Have you ever worn a shirt because it was the only one left in the wardrobe, despite that it is only suitable for a Hawaiian Christmas party.
We find that many businesses act the same way when looking for business management software. They use whatever is available, even if it’s ugly and doesn’t quite fit.
Let’s say a creative business, Beige Designs (I didn’t say it was going to be an exciting business), needs a system to manage their clients and projects. They want to assign staff to particular projects and generate invoices. Run-of-the-mill stuff, wouldn’t you say?
They search the web for a suitable tool and find only a handful related to their industry. None do everything they need. All do more than they need and none of them integrate with their existing systems. Some will break the bank and others are practically free, but that’s all that is available.
Feeling they have no other choice, our beige buddies go ahead with the cheapest option and spend the following two years persevering with it. They spend hours learning to use it and training their staff. They double handle most tasks and invoices in an attempt to keep all systems up-to-date, and they suffer embarrassment and lost sales because they are running a sloppy business owing to inefficient systems. The staff hate it and consequently turnover frequently, costing the business even more money.
If only they knew about web applications (web apps). Web apps are the same as desktop software, except they’re on the web. Many web development firms are now building business solutions on the web. They are a cost-effective way of creating your own CRM or project management system for example, exactly the way you want it.
Don’t buy a substandard application just because it’s the only one available. Build your own. What is it worth to your business? What are inefficient systems costing your business in time, lost work, training, resources and cold, hard cash?
Tailor-made software won’t help you feel sexy like a tailor-made shirt, but it may save you some money to buy one.Posted by Chris Garrett on 23 October 2008