Automation vs employees – is one really better than the other?

By Tania Jones

January 21, 2021


Starting out in business can be exciting and daunting at the same time. There’s so many hats to wear and at first we can comfortably fit in all the things that are needed to run a business with a little bit of learning on the job here and there. Very quickly, the business grows and the amount of work becomes overwhelming for just one person to get done. The options now are to hire an employee or automate what you can. Which is the better option? Let’s look at both and compare automation vs employees in this post.

Set and forget

When you know your sales and marketing workflows, systems and actions then you can automate them knowing that it’ll be set and working for your business effectively. Bringing in and following up with prospects continually for as long as your contact is active in your CRM system.

Now you know the workflows you can create them in an automation tool. When a new contact is added then a workflow can be triggered and operate automatically, moving to the next steps and sequences without always needing you to get involved. From there, that new contact can be tracked. This includes any activity inside emails that you send to them and behaviour during visits to your website. Giving you confidence that your communication with them is timely and relevant.

This system, once set-up, will only require additional management if and when there’s a change to your workflow. Say you add a new content offer, opt-in to subscribe or a new form. Then a simple tweak to include that is all thats needed.

Yes, an employee can manage this workflow too. However, there will be training involved plus the ongoing day-to-day management of that team member, or perhaps team members if more than one person is required to fill this role. As you can see, the costs can rise quickly and more of your time will be needed to manage your new team.

Put in place an automated system and you can “set and forget” parts of your business, leaving them to run in the background whilst you continue working on the parts of your business that you truly love to focus on. Or, hire an employee, or employees, to cover the tasks for you with the new task of managing those hires.

Operates 24/7

Your leads, prospects and customers will be accessing your website and signing up to your email list any time of the day or night. every day of the week. Your sales and marketing system needs to capture every one of those sign-up’s and ideally respond to their initial contact with your business swiftly.

Yes, you could hire an employee or outsource to one or more people to cover this activity. However, you will need to consider the hours the individual could work and the timezone they are located in. Also, you’ll need to consider whether they will be reliable or not? Knowing this is important in avoiding costly delays.

Unlike an employee, automated tools don’t require a lunch break and they don’t only work during contracted hours. They will operate 24/7. Giving you confidence that your tool is doing the job regardless of where, when or how someone finds your business. It will reliably get the job done.

To ensure 24/7 coverage from a person, you’ll need to hire an employee available and “on the clock” at all hours to enable your business to respond to your contacts at whatever time they choose to visit. This could be costly to you and also adds to your resource management. Set-up an all-in-one automation tool and you can reliably anticipate your tasks being taken care of for you at a low cost plus saving you the time to oversee the management of tasks and a team.

Minimal ongoing costs

Yes, hiring an employee and setting up and maintaining software will require an investment from you at the outset and for the time you require the employee or tool. Those costs differ greatly, but which would you prefer i) a predictable and manageable monthly cost or ii) varying monthly costs that jump massively when you scale? Quite a difference, right?

Let’s look at the costs to hire first, here’s what you’ll need to consider:

– Statutory costs, for example in the UK this can include National Insurance and PAYE contributions, pension contributions, sick pay, annual leave

– Hourly wages or salary plus bonuses or commission

– HR costs to advertise, find, interview and hire someone

– Equipment costs e.g. computer, desk, software and stationery

If you want to scale then you’ll need to grow your team and hire again then multiply those costs by the number of new team members you’ll be hiring.

So what costs can you expect when putting automation in place?

Very simply, there’s just two -the set-up fee and the software subscription fee. If you would like ongoing management then this is an optional fee that you can choose to include if it’s available to from your consultant. If you’re a Solofusion customer then, yes, it is! The set-up and management fees will vary depending on who you invest in. As a reference, to work with Solofusion prices start at £1200 and the more complex the system is the the higher that price will be.

Are you interested in knowing about automation for your business? Then book a call here, it would be great to have a chat with you.

As with all choices in business, it’s wise to consider every option available to you and get to know where you’ll see a return on your investment. If you’re growing or scaling then automation vs hiring an employee could be a choice you’re looking into. With this post we looked into the costs you can expect to incur for both of these options, not only now but into the future too.

What are your thoughts on automation vs employees? Which are you considering or have already chosen for your business?

Do you have questions or feedback on this topic? Please share them in the comments below.

Tania Jones

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