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5 Ways Automation Can Help You Manage Your Team When it comes to running a business, managing a team is not always the most alluring part. Implement automation to help with the stresses of a business.

By Clate Mask

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many business owners will tell you that managing other people is the hardest part of owning a business. After spending more than two decades running and growing my own company, I can tell you the main challenges with managing a team boil down to the additional time and work that being a leader requires. To counteract this and experience the joys and benefits of leading others, you need automation.

Here's how it can help.

1. Automation streamlines collaboration

For most companies, effective team communication is key to success. As a leader, it's up to you to set the tone of ongoing, honest communication and to prioritize collaboration. Of course, challenges enter the picture when your daily role is already pushed to its limits and your time is stretched thin.

Automation helps ensure busy days don't prevent the brainstorming and camaraderie critical to your business's health. For instance, if you use cloud documents, your team can easily collaborate on a deliverable without stressing over version control or workflow. If you use project management software, you can quickly assign tasks to employees and feel confident you don't need to micromanage their completion.

Related: 11 Ways to Automate Your Business and Boost Efficiency

2. Automation enables sales efforts

It's not a direct part of managing a team, but every business owner should do all they can to empower their salespeople. After all, your sales — and the relationships your sales folks have with your customers — are the heartbeat of any business.

Automation will free up your sales team's time for the strategic tasks and complex customer conversations they need to handle. For example, your team gains valuable hours back in their day by automating lead nurturing, customer follow-up and meeting scheduling. Sales and marketing automation ultimately saves everyone time and sets your business up for maximum sales success.

Related: How to Use Automation (and Avoid the Pitfalls) as an Entrepreneur

3. Automation takes payroll off your plate

If managing people is seen as a difficult part of being an entrepreneur, managing payroll is often dreaded. Not only do you have to make sure there are enough funds in the bank to cover your team members' paychecks, but you also need to ensure they get paid on time. This requires more logistics than most people think if you're doing payroll manually.

Today, there's no reason not to automate this part of your business and endless reasons to do so. Payroll automation software will help you make your team's payments on time and give you confidence that you comply with business rules and regulations. It will mean you have one less item to worry about and happy employees. After all, few things make people more upset than failing to receive a payment. Automation solves this, making everyone's lives easier and building trust between you and your team.

4. Automation can become your billing department

In addition to handling payroll, automation provides the single best way to bill clients and collect payments. When you go through an automated system for billing, you don't have to remember when to invoice or chase after payments when they're late.

This not only saves you time and helps you get paid when you should, but it also removes the awkward situation of you being in the role of debt collector. Such a dynamic can hurt vendor-client relationships and leave everyone with a sour taste. Automating your billing will eliminate these scenarios and keep you and your team focused on higher-value tasks.

Related: The 10 Best Small Business Payroll Services

5. Automation can simplify onboarding

This is one area many don't consider when looking at the advantages of automation, but it can be a great support in more ways than one. Automating parts of your onboarding process ensures every new hire gets the same information and welcome to the company. This consistency can help with morale and brand consistency and save you from having to conduct repetitive onboarding training.

You can (and should) still keep the human touch in certain parts of your onboarding process, but try to automate the rest. For instance, you can use workflow automation to move new hires through informational videos, short quizzes, paperwork and more. This will reduce time spent training employees and make the entire process more easily repeatable.

When it comes to running a business, managing a team is not always the most alluring part. But it can be most rewarding if you remove common points of friction and frustration. Implement automation in the areas outlined here, and you'll see a big jump in your team's satisfaction and productivity - and yours.

Related: Online Payroll Guide: Everything You Need to Know About Payroll Services

Clate Mask

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

CEO

Clate Mask is the founder and CEO of Keap, a maker of sales and marketing automation software for small businesses. He also is co-author of "Conquer the Chaos: How to Grow a Successful Small Business Without Going Crazy."

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