Do You Really Need More Software For Your Business?
It’s never about what software tools you have. It’s all about WHY you have them or might need more. I believe that one of the primary goals for having a software system in your business is to make processes simpler and more efficient. This in turn, can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.
However, this is only true if you invest in the right kind of software solutions. Good software solutions allow you to focus on building your business. Not-so-good software solutions make you focus on running that software. Which just adds more steps to the way you do business.
But when is it best to start thinking about getting software solutions to help your business grow or work more efficiently?
Here are a few things to consider:
1. What business processes are you repeating unnecessarily?
Business processes are the life-blood of any business. Stop a business process, and you risk causing a collapse. But processes done over time can very quickly begin to feel mundane or unnecessarily tedious.
Don’t get me wrong, those processes are important. But we just can’t always do them with the same kind of enthusiasm every single time. This can be dangerous. Because this has the potential of creating inconsistency or even errors.
For instance, say that part of your business process when serving clients is to first write a summary of the job you are about to do on an email. Second is to attach to that email a PDF you generated from an invoice you worked on using a spreadsheet program.
This is a good candidate to automate or be turned into a software solution.
The reason is simple. You have to craft the same email over and over, changing the name of the client and the number of recipients. Plus, you have to generate an invoice based on products you have always sold. You are most likely going to use a spreadsheet you have used before and make minor alteration.
You are then going to convert that into PDF. But what if you make a mistake?
What if you for get to change the details in the email or invoice?
The email program will not prompt you to make sure that you invoice has the correct details now will it?
But with a software solution, your client details, product details and conversion to PDF functionality and emailing, can all exist on system. You can have email message templates based on some criteria such as pricing and support, without having to alter previously sent email.
Best of all… training new team members because a whole lot easier.
2. Are you trying to scale/grow your business?
One of the things that hold people back from growing their businesses, is the fact that they get caught up in the day-to-day of their business processes.
They just don’t have the luxury of turn their back on the everyday operations.
With the right software solution, this problem can be rectified to a large extent.
First, by making sure that you have access to real-time information of what is going on various departments. This could include leads generated, sales closed, expenses incurred, requests made, project / job status… from wherever you are.
If you do the finances yourself, you can get software that does the calculations you need done… the way you need them done. You won’t have to have a pen, paper and calculator to do your daily, weekly, monthly or even yearly transaction summaries, you can let the system break it down for you in the way you want it broken down.
At a click of a button, you can prepare reports for your stake-holders.
The options are endless.
Allowing you to focus more of your time on doing activities that help you build your business.
3. What else could you do for your clients?
Lastly, let me mention something that is overlooked. Software can also be used to serve your clients.
We have businesses that open shop at 8 or 9 am and close at 5 pm. But what of that customer that needs you to serve them at 6pm or 7 am? Will you ignore him or her?
In today’s world… that would be wasting a great business opportunity.
If that customer needed to just leave an order with you… let them go online and place the order there.
They could do it at midnight or after hours.
You can have systems that provided automated responses to commonly asked questions. You could have systems that automatically send notifications or updates to customers to thank them for their services.
A lot of this will depend on what business you are in and to what extent you are willing to keep your customers happy and satisfied.
Software solutions have become a necessity for many aiming to grow successful businesses. The right investment can insure that you have a healthy growth towards your vision.