Cruise Control: 20 Small Business Tasks You Can Automate

Personal ProductivityCruise Control -- 20 Small Business Jobs That CAN Be Automated

Using automation in your business is one way that small businesses can save money and improve productivity.

In most cases, you may still need some supervision. But technology can potentially help you make your business and its processes more efficient. Here are 20 different small business jobs that you can consider automating.

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Jobs That Can Be Automated

Product Assembly

Assembly lines are perfect spots to integrate automation, since it involves a lot of repetitive activity. So if your business does any manufacturing, you could potentially use automation at for multiple steps of the process.

Restaurant Tasks

Likewise, restaurant settings where some of the functions can be repetitive, like fast food or pizza restaurants, can offer great opportunities for automation.

Financial Clerking

Banks and other financial institutions have begun automating some of the duties of tellers and clerks. For smaller businesses, any financial clerk position that requires just basic number crunching or analysis is something that could potentially be automated.


More specifically, bookkeeping is a job that small businesses could potentially turn to automation for, rather than hiring a dedicated bookkeeper.


Basic phone sales can also be handled largely through technology and automation. So you could potentially turn to that technology rather than hiring actual telemarketers.

Shelf Stocking

For retail stores or any business that needs to keep its shelves stocked, automated machines have the ability to check stock of certain products and then replace those items when needed.

eCommerce Packaging

If you have an ecommerce business, you could also potentially utilize automation in your packaging process, rather than relying on human workers to prepare packages for shipment.

Field Technical Work

Field technicians are often responsible for checking the status of various equipment and then providing necessary repairs. But the Internet of Things makes it possible for businesses to track the status of tech equipment remotely and sometimes even make updates or repairs automatically.

Basic Customer Service

Bots make it possible for businesses to automate some basic customer service functions, though you may still want some human supervision to handle more complicated issues.

Data Entry

Data entry is another simple function that requires a lot of repetitive activity. Thus it’s something that definitely lends itself to automation possibilities.

Manufacturing Line Sorting

For businesses that manufacture products, you could potentially automate the sorting part of the process. Machines have the ability to detect imperfections and abnormalities so they can pick out any defective items.

Some Agricultural Work

Planting seeds, watering crops and doing other basic agricultural work can also be automated in some cases.

Some Landscaping

You can also automate basic landscaping work like lawn maintenance and fertilizing land.

Ticket Taking

For businesses that host events, taking tickets is normally something that would require the help of an employee. But now, there are machines that can take those tickets and even process the information for you.

Restaurant Hosting and Seating

Restaurants, coffee shops and similar businesses that might normally employ hosts or hostesses could also potentially get more efficient by employing technology that lets guests check in and choose their own seats.

Tax Preparing

For simple tax returns, you don’t necessarily need to hire a tax professional anymore. Software and other technology can help to generate tax forms with just some basic information.


If you’re looking for help with translation, there are plenty of automated tech tools out there that can help you get the basic gist of a document in another language.

Some Cashier Functions

Instead of relying on employees to complete transactions with customers, whether you have a store, restaurant or other business, some are starting to use self-serve kiosks to allow customers to complete their orders and pay.


For companies that utilize transportation services, you might use the help of a dispatcher or two. But for those who don’t fit into the category of public safety, it is actually possible to automate those dispatches to drivers and field workers.

Basic Repairs

You may also be able to use automation to make basic repairs, as long as the repairs are of the same nature so that the process is repetitive.

Automation Photo via Shutterstock 2 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. We are lucky to be able to live in a world of technology. Today, it is now possible to automate tasks. We must use this to our benefit.

  2. Steve Robinson

    Don’t disagree with most of this, but there are some tasks where a personal touch is much better than an automated one.

    A great example is telemarketing – an electronic contact will ALWAYS result in a downed phone!

    Let’s use tech where we can – but let’s not sacrifice good quality interaction for low cost impersonal tech solutions!

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