How do you scale up your small business without adding more headcount? Could Autto – our new easy-to-use automation platform be the answer?
It’s not easy scaling up a small business, I’ve been fortunate enough to have done it successfully, but have the extra wrinkles and grey hairs to show for it. To be honest, the growth period can be just as tough and stressful as the startup phase. With your small team, you work hard and when the business succeeds you’re happy. But you realise that as a founder you’re available time is becoming the limiting factor in the business’s growth.
What’s worse is that you start to realise how much time the admin and managing processes takes. Contracts, invoices, chasing bills, proposals, it all seems to add up.
There are relatively few options at this point. Firstly, you can do what most of us do which add more staff… and that means more responsibility for salaries and office costs. And frequently results in a phase of lower profit margins.
You can outsource, which sounds great, but the reality is that it’s hard to maintain quality, customer relationships can suffer, and it’s not easy to find the time that it takes to train people to get it right.
Most of us struggle through this period and just try to keep going, hopefully until the business grows and we can step back a bit.
A New Option
That’s been the reality – but let me talk about something that I think can really help smaller businesses scale during the growth period and beyond. It’s called Autto, and it’s an easy-to-use automation platform we’ve developed. It allows you to automate the repetitive processes that are part of running a business – the documents, the emails, the approvals etc. And because it works by linking actions (like lego blocks), it can be used to automate all kind of business process and improve the efficiency of everyday office tasks. As your business grows, you can create workflows to automate more tasks so that you can continue to scale with less staff. For example, if your startup needs a contract for each new customer (and make each time takes one of your team 30 minutes of cutting, pasting, attaching etc.). With Autto you spend an hour making contact workflow that uses document automation with a template and then emails the result to the customer. When you next need a contract for a customer, you run the workflow, and just it takes a couple of minutes to create the contract. Now the same can use the workflow to handle hundreds of customers (and with no chance of mistakes).
We believe that automation (and particularly Autto) will help startups grow faster with fewer problems and risks (and fewer grey hairs for the founders).
Simple Paperwork Example: A Contract
This example workflow asks a series of questions, confirms the answers then uses them to create an employment contract, emails it to the parties and stores the contract in the HR section of the company Dropbox. It took me 45 minutes to create including editing the contract. Now it’s built and published it will take only a few minutes to run (basically the time it takes to enter the details on the form) next time I need a new contact. This is just one example of the types of business process and paperwork that Autto can be used to automate.
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