The high cost of labor in a business can have a negative impact on growth. Many business owners struggle to find the right balance between getting the help they need to keep growing and keeping the company profitable. If you are familiar with this struggle then you may be looking for options to help reduce labor overhead costs. One option for reducing labor overhead costs that has drastically increased in popularity and sophistication over the last few years is automation. If you are unfamiliar with the ways automation can help your business, keep reading to learn what automation is, how to implement automation, and the ways in which it can reduce labor overhead costs.
What is automation?
The idea of automation in business can sometimes seem complicated and overly technical. But, the concept can be easily understood when you take it down to the most basic element. When you look at the definition for the word automatic it is defined as having the ability to start or operate independently. This definition is the essence of what automation in business means. You find ways for things to get done independently-or almost independently-of your actions. A basic example of automation that you are likely already using is voicemail. If the phone rings a certain number of times the caller is sent to voicemail. After you initially set up a voicemail greeting, there is no need for further action. It is automatic. Automation can save you time by handling tasks that would otherwise have to be done by a person.
How can I implement automation?
Thanks to innovation in the field and continued advances in technology, more and more business processes can be done through automation. You can implement automation on a personal level in the by having your emails sorted in a specific way automatically when they come into your inbox. You can use automation to collaborate with others in your business by having calendars that automatically link up with each other so everyone is on the same page about meetings and appointments. On a larger scale, you can automate many of your online marketing efforts in order to provide prospective customers with the information they are looking for and guide them closer to a purchase. The ways in which you can implement automation continue to expand and become more complicated. Generally, there will be some time and effort required of you at the beginning to set up the automation. Once you have everything set up the processes you decided to automate will run independently.
Can automation help me reduce labor overhead costs?
Automation can have a direct impact on your labor overhead costs. For example, let’s say that you currently have someone who responds to customer questions that come through the ‘contact us’ section of your website. You can automate the process of answering customer questions by directing their inquiries to a ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ page of your website instead of taking them as emails. Customers can then look for the answer to their question among the most commonly asked questions from other customers. This automation prevents your employee from having to spend time answering the same basic questions over and over. Instead, they can spend time on other aspects of their job that will not benefit from automation. There will still be some customers with truly unique questions that will send in emails but the time and money spent answering emails will be significantly reduced thanks to automation.
Reducing labor overhead costs is always a hot topic for leaders in business. Automation is a great place to start if you are looking for ways to reduce the amount of money your business spends on labor. You can learn more about automation and other ways to reduce labor overhead costs (such as outsourcing) on the Infinit-O blog. The options for businesses like yours to streamline operations and save on labor continue to improve and increase.