How Is No-Code Automation ROI Calculated?

*This is part 3 of our 4-part series.

Today we'll discuss how to calculate ROI for your no-code automations, plus:

🔍 Finding low-hanging fruit and quick wins

⚙️ Resources to keep your automations running smooth

Quick recap

  • In part one of this series, you learned about Christine's manual workflow and automation challenges.
  • In part two, I walked you through building a Zapier automation.
  • We used Christine's swipe file workflow as an example. If you missed it, you can read it here.

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🏆 Finding Quick Wins: Low-Hanging Fruit for No-Code Automation

Automating a small task is the best way to overcome any friction you might feel if you’re new to automation

✏️ Exercise - Identify Potential Tasks to Automate

If you've completed the exercise from email #1 of this series, you should have a list of potential tasks you could automate. (Duplicate the cheat sheet)

⏲️ If not, try this:

1. Set a timer for 5 minutes and write down whatever tedious tasks come to mind.

2. Go to Zapier or Make and search for the software necessary to complete one of the tasks you came up with, and use this spreadsheet to note the Triggers and Actions available for the apps.    

🗒️ Use this Scribe if you need a walkthrough

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, here is what I'm sharing with you today:

  • What's ROI? 
  • What are the different types of ROI in automation?
  • How to calculate your automations ROI (spreadsheet template included)

ROI: What is it?

A return on investment (ROI) measures the effectiveness of an investment—or in our case, automation(s) you've implemented in your business. It helps you understand what tasks and workflows should be automated and how to prioritize them.

What are the different types of ROI associated with automation?

Understanding Hard ROI vs. Soft ROI

Learning the two types of ROI in automation is important because it can help you determine which tasks are worth automating and which aren't.

You're likely familiar with Hard ROI since it's easier to quantify:

  • Time saved Increased productivity
  • Money saved from labor costs
  • Reduction in human errors Increased well-being and reduced stress
  • Happier customers due to consistent and reliable service
  • Better perceived brand, product/service - less time spent on admin work means more time improving your product(s)

Plus, many more. Although the benefits of Soft ROI are harder (and take longer) to notice, they are equally valuable.

How to Calculate Hard ROI for No-Code Automation

Here is the basic formula for calculating Hard ROI:

Time (spent on one task) x Frequency (of performing tasks per month) x Cost (per hour) x 12 Months = Yearly ROI

Make a copy of this template to help you calculate ROI

Spreadsheet template
Note: The formula I've shared assumes that automation will eliminate the need for human labor for each task.

Suppose the automation only reduces the time required for each task or requires some human oversight. In that case, the ROI will be lower than calculated using this formula.

You should still have a good idea if a task is worth automating.

I'll share a resource to help you account for all expenses.

Here we have five tasks, with Christine's "Swipe File" being one of them. You'll notice the ROI from that single task is already $2,400 if we use an hourly rate of $100.

Of course, we have to consider the costs of your automation software. And I'm working on a post to include questions you may have about pricing as well.

Calculating Soft ROI for No-Code Automation

Soft ROI is a bit tougher, but you should still assign it a monetary value to get a more accurate picture of your ROI.

Download this spreadsheet to help you calculate Soft ROI. 


Wrapping up

Choosing the Right Automation Tool

Stay tuned because next week, I’m reviewing the different automation tools available and helping you determine which one is right for you.