company’s network at some point in the future.

  • Ensure your automation is secure using strong passwords and two-factor authentication whenever possible.

Wrapping Up

Mistakes are going to happen. No corporation (or individual) can avoid mistakes simply because of the volume of clients, customers, and competitors one encounters. The question is how you frame failure.

Are you able to take in feedback and learn from your mistakes? Are you able to adapt as necessary to constantly changing markets? Consider these considerations as you attempt to automate your company with design software and other tools.

Jonathon Spire

Jonathon Spire

Tech Blogger at Jonathon Spire

My diverse background started with my computer science degree, and later progressed to building laptops and accessories. And now, for the last 7 years, I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant.

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Jonathon Spire

I blog about a range of tech topics.

For the last 7 years I have been a social media marketing specialist and business growth consultant, so I write about those the most.

Full transparency: I do review a lot of services and I try to do it as objectively as possible; I give honest feedback and only promote services I believe truly work (for which I may or may not receive a commission) – if you are a service owner and you think I have made a mistake then please let me know in the comments section.

– Jon