|Small Business Information|
What is Business Process Automation?
Business Process Automation or BPA for short. This was a buzzword a few years back with anyone and everyone claiming they were experts in this area. Maybe so. But to really realize its true potential you need to understand what business process automation is and why you will need it?
If you own/run/manage a business, take a look around yourself at the daily activities you perform to run your business effectively and efficiently. If you do observe closely, you will quickly notice that you (or your staff) do perform a lot of tasks that are generally repetitive in nature or they may be administrative tasks; tasks that you have to perform and are necessary to run your business.
Let me elaborate that with an example. A customer calls and enquires about a product you market. You tell the customer you will send a product brochure. You take all relevant information like prospect name, address etc. and walk over to your secretary. Your secretary takes the information, chooses the appropriate brochure, creates a covering letter, puts it in an envelope and mails it to your customer. Sounds familiar, right?
Well, what if I told you that process automation automates the entire process above using the Internet? And all with zero involvement from you? Or anyone else from your organization? Would that be cool? Let me help you visualize it.
Your prospect comes over to your web site, browses and is now seeking more information on a specific product. You have the prospect fill in all relevant information from within your web site. When the prospect submits the information, your web site will automatically save the information electronically in a database and send a personalized email to your prospect (i.e. thanking him/her for the enquiry and providing instructions to download the brochure). Your system can also follow up automatically after a few days with that specific prospect asking if they have any other questions or if you could be of any help.
This is, in essence, business process automation. You are automating the different business processes within your business. The beauty of automating this is the zero-involvement from your business. Let's take this a step further. If the prospect does decide to buy the specific product, they can purchase it directly from your web site (via a shopping cart). Your web site will already know what your prospect had received so you can "speed up" the process by simply collecting payment information over a secure line, process the transaction and then send new shipping details to your customer. The prospects details now go into the customer database (because you have converted a prospect into a customer). The order details automatically get sent to your order-processing department for order fulfillment. When the order is shipped, your order-processing department updates the "system" with ETA for the product. Your customer can now automatically track the status of their order. And you can actually get an overview of how many orders were received, shipped, transacted; all through a browser. Even if you were holidaying and were miles away from home/office.
Can you think of all the costs you have saved by automating routine, mundane tasks that have typically needed human intervention in the past?
That, in essence, is the power of automation.
How To Accept Credit Cards
If you plan to do business online, then your website will need to accept credit cards. For many, the idea of applying for a merchant account sounds like a daunting task, but the truth is that building an online store is incredibly easy these days. The major credit card processing companies have improved and streamlined the process of setting up accounts, and software companies have had several years to improve their software to the point that it is easy for non-technical business owners to create and operate an online store effectively.
Six Essential Skills to Business Success!
The following are six essential skills to business success. You may not have developed all of these skills, but like most things in life, you can by learning, practicing and determination. Implement these skills and you'll be on the right track.
A Great Logo Is A Marketing Must-Have. But Is It Affordable For Small Business Owners?
And is having a logo really that important?
Small Business Marketing - How Important Are Your First Words?
"What do you do?" It just might be one of the most asked questions there is, at least here in America.
What Your Small Business Can Learn From The Doctor
Most doctors never distinguish the difference between customers and patients. That's why they have waiting rooms instead of reception areas.
Small Business Newsletter Dilemma: Which Day Do I Send?
If you're just ramping up your small business email newsletter, you might be wondering what day you should send it to your opt-in list. After all, you want it to get opened and read and you know your prospects may be weeding through a ton of email clutter. What to do?
Challenging the Gospel of Growth -- Must Business Grow to Survive?
A cherished business doctrine is that growth must be a primary business purpose: "grow or perish" is a mostly unquestioned truth. At South Mountain we favor certain kinds of growth, but not expansion for its own sake, which author Edward Abbey described as "the ideology of the cancer cell." We embrace growth to achieve specific goals, but always with consideration of the consequences: it may disrupt and endanger treasured qualities. We look for ways to develop and thrive without enlarging, thereby holding to limited growth. When we grow, it is by intention rather than in response to demand. We think about "enough" rather than "more"-enough profits to retain and share, enough compensation for all, enough health and well-being, enough time to give our work the attention it deserves, enough communication, enough to manage, enough headaches.
Five Quick Ways to Speed Up Cash Flow
At one point or another, almost every business runs short of cash. Whether due to normal fluctuations in demand or an unexpected decline in sales, cash shortfalls are the bane of every company, and are responsible for sleepless nights for many business owners.
Franchise Buyers from Hell
I ran a franchise company for many years, a car wash franchise, and we use to get the most ridiculous franchise buyers who thought they wanted a franchise. It seems we had to deal with these Kookoo birds because they have consumer rights and the Federal Trade Commission, which looks over franchising goes out of their way to let these consumers get away with these tall tales.
Success Tips for Small Business Owners
Running a small business requires many skills. However, to do this successfully you need to organize yourself first. Avoid procrastination - read the following and take action.
Franchising Industry Burdened in Over Regulation
There were only an estimated 1800 active franchisors in this country at the end of 2002, that number down from 6000 in a single decade. It is not hard from this effort to increase regulations to see why. I believe the Federal Trade Commission's franchising expenditures should be cut by the same rate of decline after all they caused it. Why is the Federal Trade Commission favoring one business model over another, actually the franchising model lowers prices to consumers through economies of scale, efficiency of operations and competition. Any and all increased regulation over the franchising business model is a clear sign that the Federal Trade Commission is titling the field for the larger corporate box store and by doing so is hurting our country, decreasing competition in the market place and decreases choices for forward advancement of every citizen who wants to have a fulfilled life and a meaningful job. Shame on you, FTC; what an insidious consequence of this rule-making group at the Federal Trade Commission? Such a small group gets to decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of American workers and the destiny's of thousands of America's future bright star entrepreneurs and innovators. If this whole process is not evil, then I cannot even imagine what is?
Common Mistakes When Planning Your Medical Spa
Everything starts with a business plan: If you don't have one. Write it. A good business plan will help you get a handle on all of the things that get glossed over in the excitement of starting a new business. It's also a usual requirement for getting financing.
Pressure Washing Graders and Tractor Motors
When pressure washing heavy equipment each piece of equipment has a slightly different procedure to ensure efficiency. When a pressure washing company is bidding such jobs by the piece of equipment instead of the hour, they must be cognizant of this so they can maximize profits. Loaders, backhoes, bull dozers and scrapers are all cleaned slightly different. Anyone who has been in the business a while and cleaned heavy equipment has indeed found ways or short cuts to improve their speed and efficiency.
Dispute Resolution; Competing With Other Franchisees
If you are in a franchise and have a territory dispute with another franchisee you need to prevent a lawsuit use dispute resolution techniques to resolve the dispute. Competing with other franchisees is a subject that franchisors would prefer not to need to talk about. This is a real problem for some types of franchises. For instance mobile service businesses and home based franchises.
Is Your Business Profitable?
What's your job profitability? Do you know?
The Perilous Franchise Agreement: What Did You Sign?
Purchasing a franchise has become one of the most popular avenues for individuals looking to escape the rigid work day of a 9 to 5 job and take the leap into the world of independent business owner. After all, who doesn't dream of being their own boss and controlling the limits of their own financial future? For anyone looking to act on their entrepreneurial spirit, franchising can indeed offer many attractive qualities that can provide excellent growth and earning potential, as well as satisfy that longing for independence. On the other hand, individuals that jump into franchising too quickly without adequate planning can find themselves mired in financial and legal problems. Even the most sophisticated businessperson can fall into this trap and be left scrambling to understand exactly what they signed.
One Of The Best New Business Opportunities May Be Right In Your Home - A New Daycare Business
The day care industry is expanding. There are now more than 100,000 licensed child-care centers and 250,000 licensed family day care homes across the United States.
The Inside-Out Business Plan? -- Your Small Business Plan in 10 Easy Questions
Writing a business plan for your Solo Entrepreneur business doesn't have to be a daunting project. If you can answer 10 straightforward questions about your business, you can be ready to go.
Change May Be Your Ace in the Hole
Whether it has been thrust upon you by external market forces or it has simply bubbled up from the internal dynamics of your enterprise, change itself always presents opportunity for improvement. And in a knowledge based economy, change may be the only thing we can count on as small business people. So, if you want to stay ahead of the curve, you must embrace change as a necessary strategy for commercial success.
Mobile Pressure Washing and Cleaning Scheduling
If you own a mobile car washing, pressure washing or auto detailing business you know that when your crews and machines are parked and working that you are making money. You also know that when those units and crews are driving or stuck in traffic you are losing your shirt in costs and inefficiencies. If you are to expand your mobile washing business to multiple units running in multiple cities you will need to have a strict scheduling policy and operations manual to insure that efficiencies are maintained. Today with the highest fuel costs ever in our nation's history and the increased traffic over the last five years it is ultra critical that you plot out your routes, customer locations and time with precision.
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