Many of us small business owners are prepared to get comfortable in the “I don’t care if I do it manually, it just needs to work”
I don’t disagree. From an IT perspective, it is best not to try and fix something that isn’t broken. But when you look at what is available to you in terms of cloud solutions, software, websites and apps that can turn some of your current processes digital, how do you decide what you should make computer based or hands on?
It normally comes down to three things: Security, Time saving, Cost
This is always the hardest point. In the modern news we see all sorts of awful things happening in terms of hackers, ransomware, virus’, email / password leaks, personal data compromised, etc. So if you’re thinking about putting all of your businesses financial information into a cloud service, you might have some anxiety about that. We don’t disagree.
Not every online platform is bullet proof, and sometimes all it can take is a flashy website and a service may seem very secure – when actually it is run by a couple of engineers from a shed. Not saying thats necessarily a problem, but it does mean there is a higher risk.
I appreciate old school. Us IT professionals have grown up / learned to find our way around not only a computer program, but any computer program. Like someone who has studied music can pick up and play something on every instrument, or reasonably work it out.
Not all of us can so easily adjust to software. There is a science that comes with designing software that is easy to use and intuitive – that things are where you would expect them to be.
A lot of products these days are becoming a subscription. I generally like to use a metric of comparing subscribing to a piece of software, with employing an entry level person and training them to do it.
For arguments sake, lets say a casual employee is $20 an hour. Maintaining your sales database right now – spreadsheets and documents – takes at least two hours a week to update after collating all the orders / forms / emails. You would need to pay $80 a month, so $960 a year to maintain that. So if it costs $400 to set up some software, and $50 a month to subscribe to, you’re looking at $1000 for your first year, but only $600 after that. That’s a saving of $360!
Except it probably isnt. Unless the software requires no maintenance or user interaction. If it was going to save you an hour a week, you’re still looking at around $1000 a year to have the program and use it.
This is only a short list of things to consider. We often help tailor our services and recommendations to products that our customers want to run to help make their business more efficient. If you’re wanting to look into ways to save you time, get in touch and we can discuss your options!