Just as there is software built for an industry, there is software that is built for specific functions across industries. The more critical functions of an industry include sales, accounting and operations. In this installment of accelerating your business with the right software, we’ll look at what you can do to make the best decision for your company.
Tackling My Accounting Function
The first purpose-driven piece of software I ever bought for my business was an accounting program. It was long enough ago (2004) that I walked up to a shelf in a store and looked at my options in carefully designed boxes. Without much research, I ended up buying Quickbooks. Turns out, this was a good choice as a 2015 Chicago Now Article points out, Quickbooks is used by over 80% of small businesses. This is the first thing we’ll look at: market penetration.
I think we all understand what market penetration is, but why is it so important? In a word, integration. We’ll go deeper into this topic in a future post, but the fact is that accounting software like Quickbooks has such deep market penetration for small business that many other applications integrate with it. So, when you go to buy a software application for sales or operations, for example, chances are you’ll find integrations with Quickbooks. That means that data can flow between the applications saving you a lot of time, effort and of course money.
While this is also worth looking at for other types of software, I believe accounting software is one of the cornerstones of your businesses arsenal. There tends to be a bit of a hierarchy to software. Take the big three that your business depends on: Accounting, Sales and Operations. I’ve laid out how you should expect the information to flow between these business elements. It’s my opinion the sales and operations software you choose doesn’t depend as strongly on market penetration if you can cover the data flow shown here.
Finally, you should consider the different types of software you will need to run your business and understand how data needs to flow between them to best help you run efficiently.