When you think about obstacles to automation, immediately our brains go to the hard stuff - lack of financing, investors not getting on board, not having the right technology etc. However, in reality what keeps many companies from diving into the deep end of automation has nothing to do with any of these reasons and everything to do with the fact that they simply don’t think they’re ready to make the leap or realize how easy it can be to get started.
Below are the four of the most common reasons companies don’t automate. Once you realize how easy it is to get the process started, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner!
1- You Think It Takes Too Much Time
In a recent call with Zapier Marketer, Kim Kadiyala, we were amazed at some of the automation hacks they use - hello TextExpander! But what we were more amazed with was that we didn’t think to use them ourselves, especially since CloudApp + TextExpander make the perfect, automated pair.
“Most people think it just takes too long to learn” Kim said.
So they keep doing what they’ve been doing simply because they can type quickly, or get through the task quickly. In actuality, those “quick’ and repetitive tasks can add up to full work weeks by the time the year is out.
Our advice? Invest the hour it takes to learn that app or feature that promises to save you time. The hour or so invested will shave days and weeks off your entire year.
2- Don’t Worry About The Tech
When most of us think “automation” our brains go straight to the platform we’ll use, how it will run, how many engineers we’ll need etc. However, when you’re planning on automating, thinking about the tech first is paralyzing and can keep you from the planning process. Start with a solid plan, what exactly you’ll automate, what the desired workflow will look like, and ultimately the most important - how this automation will improve your product and customer experience.
3- Does Your Strategy Support Your Goals?
Most of us, who feel that automation is oh-so-hard, don’t take the time to plan because we can’t see how the plan plays into our business goals. We know that automation can make life easier, but when we sit down to plan, the details we get hung up on have nothing to do with our main business objective. Even worse, unless we’re connected to the goal, automation seems like it’s adding work instead of relieving it!
To fix this, you need to work backwards. What are you trying to accomplish by automating? How many more customers are you looking to serve? How many hours are you looking to strip from your work week? Always build your strategy with the end goal in mind, and any other issues you have with the plan will start to clear up.
4- Don’t Expect It To Be Magic
One of the biggest obstacles to automation is simply the all-or nothing mentality. This mindset doesn’t allow for inevitable errors and growing pains. Is automation worth it? Absolutely. But to think that automation is the answer to all your business prayers, is a mistake. Automation is only as good as the team you hire, the strategy you deploy, the content you produce, the data you analyze etc. In other words, there are a lot of “quality” factors at play to truly get the best out of automating.
Automation is a process, not a magic pill, and if anything can shine a light on where you need to improve, not mask or solve long-term product issues.
Give us the scoop! Is your company using automation to it’s fullest capacity, or are you one of the 60% of businesses who aren’t using nearly all the automation features and tools available? If you’re already on the automation train, we’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the comments below!
Note: CloudApp is working on an integration with Zapier that should be available in the Fall. Stay tuned!