I'm ready for the robot takeover - are you?
I recently got a Roomba. It's magical. As the mother of a five year old, who has spent the past five years walking on what feels like a floor full of granola crumbs, it's miraculous to walk around my house with nothing sticking to my feet. My house feels cleaner and I don't have to do anything to make it happen. It even texts me when it's done cleaning. Like I said, magical. It made me utter the phrase, "I'm ready for the robot takeover."
Now, that's not to say that I'm ready for Skynet to gain self-awareness and take over the world, and there is maybe some validity to Elon Musk's concerns that deep AI might actually be our downfall - that we either, "merge with machines or become irrelevant." However, current automation, down at the lowest level, can really be life-changing.
I no longer have to spend time, energy or brain power on keeping my floors clean. That means I have more time for other things. The vacuuming is one tiny aspect, it's just one thing that I now don't have to do, but what if that feeling was magnified and applied to your business?
Use automation to free your time
Think about business automation as a Roomba for your business. What if there was a robot out there, vacuuming your business, making sure that you didn't have to walk on granola crumbs? Sure, you could literally get a Roomba for your business (and why wouldn't you - they're amazing), but that feeling is what automation can do for your business processes.
Find one thing that you could automate, and see what you could do with that free time and energy. Then find another. When you stack all those automations together, you might find that all of a sudden, you have the room in your brain to think up a new product or a new service or a new way of selling or marketing to your customers. If you didn't have to think about running payroll - what could you do with that time?
Use automation to reduce errors
Humans are inaccurate creatures. We're not all that great at data entry, we make mistakes, misspellings, and flip numbers. Computers are exceptional at transferring information from one place to another, and getting much better at interpreting data than humans are. For example, some health care robots are better at diagnosing patients than humans because they are not subjective. They just look at the data.
This same concept applies to your business. Would you rather have a human typing numbers from one place to another, say, from your Point of Sale to your credit card machine, or would you rather have the computer just tell the machine? Using the human, you're liable to get errors even from the most conscientious of people. Using the computer, the numbers will always match.
Automating many of your business processes can not only free up time and save you money, it can help reduce errors and make your end result more accurate.
What can you automate?
Here are a few ideas:
- Point-of-sale transactions and costs data input to your accounting system
- Time entry into your payroll system
- Social media posting
- Travel arrangements
- Scheduling meetings
What are your favorite business processes to automate?