Efficiency Up, Stress Down: the Top 7 Business Automation Tools for Small Businesses in 2022

Technology advancements have been allowing us to do more in less time, with the help of numerous business automation tools. These tools make it easier to boost productivity, automate tedious tasks, and scale your business in ways never before possible.

However, with so many business automation solutions available, choosing the right ones can be challenging. Especially when most of the automation tools on the market are still geared toward medium and larger businesses – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! 

This article has picked the top 7 best business automation tools designed for small businesses in 2022. Each of them would be conducive to a particular area of the business process, helping you take your venture to the next level. Let’s get started!

(In case you haven’t already seen Shoeboxed’s Guide to Business Automation, take a moment to read about what it is, how your business can benefit from it, and discover the most common uses of business automation tools.)

Zapier for workflow automation

Zapier is a simple business tool to automate your work by offering ways to connect many different software and apps. This app comes with predefined example templates that help users turn actions between essential applications into automated workflows. By doing that, Zapier saves you time and money on repetitive manual tasks, enabling you to spend more time on more profitable actions. 

business automation tools zapier
Zapier’s display and features

Some common uses of Zapier are the following: 

  • Automatically save attachments in Gmail to Google Drive
  • Save all new Google Docs files to OneDrive and then back them up in Dropbox
  • Create a new Trello task when a specific email arrives
  • Automatically share content on social media

ActiveCampaign for customer experience automation

ActiveCampaign is a cloud software platform that offers customer experience automation features. The software combines advanced marketing features, such as email marketing, sales automation, and CRM categories. This software is optimized for businesses of all sizes, with different packages and reasonable prices for the provided features.  

business automation tools activecampaign
ActiveCampaign’s display and features 

ActiveCampaign automates your entire customer experience by providing tailored guidance for all the automation goals, dynamic content, and email marketing automation, which enhances the customer reach-out as well as engagement rate. 

Xero for accounting automation

Xero is a cloud-based accounting software platform that enables small- and medium-sized businesses to synchronize their bookkeeping, accountants, and bank apps. This accounting software is very flexible and keeps track of all users’ business finance-related activities using only a mobile app.

business automation tools xero
Xero’s display and features

Using Xero, business owners can check on bills, cash flows, and even clients’ claims to expenses and reimbursements. Users can automatically get all the necessary documents and key data without putting in any manual effort. Xero also offers special features such as transfer of payments, bank reconciliation, and data capture, making it the most helpful business accounting automation tool. 

Shoeboxed for receipt scanning and expense tracking

Shoeboxed is a painless receipt scanning and organizing solution for freelancers and small businesses owners. This versatile app serves many purposes, including:

business automation tools shoeboxed
Shoeboxed’s display and features

Shoeboxed’s OCR (Optical character recognition) engine and human data verification features ensure that your paper receipts are legibly scanned, clearly categorized, and approved by both the Internal Revenue Service and the Canada Revenue Service in the event of an audit. Moreover, Shoeboxed enables users to create clear and comprehensive expense reports that include images of their receipts. From there, users can export, share or print all of the information they need for easy tax preparation or reimbursement, all within just a few clicks. 

Freshservice for IT management

Freshservice is an internal IT service management platform that assists businesses in streamlining and automating their IT operations. This software enables your IT department to collaborate with developers remotely and act quickly in response to requests, threats to service availability, and security. With IT service management tools like Freshservice, you can gain the ability to put your developer team’s and employees’ requests first.

Freshservice’s display and features

Freshservice outstanding features, including: 

  • Incident and Case Management feature helps address IT questions remotely
  • Knowledge Base feature provides IT, Service, and HR information
  • Service Catalogue feature helps simplify requests 
  • Asset Management feature updates asset details 

Buffer for social media management

With the rapid growth of social media platforms, building social media awareness is essential to almost all kinds of businesses. However, working consistently on various social media platforms can be very time-consuming. That’s why you need social media automation tools – like Buffer!

Buffer’s display and features

Buffer is an easy-to-use automation tool with great scheduling features that will bring your business to the next level on social media. This automation tool can help in the publishing process and even provide accurate campaign analytics to check what works better. Buffer makes it easier than ever to build a brand on social media! 

Grammarly for content review automation

Grammarly is an online writing AI-powered assistant that helps users compose mistake-free articles and content. As businesses today want to fill their blogs, social media, email marketing, and other publications with high-quality content, using a tool like Grammarly is extremely important to save writers from basic grammar mistakes. 

Grammarly offers some powerful AI features, such as: 

  • Grammar correction and spellcheck
  • Corrections for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure
  • Vocabulary enhancement
  • Suggestions for genre-specific writing style 
  • Plagiarism detector (it checks over 16 billion web pages)
Grammarly’s display and features

Moreover, Grammarly comes as a Chrome extension that helps you write on various daily tools like Gmail, Google Docs, Facebook, Messenger, Slack, and many more. You can either choose the free version (if you only need grammar and spelling correction ) or subscribe to the premium package to unlock other features. 

The bottom line

Business automation tools aren’t just for the big sharks out there. There is actually a selection of tools designed for smaller enterprises. You just need to determine whether you want to automate all of your business operations or only specific elements that are time-consuming and ineffective. Knowing this will help you set the correct internal expectations as you decide which tools to use and what you expect from them. This practice also helps you reduce excessive costs and focus on what really matters. 

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