Recently, Small Biz at :15 On Location traveled to Austin, Texas for Zoho Day 2022. Here, Zoho Senior Evangelist Taylor Backman sits down with Shawn Hessinger, the Executive Editor of Small Biz Trends, to talk about the benefits of small businesses all in one. business software can bring to your business.
3 advantages of all-in-one business software
1. Gives you one solution versus several different solutions.
Shawn: If you’re a really small company and you’re just getting started with the technology, can you talk about some of the ways that using one solution instead of a plethora of different solutions can be an advantage?
Taylor: I think if you’re looking at an all-in-one, you’re thinking about what are the different things that the company is doing, what are we working on as an organization? And then we’re looking for a solution that better aligns with those requirements and then is also something that we can grow into over time or expand our use over time.
So I think with that mindset obviously you’re going to find a product that works for you and it’s going to be a price that you’re comfortable with and you’re going to be fine.
But then, over time, you’ll save a lot of money and time by not changing things too much in the future because all those changes become very expensive…because now all the data that used to live in one place is going to go. to another product.
Or now you must go buy another product that is already increasing expenses, and now you must integrate that product that becomes even more expensive. And now costs continue to rise out of control.
So looking at what are the requirements that we have, what’s a reasonable set of requirements that you’re likely to have in the future that we can start thinking about finding a solution that matches, that’s priced well, that works for you today, that’s got a lot of dividends that continue to pay.
2. Critical business data is integrated in one central place.
Shawn: You mentioned integration, and I imagine that’s one of the real benefits because in some cases you’re dealing with data, CRM systems and things like that. Can you give some examples of systems you could have in an all-in-one solution that you would like to integrate?
Taylor: Absolutely. I mean, if we have, for example, where do we keep all of our customer information? Therefore, we have a central place to store all our customer information. And once we have that central place to want to think about, what are all the interactions we’re having with that customer?
So whatever channel or form or form of communication we have with that customer, we want to make sure it’s integrated so that data flows into that customer’s record and we get a complete view of it. And that will come in handy, obviously, every time you walk up and talk to them.
And then of course depending on what type of business you’re in if you sell, say, physical products online, we want those records to be integrated into the system as well, so we know what products those are. purchasing.
If we are a service company and we signed a contract and now we have to start billing by the hour, we want whatever our project management tool is to be connected as well. That way we can make sure we’re tracking well and billing for it and getting a good record there. And then of course customer support, if we’re really supporting customers, that’s what we want.
3. Automation saves time and money
Shawn: I would imagine if your data isn’t all in one place, your customer data for example, and you have multiple different sources, then there’s even an amount of time involved in moving that back and forth… or ways that small businesses can figure that out and figure it out to see that savings, because I think there’s a savings beyond the price of the software.
Taylor: I mean, it’s hard to know specifically. But again, think of the vast number of people who do administrative work where they enter data. Hopefully, your organization doesn’t have too much of that.
But if you have that, think of a way now that you can automate that somehow or think of some way to export all these spreadsheets so that they can then consolidate spreadsheets or create one spreadsheet, so that then it can become into mini spreadsheets and then consolidate again.
Think about what those processes are, and now think about how long it takes. If you have employees doing that, attach the hourly cost of their time to those tasks, right? And if you can now start to automate or just be better organized on the data side, if you can start removing that from your job responsibilities, then you can add a literal dollar figure to what you’re saving by using these new tools and creating of new processes.
Shawn: Let’s also talk about the benefits of customer service, because if you have 20 apps instead of one, you have 20 customer service centers instead of one to deal with.
Taylor: That’s something else. You have 20 contracts that you’re dealing with that have 20 different payment plans that are on 20 different billing cycles and have 20 different user accounts that need to be set up, managed, and activated. That’s a major problem, right?
I mean, you can run that as a little thought experiment. You are using ten applications and need to onboard a new employee to do so. Do those ten times instead of doing it once. How much money did that cost you? Just there. That’s just the beginning, right? So yes, there are certainly a lot of layoffs that come up.
Food to go
Remember to keep things simple when choosing small business software, all-in-one solutions can sometimes provide a variety of services at a lower cost.
Be sure to watch the rest of the episode to find out other helpful trading tips and highlights like:
- More real integration benefits from an all-in-one software platform.
- Ways to calculate the cost of redundant processes and see that there are savings beyond the price of the software.
- How you can avoid getting sucked into a marketing vortex that can lead to poor fit and unnecessary spending when it comes to choosing the right all-in-one software.
- How you can decide if an all-in-one solution is right for the type of industry you’re in.
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