It’s tempting for a small business to try and make savings wherever they can. But sometimes in their rush to make savings they make decisions that they regret. One of the common issues I hear about from business owners is that their software simply isn’t up to scratch.
When your business is starting out it might seem like it makes sense for your business to simply choose the cheapest available software. However you could unwittingly be locking yourself in to a system that is a “one-trick pony” and has no potential at all for upgrades or integration with other software.
As a business grows their needs will change. The off-the-peg solution you opted for when first starting out was fine to begin with but might now be too restrictive and even interrupt your workflow or customer interaction. This is because standard software has to be all things to all businesses – a task that is virtually impossible for any software to achieve. There will always be missing features that make it fall short or perhaps too many features that make it too complex for the average user.
The obvious solution to this would be to get software that is customized for your individual business, but usually the development cost of such a thing would be financially out of the reach of almost every small business. Even if they did invest in their own software, it is likely that it would be out-of-date within a few years as computer hardware and operating systems continue to become more advanced.
However, with the advent of the age of cloud computing things are definitely changing. It now costs software developers far less to produce custom software and as the owner of an on-demand software company myself I have seen the changes first-hand. Software companies which offer cloud products can offer a customized version of their product for not much more or sometimes even less than a standard retail product.
So the abiding message from me for small businesses just starting out is to avoid being lumbered with “one-trick pony” software when there are far better options available.