In the fourth quarter of 2023, 30% of U.S. small business owners remain pessimistic about the economy due to inflation and hiring challenges. Another 92% report few or no qualified applicants for their available jobs. These concerns are compelling small businesses to explore innovative ways to make money from solid consumer spending. It’s therefore no coincidence that there’s an ongoing AI and automation revolution in small businesses, with AI-powered chatbots like Meta’s Kustomer IQ assisting customer support management and social listening tools like AnswerThePublic pulling information to develop products tailored to a company’s target market.
This transformation offers a lifeline, particularly in the form of automation for revenue management, which has emerged as a pivotal solution to address the challenges of inflation, improve sales, and mitigate the scarcity of skilled workers. Let’s take a closer look below.
Automated systems reduce the need for manual, repetitive tasks and minimize the risk of costly mistakes that may arise from human error. Automation for revenue management, in particular, streamlines various functions like billing, invoicing, and expense tracking using predefined rules and standards. This ensures uniformity in financial records and compliance with accounting standards.
With the rising complexity of various business models, small businesses can benefit immensely from automation. The revenue and billing management software SOFTRAX deploys all types of billing, from one-time consumption to subscription models, so small business owners can focus on core business operations without worrying about late or missed client payments. By focusing their resources on more strategic tasks and customer-facing activities, small businesses can enhance efficiency to boost overall productivity and profitability.
Optimized Pricing Strategies
Small businesses frequently optimize pricing to stay competitive in the market. This has been especially evident in recent months, with increased inflation on Main Street causing a quarter of small business owners to raise selling prices. Yet, several businesses continued to report lower profits, with 19% listing materials inflation and 18% citing labor costs as key reasons.
Automation for revenue management addresses this challenge by offering enhanced pricing strategies. Automation tools can dynamically adjust prices based on various factors such as demand, competition, and market conditions. This adaptability enables small businesses to optimize pricing that attracts customers, retains them, and offers more opportunities for maximum profitability.
Improved Customer Insight
Small businesses gain a competitive edge over large corporations by providing exceptional customer service with personalized, one-on-one interactions. Victor Ho, CEO of marketing platform Fivestars, explains that this level of attention and care can set small businesses apart in a crowded marketplace, with 40% of a business’s revenue coming from repeat customers.
With automation for revenue management, businesses can collect a vast amount of data from online transactions, customer interactions, and website activity to identify patterns and trends. This segmentation allows businesses to target specific customer groups with tailored marketing messages and offers. It also helps identify potential roadblocks in the sales process, for small businesses to better keep potential customers engaged until they are ready to make a purchase.
One of the immediate benefits of automation for revenue management is cost savings. While there may be initial setup and maintenance costs, automation reduces the need for additional staff and minimizes operational inefficiencies. This time-saving aspect reduces the labor hours required for revenue management, ultimately saving on payroll expenses. By maintaining accurate financial records and reducing the need for reconciliation, businesses also save on the resources that would have been allocated to error correction.
Small businesses can redirect their resources towards strategic growth initiatives rather than allocating substantial budgets for manual data entry and analysis. The long-term cost savings achieved through automation contribute to enhanced profitability and sustainable operations.
As the AI and automation revolution continues to unfold, small businesses that embrace these technological advancements will be well-positioned to thrive in the face of economic uncertainty. For more tips on boosting your people, productivity, profitability, and growth, talk with our strategists at My Virtual COO.
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