How to Start a Robotic Process Automation Business
Hi everyone, welcome back to another episode of What’s Your GamePlan. Today, I’m going to give you a quick guide on how to start a robotic process automation business online. Over the past year, RPA technology has been the talk of the town amongst businesses who are seeking to lower costs and maintain a high level of service. The industry today alone is currently valued at $3 billion dollars. So, where’s your piece of the pie? If you like technology and want to help businesses grow, selling RPA services may be one business idea to consider. Here’s how to get started.
Before You Start - Decide on a Speciality
So, the first step to creating a RPA business is to decide on your speciality. I'm sure you're not an expert in every area of technology and a good place to start is to decide on where you can actually help. As a technology consulting company, most beginners choose to sell services in an area where they’ve had the most experience.
The top industries using RPA technology right now are banking, healthcare, manufacturing, insurance and retail. If none of these industries appeal to you, don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone. Any company who spends time manually processing orders, invoices, claims, doing manual data entry, or activating accounts, just about any repetitive task that is currently done on paper or by using spreadsheets, can be automated with RPA technology. After you choose an industry to target, you can now proceed to Step 1.
Step 1 - Decide on Your Service Offering & Prices
Technology consulting usually isn't one size fits all type of business. Before you approach your potential clients you’ll need to outline your service offerings and prices. Many companies choose to bundle their services, based on the clients needs and project requirements. This will usually include planning, design and integration of the new software, on-site or remote management, tech support services, consulting or advisory services. Once you've decided on your services and pricing, proceed to step 3.
Step 2 - Register Your Business
Now, it's time to officially register your business. You won't be able to accept payment for coffee or products until you complete this step. You'll need to register & apply for a federal EIN Number, and form an LLC or Corporation. I recommend using MyCorporation, as they do have a variety of packages to choose from, but their most basic package will get you started right away.
Step 3 - Open a Business Bank Account
After you’ve chosen a name and registered your business, you can officially open a business bank account. It's pretty easy to open, but they won't get you set up without having the legal incorporation paperwork and the EIN number that I just spoke about. You can work with a local bank that you are already using or you can just choose a new one.
Step 4 - Buy Branding
This is one of the most important parts of creating a robotic process automaton business, because it's your brand’s identity that will leave a big impression on your target clients. I recommend using 99designs because the process is quick and painless and you actually get what you want. For marketing materials, I like envato, because they literally have tons of graphics for each and every single kind of business, on demand. RPA businesses usually need to start with a logo, business cards, a pdf brochure, and some social media graphics. 99designs actually has what they call the ‘brand identity’ pack that will get you started right away.
Step 5 - Setup a Website
So the next step is buy web hosting. I always recommend choosing Bluehost because they are the most reliable for businesses who need to set up their first ever website. You also get a free domain, a free ssl and access to 24/7 tech support. So, you really can't beat it. Once you pay for a plan with Bluehost, you'll get your login credentials. You'll want to save that information and deliver it to the web designer in the next step.
Step 6 - Choose a Web Designer
If you don't know about Fiverr, it's a company that sells affordable web development and marketing services that get done really quick. You just type in what you want in the search bar, and it will reveal tons of people who are willing to help you get a website up in less than 3 days. Once you choose the person you want to work with, give them the bluehost details and communicate your vision and plans for the website.
Step 7 - Setup a merchant account
While they are working on your new website, you'll need to activate a merchant account for your customers to pay you through. Many businesses use paypal, square or stripe. I personally like Square, they make it super easy for me to accept payments online via my website, a payment link or even over the phone. An account with Square is free, but since you are planning to open a coffee shop, I would highly recommend you purchase a few of their POS registers.
Step 8 - Start Selling - Monetization
Ok, so now that you’re all set up, How will you actually make money? Here’s what you’ll need to know in order to take a check to the bank.
Whether you are launching this business solo, or you’ve hired remote staff to get you going, your first initiative will be to partner with the industry leaders in RPA technology. Those are BluePrism, UiPath and Automation Anywhere. You can do this by going directly to their websites and filling out the partner application form. Once your application is accepted, you’ll become a certified reseller.
Once you become a partner for these companies, they give you access to their dashboard where you can download software demos, brochures, case studies and marketing materials that help you generate sales and close more deals.
Most RPA implementations are not cheap, so when targeting potential customers to demo the software to, choose companies who are likely to have the budget to buy from you. A good place to start would be to choose a company who has an annual revenue of $50-100 million, or has 5,000 or more employees.
After you’ve demoed the software, discuss the client’s needs and they’ve approved your proposal. You’ll still need to be able to deliver expert skills and experience in order to ensure a successful RPA implementation.
If you don’t personally have these skills you can always contract independent RPA consultants to help complete work on a project to project basis or if you have some money, you can just hire full-time employees that specialize in consulting, development and implementation.
95% of the business activities associated with starting an RPA business can be completed remotely, or easily resolved over the phone. Every now and then there may be a client who requests an on-site visit or to meet with a member of your staff.
Remember, take every opportunity you can that allows you to sell more. Companies that choose to adopt RPA technology will usually need application management, advisory services or employee training on the new software, just to make sure things continue to run smoothly.
Now, I know you're probably wondering...what's the price tag on this baby? If you are launching online, startup costs for this kind of business usually starts at around $1000 to $3000 dollars on average. But if you plan on leasing office space, or hiring multiple employees, be prepared to drop the big bucks!
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About Adella Pasos
This Entrepreneur and Marketing Expert has shared her passion for growing brands from the ground up. She’s worked with Startups, Small Businesses, Fortune 500 Corporations and Entertainment Talent to help them recognize the value of marketing, and give her clients the ability to access their niche market via online, social media, mobile, merchandising, and events.
She hosts the What's Your Game Plan TV show features: Free Expert Advice, and Growth strategies for Business Owners Across the Globe. Access thousands of FREE Tips, Trends & Tools to Move Your Business Forward!