Expanding or creating a business can be stressful enough. And, when your software doesn't work when you need it to it can be the straw that breaks the camel's back. Software often promises everything and delivers something else. This experience is often an indication you're working with a poor consultant or just another sales person.
You'd like to think that most business owners have a game plan, a road-map if you will about the expansion and growth of their business. This is often not the case. In most cases the business is scrambling to throw process together and establish structure due to a sudden increase in business or desire to grow the business. What ends up happening is money is thrown in all directions to try and get out in front of progress.
Why not just throw effort in all different directions seems to have got you where you are today? As many of you are reading this you're recognizing that's not a good plan or approach. However, again this is common approach. Many of you experienced business owners out there know how this plays out. You end up feeling burned, over budget, late, and it doesn't work. We often come in after the fact working on an even smaller budget to accomplish the same tasks.
Many have the best intentions. Spend good money to accomplish great things. The mindset you get what you pay for usually is the best approach to achieving quality, right? Why doesn't it work in software? Like construction if you don't have a good plan small things can really have an impact on the success of the project. With software there're so many different ways to provide the same solution.
The problem we often see is businesses approaching introvert IT companies with very strong and exciting ideas. IT companies are often like laborers who have no direction. They do exactly what you say and nothing else. This seems like the best resource. Except you end up finding out later that because they have no functional understanding of your business or individual jobs they're not able to recognize future issues. And, even worse is they want your money. It's in their best interest to inform clients they can't live without their software and these days for life.
Unfortunately there's no solid solution for this but patience. Patience is an unacceptable term for most businesses. Patience allows for planing, training, and good decision making. You never get a for sure anything but can make better decisions when you take time to learn, ask questions, and consult.
If you business doesn't have the time stick to the basics.
- Get three consultations. Don't just get multiple prices get multiple opinions too.
- Keep your business solutions at a higher level. Businesses often get overly focused on the specific functions of software and lose sight of why they acquired the software in the first place.
- Get deep, understand the why behind the use-case. Software is expensive. Don't just assume that everyone's been doing their job perfectly. There're always opportunities for improvement but what you're looking for here are major gaps in process. For example we often are asked to develop reports that are not actually needed because the data could be access another way or not at all with process improvements.
- Use business functions and resist software functions as contract milestones or requirements. Example, this requirement is satisfied when the business can perform or replace specific activity using said software and not "software has been installed".
Find a great consultant and hang on to them. Keep a good consultant around that's willing to be there for the long-haul and wants to see you succeed. Good consultants will know your business or enough about your business to help with decision making. Use overlapping on your consulting. Use consultants that might have some or less experienced. You're looking for unbiased perspective from these types of resources.
We provide consulting services on many different forms of business and software.
Our perspective is from the side of the business. We want to know how or if a software solution is going to fix or improve a business function. The software needs to show and convince us that it's going to work or perform as expected.
We're objective. If the software doesn't provide a convincing solution we're going to recommend against. It does us no good to provide consulting and support for a software solution that doesn't get used or benefitted from. As your consultant it's our responsibility to ensure you're getting what you need and not something you don't.
Look at us as we're an employee of your business. A 20+ year experienced CEO/Manager/IT Specialist you get part-time to help you make better decisions and improve your business.
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Connect with us and give us a try. We provide lots of free consulting and business advice all the time for little things. When considering a new software or modification call us. Receive an unbiased opinion on your next software purchase.
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