The Advantages of the Process Orchestration and Automation for Small Businesses

In today’s hyperconnected era, we’ve already moved most of our businesses to the digital landscape. AI-powered tools and cloud technology have become extremely sophisticated, helping you improve your team’s productivity and reduce operational costs.

This is exactly why the processes of automation and orchestration have become a must in the small business ecosystem. The idea behind them is logical- software will do your repetitive tasks, while you will focus on more creative aspects of your job.

Still, even though they’re similar, these processes are not the same. As its mere name says, automation means the using different tools that will make your everyday tasks faster and minimize the human error. But, to get the most of your business automation, you need to leverage orchestration, too. It helps you coordinate the tools you use and build a centralized management system to improve the overall workplace productivity.

It Improves Collaboration within Teams

Effective communication is the backbone of every successful business, irrespective of its size. And, precisely because of that, these processes need to be highly automated. With a proper automation or orchestration tool, both project managers and employees can share information, download files, and collaborate in real-time. The process of orchestration is all about centralized data location, these tools allow an uninterrupted flow of information, enabling everyone in your team to solve problems instantly and launch promotions from a single dashboard. This way, you will be able to establish a standardized working environment, eliminate the complexity of using cross-platform projects, save money on IT support, and most importantly, increase the overall workplace productivity.

It Minimizes Human Errors

In almost any industry out there, one of the most common problems employees face is a bunch of repetitive tasks they need to handle every day. This is where the process of business automation and orchestration comes to shine. Automation tools will do these tasks for you, allowing employees to focus on some more complex aspects of their jobs. Aside from taking your task management to the next level, these tools also help you avoid some of the most common mistakes humans make, making your business more efficient.

Let’s take an example of customer support. Even though this is still a pretty new concept, chatbots are expected to dominate the digital industry in the years to come. AI-powered, these tools are highly flexible and they’re constantly gathering information and learning in order to provide exceptional customer services.

It Reduces Operational Costs

Business orchestration gives you the opportunity to minimize your expenses. According to the recent report done by Cisco, those businesses that invested in their workflow automation have reduced their operational costs significantly. Namely, they assessed numerous organizations that have automated the lifecycle of their services. Obviously, by these processes allowed them to coordinate all their tools, leave repetitive tasks to them, and build a standardized networkwide interface, which helps them deliver their services much faster. And, better performance results in a higher ROI.

It Helps You Boost Customer Satisfaction

Today, there are tens of thousands of small businesses just like yours. So, to attract new customers and inspire them to choose you over your competitors, you need to bring value. And, one of the first steps you need to take is to invest in highly personalized user experience.

Let’s take digital marketing as an example. To make your customers happy and deliver the right products and targeted content to them, you first need to know who they are. And, there are numerous tools that will help you automate your customer segmentation process and gather all the data you need to create better relationships with your customers.

The same goes for customer support. It needs to be impeccable. The functionality and intelligence of business orchestration tools help you gather your customers’ data, find out what the most common problems are when using your products, and try to fix these problems immediately to boost their satisfaction.

Those agencies working with numerous clients find it difficult to analyze their clients’ data and create extensive client reports. These processes sometimes take 5 hours per client, which is too much. On the other hand, there are numerous automated reporting tools that will create extensive and highly personalized client reports in just a few seconds. This is definitely something you shouldn’t ignore.

It Makes your Workflow Centralized

According to the Cisco’s report mentioned above, 69% of respondents said, when orchestrating their businesses, they focus on establishing a strong IT plan that helps them merge together all deployed technologies. In other words, they want to create a centralized and a highly coordinated management system that will enable their teams to complete tasks more effectively. This means unifying and coordinating different tools and platforms to attain better efficiency and control. s

It Boosts Transparency within an Organization

By implementing the process of automation, you’re actually investing in building a single knowledge base that is constantly expanding. This way, both project managers and employees will be able to track their performance in real-time. They have an immediate access to any project or task and are able to make changes immediately. At the same time, your every input, rejection, or change is recorded and can be seen by anyone in your team. This is just one of numerous aspects of transparency and, it not only helps people get their work done, but also builds trust among them.

Back to You

Business automation and orchestration are two immensely important aspects of your business and they are constantly intertwining. So, instead of separating them, you should merge them together. By implementing the techniques mentioned above, you will be able to boost your ROI, as well as improve your team’s productivity.

Guest author, Raul Harman, is a B.Sc. in Innovative entrepreneurship and has a lot to say about innovations in all aspects of digital technology and online marketing. While he’s not enjoying football and great food, you can find him on Technivorz.com

 

Always Wanted to Open a Brewery? 4 Steps for a Successful Start

Have you always wanted to open a brewery of your own? Well, before you do, there are a few things you need to accomplish beforehand. Here are the four most important steps to take to open a successful brewery.

Make a Solid Business Plan

The very first thing you should do to open a successful brewery is to make a solid business plan. This will ensure your finances and foals are in place to run your business as efficiently and successfully as possible. Your business plan will also include market research to make sure your business will do well in the area it’s operating in. Additionally, it will also contain a contingency plan in case things go awry when running your brewery. After making your brewery’s business plan, it’s time to follow the rules.

Understand the Rules

Before opening your brewery, it’s important you understand all the local and national regulations your business will have to follow. For example, every community has different wastewater regulations that you’ll have to follow. After all, not everything can be simply poured down the drain. As the business owner of a new brewery, you should contact local officials and agencies about regulations that you’ll need to follow closely. Also, keep in mind, you’ll need to obtain a federal and state license to legally operate your brewery. So, before starting anything, it’s important you fully understand the rules of the trade and keep yourself in check with every single one.

Obtain the Right Equipment

Next, you will need to ensure you have all the right equipment to begin brewing your beer. There is a lot of gear you will need to buy for each step of the process including mashing, fermentation, cooling, cleaning, and packaging. Some pieces of equipment you will likely need include kettles, kegs, boilers, fermentation tanks, storage tanks, refrigeration equipment, cleaning gear, bottling equipment, and more.

Keep It Clean

You will also need a plan to keep your equipment and your facility clean. This is a vital and often overlooked part of getting your brewery ready for business. Otherwise, you may be in violation of some rules. Be sure to have stainless steel overscreens on hand so you can keep unwanted contaminant out of your beer. Purchase the necessary cleaning equipment for the facility as well. Check out Saniclean Strainers for high-quality strainers as well.

There are a number of things you should keep in mind when opening a brewery. From making a solid business plan to obtaining the right equipment, there’s a list full of things you’ll need to do before running operations. Hopefully, with the help of the tips above, you can get a head start on your brewery and run a successful business.

Guest author Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.

5 Audiences Your Business Should Cater to in 2018

The digital world is helping to wall off audiences from each other, creating niche markets that would not have existed in past business generations. This is actually a prime advantage for companies that are correctly placed to handle it. Here are five audiences that your business should cater to in 2018.

Millennials

The rising generation of young adults is quickly becoming the number one consumer in the marketplace. They are definitely in charge, and their total spend is only increasing. If you are not marketing to millennials, then you are missing a significant part of your sales, regardless of the industry that you may be in. Provide free Wi-Fi for customers, and offer online purchases and communication options. Millennials tend to prefer indirect communication and speed over anything else.

Women

Women have always been the number one spenders and households. It was a joke in past generations that they held the purse strings even though they did not necessarily have the highest income in the home. Will today, they have the highest income in the home in many cases. They also still hold the purse strings. If you are not catering to women, then you are definitely missing out. The feminist movement is putting power in the hands of new audiences, and commerce must move with it.

Geeks

Geek culture is quickly becoming much more mainstream than it was a decade ago. It’s becoming much more acceptable to embrace things like video games, anime, and fantasy genres. Focusing on this demographic can improve your sales quite a bit. If you’re a T-shirt company, consider following the example of sites like Capsule Corp Clothing by offering designs based on popular franchises, such as Dragon Ball tank tops. Your marketing outreach may benefit as well from using geeky franchises as inspiration.

Seniors

An often forgotten and overlooked audience, but one that is just as ready to spend money, is the senior citizen community. Baby Boomers will soon be the largest segment of the population in the United States. This is also true in many Western countries. Look to them for certain industries, and make sure that you do not keep them out while you are trying to market to one or more of the other groups mentioned here.

The International Community

There is no reason to limit your sales function to any geographic location. The Internet has given you more than enough power to move beyond any border and sell to anyone who is in need of your products or services. Make it happen internationally!

Guest author, Dixie Somers, is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.

Business Changes to Support Your Lifestyle

People decide to start up their own businesses for all kinds of reasons. For some people setting up a business is a lifelong ambition and finally getting the chance to do so is a real test of their abilities. For other people building a small business is much more about defining the terms around their working lives.

Though you might assume that all business people are willing to make lifestyle changes for their business, you should also consider things the other way around. What if you could change the way you do business so that you could improve your lifestyle?

In an age where our working lives are changing rapidly, anything feels possible. A new generation have entered the workplace and demanded more balance and now it is your turn to capitalize on their bold moves. Here’s how you can make some changes to your business to improve your lifestyle.

Fit Your Business Around a Career Change

There are many reasons for a career change from realizing that you will never reach your full potential where you are to suffering a life changing injury in an accident. Whatever your reasons are, you can certainly create a business that will give you the chance to do exactly what you want to do.

In the case of those who are starting on a new journey after an accident, you should focus on what will make you feel better soonest. So, let your lawyers take care of the legal stuff (Craig Swapp and Associates come recommended) and set your mind to whatever you have on the horizon. The beauty of setting up your own business is that you can take your time and set your hours, days and even weeks according to your preference. So if you need to take time away for treatment – carry on. You only have yourself to answer to now.

If you are starting your own business as you want to try something new, this is a good time to educate yourself. Though many courses will take up a lot of your time, there are plenty of business ideas or side hustles you can do on the side without too much trouble. Then, once you have completed your education and you are confident in what you are doing, you can put more time into the business. This is a great way to support your studies and vice versa.

Make More Time For Your Family

Though many people think of setting up a business as a huge undertaking, if you are sensible, you can let your business grow or shrink naturally to the size you want. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend long hours away from your family in order to achieve what you set out to do.

There are a few compromises you can make when you own your own business. For a start, you can choose a location as near as your spare room to run your operations from. This will give you a much smaller commute time and mean that you won’t be stuck in traffic until about 5 minutes before the kids go to bed. It also means that you can pop home/ into the kitchen to do other things while you are on a break.

Working from home is a brilliant way to make more time for your family but do be careful that you maintain the balance. It can be all too easy to merge work and play when you are at home and get your priorities muddled. Try to set out clear working hours for yourself and be determined about keeping them. It won’t always work, but it is worth a go!

Set Time Aside For the Things You Love

For many workers with limited holiday, there is only so much they can ever do. Though you might have the money you need to go travelling, you don’t have the time – or at least you can’t take it all at once. When you work for yourself, you get to make the rules and decide what works for you.

In reality jobs are mainly for making enough money to achieve the lifestyle you want. It makes no sense, then, that you would sacrifice the life you want in order to earn the money to get you the lifestyle you want. So really, you should think twice before you end up working long hours with no reward.

When you set up your own business, you can give yourself much more time to do the things you want and you can even decide to take a few weeks or months off at a time if you can afford to. In some trades like building, this is quite common as there is less building work going around when the days are short and cold.

To work out what you can afford to do, you will need to go through your finances and add up your baseline number. This tells you how much you need to earn just to survive on a day to day basis including things like food and phone bills. Then, you should add on how much it will cost you to pursue your other interests. For example, travel and hostel costs or activity prices.

Once you know what you need to earn to achieve your lifestyle, you will know how much you need to work and be able to manage your business around your goals. This way you can earn what you need and enjoy the things you love too. Plus, you will be much more able to plan your finances once you are more aware of what you really need.

Making your business work for your lifestyle is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your family. There is no reason that your working life should impose upon the things that will really make you feel happy and fulfilled. All you need to do is have the determination to say what you want and go and get it.

5 Ways To Make Sure Your Next Project Succeeds

Trying to get an idea off the ground can be tough. It’s not always easy for you to know what you’re doing wrong, or what processes you need to put in place in order for things to work out. However, you will know that you want to work with a few solutions that are likely to help you to succeed. To do this, you need to have the right knowledge. No matter what your small business does or the industry you work in, if you go in blind to a project, you’ll find it difficult to get yourself to the right levels of success in time. To help you get on the right path, you’ll find that there are five tools that can help you. So let’s take a look at what they are.

  1. Set Goals

To get yourself started off on the right foot, you need to set goals. In this post on www.CodeOfLiving.com, you’ll find out all about the power of goal setting. But in short, when you write down your goals, you start to think about what you need to do to make them happen and visualize where you want to be. This is going to help you to create an overall plan for the project and start it successfully right off the bat.

  1. Make A Loose Plan

Planning is a key part of finding success, but you can’t always plan out an entire process to a t. You’ll often find that you have hiccups along the way, and trying to force yourself to a structured plan can make things feel out of control. Instead, when you have a loose plan, you’re a little more fluid about what’s going to happen. Your plan should be there to guide you, not restrict you. Then having the ability to adapt and adjust is what will help you to find success.

  1. Quality Control

Any project that you try to rush or cut corners with is going to have a hard time doing well. However, when you focus on working in quality control and being rigorous with how you operate, you’ll enjoy more success. So make sure you bring in the right services, such as www.CochranEng.com, to help you stay on track throughout the project. When you’re checking for quality and looking to go about things in the best way possible, you’ll find that your end product is of the best possible quality too.

  1. Budget Properly

Budgeting is going to be successful if you want to make enough money on your next project. This can take a bit of getting used to, but if you want to ensure that you do generate profit, you’ll want to be overly cautious with your budget, just in case.

  1. Forecast Your Timings

Finally, you’re also going to want to get your timeline right. Building a timeline as www.LucidChart.com shows is essential for success. If you get this wrong, it could cost you your profit. So you need to be able to get an accurate timeline in place that you are going to be able to successfully stick to and see play out.

Better To Fly Than Go Under The Wing

Long-term practices are what keeps the most successful businesses ahead of the curve. Small business can sometimes find making the big decisions that will affect their ability down the road maybe 2 to 3 years. But as someone who’s going it alone or hoping to stay independent as long as possible, not flying underneath somebody else’s wing is the way to go. Many times you can actually see why some small businesses have to become engulfed and bought out by their larger rivals. It’s mostly due to not planning ahead and not having the ability to cross the road from small to medium size. You’ll end up just being collateral and soon your name, brand and soul of the company will fade away. There are a few things you should consider if you’re not planning on putting a price on your longevity.

Partner up

You’re surrounded by a field of other entrepreneurs who all want to beat you and become successful in their own right. They will be in the same position you are in the fact that they’re punching up to their overbearing competition. In this regard, if and when you use the services and or products of a small but rival business, and you approve of the quality, there could be more that unites you than separates. This is especially true for businesses and people that are not necessarily in the same field. Therefore if you like a marketing team, a photography artist, a financial planning service, a sales team etc., you should attempt to partner with them. You’re mutually benefitting from being each other’s personal right hand man but crucially without any strings attached. All your partners can still work independently, but whenever there is a project that requires their skills, they’ll be on hand as pertaining to the contract.

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Photo by terimakasih0

A nationwide reach

In terms of successful communication, what is the most important thing for any business? It’s always being in reach of your customers. Morning, noon and night, weekday or weekend, holiday or not you must never have any kind of wall blocking you from direct contact with your consumer base. Millennials are changing the most popular form of communication via technology from calling someone to texting on smartphones. This is why you need your own number to call for your business. Take a look at the best text reminder service for business and how it could benefit you. As an entrepreneur, you think of yourself as small but might, you against the world. With an 800 number, you’re accessible nationwide. This gives the impression of a more professional business and doesn’t account for your small size. With this kind of service, you can send and receive text messages to and from customers. A gentle reminder about a sale you have on this week, maybe to tell customers about a new product being added to the line etc.

It’s not always better to go it alone, especially when you’re struggling and on the brink of collapse. But if your small business can fly under its own steam by planning the types of actions that will make sure you’re ready to upsize, you stand a better chance of survival.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Ways You Can Cut The Costs Of A Small Business Marketing Strategy

Having the right marketing strategy can help drive customers to your business. It will generate a buzz around your company, and promote your products or services. Many things factor into the perfect marketing strategy, one of which is the price.

Keeping the costs as low as possible – without compromising the results – is a tough task. However, it’s not impossible. There are ways you can do this, and it will help you create a marketing strategy that does everything you want, without costing too much.

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Pexels

Do A Cost-Benefit Analysis Of Each Technique

No matter what marketing techniques you use, it’s crucial that you work out how much you’ll get out of your investment. If something costs money to implement, then you should run a cost-benefit analysis to predict how much you’ll benefit from it. This allows you to see which things are worth your time, and which things you should maybe forget about. There are sites like https://www.mindtools.com that have some useful resources to help you figure out how beneficial something is for the price. As a result of doing this analysis, you can save money by not spending loads of cash on techniques that won’t generate many benefits for your business.

Only Focus On Digital Marketing

There are loads of different marketing ideas out there for you to explore. You’ve got plenty of traditional ideas that many businesses are still using. This includes print advertising, commercials, billboards, attending trade shows, and so on. My gripe with traditional ideas is that they’re often expensive, and don’t bring in brilliant results. As you can see on www.Coforge.com, digital marketing strategies normally comprise of SEO, social media, and web design. All three of these things are inexpensive, yet highly effective. Modern consumers spend most of their time online, so it makes sense to focus all your efforts on digital marketing. It will save money, as you don’t have to pay for traditional ideas as well.

Get As Much Free Help As Possible

The best way to save money is to avoid spending any money in the first place. Obviously, it’s nigh on impossible to create a marketing strategy for nothing at all. However, you can attempt to get as much free help as possible. One idea that springs to mind is asking friends or customers to share your social media accounts online. This helps spread the reach of your content, and build up followers. Another idea is to encourage customers to leave reviews of your business. Good reviews are often the best way to market and promote your business as it shows people that you’re trustworthy and professional. Most consumers check reviews before buying something, so this makes a lot of sense to do. The best thing is, they don’t cost you a penny!

See, it’s definitely possible to create a great marketing strategy without overspending. One of the great business tips is to save money at every possibility. Reducing the cost of your marketing campaign is one way to lower overall expenses, and possibly widen profit margins.