5 Things to Look for in Small Business Software
A small business functions as one legal entity, but this entity is made up of several small departments, each consisting of team members who on the everyday basis perform tasks critical to core of the company. From planning and manufacturing to marketing and customer support. In order to succeed these departments should work in unison and synchronize like cogs in a well-oiled machine.
In the past, managers relied on traditional methods to ensure business productivity, and most processes were coordinated with pen and paper in hand. Today, this obsolete method is replaced with a modern enterprise software, which saves time and money and empowers entrepreneurs to propel their business into the digital world. Provided, of course, they choose the software right.
The market for enterprise software is booming. In 2019, spending on enterprise software is expected to reach 431 billion U.S. dollars, almost double than ten years ago. More and more managers understand that implementing a software solution can drive growth and streamline processes. And with a simple online search you can find dozens of high-rated small business tools. At first glance, they might all look the same, but they’re not. Each software was developed to meet a certain need and, as a small business owner, you have to make sure the software you invest in is relevant for your organization. Otherwise, a feature-packed software solution can become redundant.
So, if you’re looking for a robust IT solution for your small business, consider paying a closer attention to these 5 aspects:
In the first months after starting a business, innovation and enthusiasm are at peak levels. You have ambitious plans, crafting several strategies you want to experiment with, and everyone on your team is brainstorming ground-breaking ideas. At the same time, the first months after starting a business are also the most disorganized, and this can lead to delays and bottlenecks. Team members may be busy, but this doesn’t always translate into being the most productive. Automation can eliminate these delays and bottlenecks so that you can use your enthusiasm to fuel business growth.
Why should you look for automation in small business marketing software and not wait until your organization grows? Because it’s essential to streamline processes and optimize your workflows from the very beginning. And because the numbers clearly show that automation plays a key role in business success. According to a recent study, automation could save businesses up to $4 billion annually. One quarter of Fortune 500 B2B companies use marketing automation and by 2020 more than a half of all business process could be automated. This means a reduction of human errors, increased collaboration and less wasted time on repetitive tasks. Why wait to enjoy these benefits?
Your small business has enormous potential and the software you use should help you fulfill it, rather than slow you down. This is why a scalable solution is a crucial long-term investment. Even though your business is small now, don’t limit yourself to software that is made only for small businesses. Instead, look for a scalable solution that adapts to your rhythm and that can serve you in the future as well. Otherwise, when your current software no longer serves the organization, you’ll have to lose time looking for another one, migrating the data and instructing your employees on how to use the new software.
One of the first things you should ask the software development company is whether or not their software supports Business Process Management Integration (BPMS). Your new software needs to fall into place like the missing piece of a puzzle and streamline communication across the entire organization. Otherwise, internal processes will be hindered, communication problems will appear and, instead of innovating, your organization will be stuck trying to standardize operations and fix the errors that appear when a task is passed from one team to another. Look for an enterprise software development company that can offer you full integration with project management software, human resource management, documents exchange systems, accounting systems and CRM.
Stellar customer service
Your interaction with the company that did the business software shouldn’t end with press the Download button and pay the fee. The software manufacturer is a long-term partner and reliable customer support is simply non-negotiable. Even with the best software, unexpected events can still occur and when they do it’s important to have someone take care of the problem as quickly as possible, so that your processes aren’t affected.
Small business owners are no strangers to budget restrictions, so it’s perfectly natural to want a software solution that doesn’t drain you of all resources. However, cost-effectiveness shouldn’t be confused with cheapness. Price doesn’t always determine the value of enterprise software. If you pay little money for a product, but that product doesn’t serve you well and you need to waste essential human resources to make it work, the deal you made is only on the surface. Don’t let the price tag determine your choice. Instead, analyze the features carefully, make sure they are relevant for your needs, and consider the long-term financial impact.