Selecting the right software – Part 3/10 – Software built for a Function

November 03 , 2017

Just as there is software built for an industry, there is software that is built for specific functions across industries for: sales, accounting and operations being some of the most critical.  In this third installment on accelerating your business with the right software, we’ll look at what you can do to make sure these selections are the best they can be.

I remember the first purpose-driven piece of software I ever bought for my business — for accounting.  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, that this was a good choice as a Chicago Now Article points out in 2015, Quickbooks is used by over 80% of small businesses.  This is the first thing we’ll look at: market penetration.

Selecting software built for a function

I think we all understand what market penetration is, but why is it so important?  In a word: integration.  We’re going to delve into this topic much deeper in a future post, but the fact of the matter is that an 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.

Selecting software - built for a function

While this is also worth looking at for other types of software, in my opinion, the accounting software is one of the cornerstones of your businesses arsenal.  There tends to be a bit of a hierarchy to the 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.  In 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.

So, as a final thought, 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.