This may be a simplistic view but I believe that the generalisation I am about to make is largely accurate when looking at business across sectors. As a business you have only ever really had two options when it comes to building a system to manage your processes; 1. A bloated SAP, SAGE or Oracle type implementation with cash-flow crushing consultation and support costs or 2. Some risk filled and unsupported Spreadhseet or Access database that your sisters friend, who does some programming on the side, bolted together for you.
These 2 options actually leave you with no options. In today’s dynamic and ever evolving business landscape you cannot be without a system that streamlines your operations, automates mundane tasks and eliminates human error. You have to have something to track and monitor your business activity with a feedback loop so that you can analyse, understand ans then improve your processes – it is the only way to stay ahead of the ever chasing pack. Economies are not what they were and there is simply just not enough fat left to be inefficient and pay for things that you don’t need. The caveat of this is that you can’t just put your head in the sand and keep doing things with paper and pen. So what do you do?
My belief is that technology should be bringing down the cost of doing business and not increasing it – sorry SAP. I also believe that there is a plethora of brilliant and affordable (sometimes free) web based and online services and tools that can help you out. The skill is in working out which you need and how to piece them together into something that supports and covers all critical aspects of your business. I don’t believe that there is one system out there that will do it all for you, not cost effectively at least, and in fact there is power in them not being all encompassing. We wrote a post a while back about outsourcing and focusing on what you do best. There is a definite shift, almost a movement, towards specialist services and products; a dilution of big business into small. Large corporations have smelt the writing on the wall and many are attempting to shift business strategy towards SMME products and channels. It is not easy though to turn the Titanic and here in lies the opportunity:
Without getting into how to piece it all together this post is really just a motivator to let you know that you do have options and that there are more and more powerful online products available (more every day) that can significantly streamline the way you operate making you infinitely more competitive. You must remember that as a smaller operation you are more agile than the big guys and that with the right technology you can scale and support to a level that will see customers naturally migrate to you.
Core to what we do at Big Inja is a vision that drives us to employ technologies and develop solutions that will empower small to medium sized enterprises to compete at the highest level. Join us on a journey to take on “the man” and show that agile, dedicated and focused businesses empowered by the right technology can not only be competitive, but provide customers with real experiences, more personalised service and superior products.