By Derek Goodman, Inbizability
Getting accustomed to new tools can be daunting in any industry. Rolling out new software across a small business is no exception. However, as your business grows, using software becomes essential for smooth operations. Courtesy of One Click Advisor, here is how to ensure your rollout goes well.
Why Your Business Needs Software
There are countless stories of businesses being started from the founder’s kitchen table. And whilst the initial idea may have been drawn up on the much-quoted back of a napkin, once the business grows, it needs a more solid basis.
As a small business owner, it may seem hard to identify when this point is reached. One clear indicator is the time you start hiring a team. As soon as more than one person is working in the business, information needs to be shared. Whether it is financial, operational, or related to any other aspect of your business, software makes keeping and sharing this information easy.
Even a few years ago, so-called enterprise resource planning (ERP) software was too expensive or too complex for small businesses to consider. This has changed now, and small businesses can benefit enormously.
Making a Plan and Sticking To It
Any successful, smooth software rollout starts with a plan. Identify what the software you are considering needs to achieve. One of the best ways to do this is by looking at problem areas in your business.
Take your time to research available software solutions. This is the time to ask questions. The supplier will be able to answer most of those. However, learning more about the experience of other users is potentially more important.
Once you have chosen your software, consider your legacy systems. How will they transfer to the new system? Setting aside time to bring both systems together will avoid snagging issues.
Allow a realistic amount of time for staff training and familiarization before relying entirely on the new software.
Also, if you’re having software developed for your company, take a moment to customize the “branding” of these tools. Using a free online logo design toolkit can help you create a graphic you can use to help add identity to the software. Sure, it’s a small pitstop on the road to rollout, but a nice, inexpensive logo could be the cherry on top.
Having a plan is only part of the equation. Sequencing tasks is equally crucial, as is ensuring an effortless flow between tasks. This will help you not only recognize problem areas but also stay on track throughout your implementation.
Rolling out new software involves your whole team, not only the IT staff. Including your staff across different parts of the business will increase ‘buy-in’ from the beginning and avoid problems later.
Your team will be using the software you are planning to bring in. They need to understand the advantages it brings them. They are also best placed to help you identify current roadblocks and problem areas.
Involving them into your software rollout strategy from the start gives them a chance not only to voice concerns but also to take ownership. The result will be a smoother rollout.
Business support software is available for almost every aspect of running a company. Choosing a starting point may seem difficult, but accounting and bookkeeping are great places to introduce ERP-type software.
In the initial stages, keeping track of the financial health of a startup may be simple. However, as a company grows, and transactions become more complex, accounting software becomes crucial to your success. One example is QuickBooks Enterprise: a robust program that is the perfect enterprise resource planning software for your mid-level company because it’s easy for staff to use whilst providing critical functions.
Rolling out business software smoothly does not need to be tough. With the right strategy in place and your whole team on board, your business will soon see the benefits of automating core functions like finance.
Welcome to One Click Advisor! We would be remiss if we didn’t give you a brief tour of the site and what it can do for you. The free Business Builder is a consulting session, solving your business plan questions in minutes. Your challenges and opportunities can be sorted into one of three areas.
Marketing, because it brings in the customers. Start or continue that plan here.
Operations, because it keeps your customers. Start or continue that plan here.
Finance, because it is the scoreboard and because to keeps you paid. Change the “score” and explore financing here.
One Click Advisor can help you start, market, operate, and finance your business — with just one click. Contact us today to learn more about our services.