As a business professional, it is likely you have heard the saying “time is money.” After all, every minute of the day presents the opportunity to generate income. If you are doing something productive, you are moving toward that goal. If you are wasting time, such as on business functions that could be automated, you are holding yourself back.

Business automation is intriguing. When properly implemented, it allows you to achieve the desired results without manual input, meaning you create more time for yourself to focus on revenue-generating functions.

This leads to an important question: which business functions can you automate with software? More importantly, which ones are you comfortable handing over to an automated process?

It’s tough to say which functions are best for your business to automate. To start, though, let’s take a look at 6 of the biggest time sinks most likely on your lap, and multiple solutions to streamline them:

1. Human Resources
It may not be possible to automate every HR related function, but there is help to be had. This is particularly useful for small companies that don’t have the resources to hire a dedicated HR team.

Reasons to Automate
With HR software, you can automate tasks that would otherwise take up many hours of your day. This includes employment benefits, compliance, insurance, taxes, and payroll.

Another benefit of HR automation is the ability to move away from a paper-based system and toward an electronic system. This will save you time, money, and plenty of space.

Our Favorite HR Software Providers:

2. Payroll
It doesn’t matter if you have one employee or 100+, nothing changes the fact that you have to pay each person in full and on time, without ever making a mistake. Furthermore, you are responsible for withholding the proper amount of taxes.

Reasons to Automate
It is never easy to remove yourself from the payroll process. After all, you built your business on understanding the financial implications of every decision. However, as you grow your revenue and hire more employees, it is imperative to automate this process. Doing so allows you to:

  • Save time.
  • Guarantee accuracy.
  • Add a provider that can answer your every question.
  • Obtain access to tax services.

Our Favorite Payroll Software Providers:

3. Marketing
Every company, regardless of industry, should have a sound marketing plan. This is what helps you drive traffic to your website. This is what helps your sales team close more deals.

There was a day and age when marketing automation was nothing more than a dream. Today, things have changed.

Reasons to Automate
Imagine what it would be like to spend less time marketing your company, without any fear of slipping behind the competition.

With marketing automation software, this is a possibility. For example, Hootsuite is social media marketing management dashboard. With this, you can automate the scheduling of social media posts. Sure, you have to do some work by hand upfront, but once you do, everything else is automated.

All you need to know is this: automation will put your marketing plan on steroids. By automating some tasks, such as social media, you will have more time to spend on others, such as content creation and content marketing.

Tip: there are many marketing automation myths that could sink you. Learn about these here.

Our Favorite Marketing Software Providers:

4. Recruiting and Interviewing
Recruiting is certainly something you should spend time on, as you always want to make sure you find the perfect candidate for each and every open position.

The problem with traditional recruiting and interviewing is that it can take days, weeks, or even months to make your way from the beginning of the process to the end. You have to collect resumes, review each one, interview the best candidates, check references, and then make an offer of employment. Sounds like a lot of wasted time, right?

Reasons to Automate
There are two primary reasons to automate the hiring process:

  • To save time.
  • To improve the chance of hiring the right person.

VidCruiter, for example, has a reference tool to help you reach both these goals. With automated referencing, you put the process in the hands of the applicant. Once they get their references to fill out the online report, you can review it and decide what to do next.

Our Favorite Recruiting Software Providers:

5. Background Screening
Let’s face it: background screening is more important today than ever before. With concerns of workplace violence on the rise, hiring an employee without conducting a background check is a big risk.

Reasons to Automate
When it comes to background screening, you are faced with a fine line. On one side, you don’t want to waste too many resources on this process. Conversely, you know it is a must. This is why automation is the key to success. Here is what you get when you rely on software:

  • Most accurate information available.
  • Peace of mind in knowing you did not miss anything.
  • More comprehensive than a manual background check.

Top Background Screening Software Providers:

Note: theses companies provide background screening software. You can also hire a full-service background screening company although this comes with less automation.

6. Backup and Recovery
There is nothing worse than a system crash. It doesn’t matter if it is your computer or server, if you lose data your business could be in trouble.

You should regularly backup files to an external hard drive or the “cloud.” Either way, this puts your mind at ease. Even if something does go wrong, you know you can recover important data.

Reasons to Automate
You risk a few mistakes by manually backing up your systems:

  • Forgetting to do so regularly.
  • Running out of space for new backups.
  • Inability to recover data in the event of a loss.

Backup automation and recovery software allows you to avoid all these potential risks. Instead, you can save your information as often as you would like, always knowing it is available to access should the time come.

Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Top Backup and Recovery Software Providers:

Automate Your Way to Success
If you want to take your business to the next level, if you want to reach all your goals, you should consider which business functions you can automate with software. Doing so will save you time and money while also allowing your business to run at its peak.


Author: Meredith Wood

Published: September 9, 2015

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