We tend to think of big corporations and multinational conglomerates as the most technologically advanced companies in the business world, and they can always afford to implement the latest software systems. In recent years, the boom in products like workforce management systems (WMS), work order management systems (WOMS), customer relationship managers (CRM), and field service management (FSM) software have increased in availability and options. This means two things. For one, increased competition has driven down costs which will open the door for small and midsize businesses (SMBs) to invest. Secondly, and quite simply, the explosion of new options, including thousands of products that cover several hundred different categories. Every organization can find something that can be an excellent fit for them. Here, we take a look at some strategies that small businesses can use to make the latest software work for them.
Make All Stakeholders Heard
Whether you’re running an HVAC business, a landscaping firm, or a yoga studio, there’s a good chance some of your employees might be skeptical of new technology. Their skepticism is likely rooted in the fear that implementing new business software will make their jobs harder and their tasks longer. It can also hold them accountable in ways they never were before. Small businesses should address this type of fearful thinking and open up a dialogue with their employees before they implement new business software. During this period, employers should encourage team members to voice their concerns. Hold meetings and leave enough time for everyone to express themselves. By doing this, your employees don’t feel like their supervisors are shoving some complicated technology down their throats. Instead, it will register more like a cooperative process of bringing on a software that will ultimately benefit everyone.
Develop Team Buy-In
Small business owners and managers interested in gaining a competitive edge should develop buy-in from their employees. Think of this as a version of how a politician works to build consensus within his or her community or constituency. By investing the time, and carrying out due diligence, we understand where everyone at your company is coming from. Concerning the new software, you can craft an implementation plan that recognizes the needs of all members of your team. Creating buy-in takes patience and requires business owners to see things from many different perspectives. Once you’ve persuaded a few people, though, a snowball effect starts to take hold.
It’s also important to focus on individuals who you feel are especially influential within your company. If you can successfully illustrate the merits of business service software, they can help convince the rest of your team. Probably in part because they’ll be perceived as respected figures who are sharing unbiased views. More of your employees will start considering the advantages that a new digital platform can bring to the company. Gradually, the consensus will shift.
In the past, businesses implementing new systems for storing and managing their data needed on-site information technology (IT). IT often meant new hardware and servers, extra space to keep them, and a lengthy installation process. All of this resulted in daunting up-front costs, not to mention a long and bumpy transition process. With software-as-a-service (SaaS), companies get to skip all that. Instead, they simply pay for software services through a subscription, pay-as-you-go model. This makes cutting-edge platforms that were once out of many businesses’ price range comfortably within financial reach. Also, many cloud-based SaaS products offer different pricing tiers. This allows clients to find something at the perfect intersection of price point and functionality.
Want to learn more about how software is a necessary tool for even the smallest businesses? Check out Current Trends in Small Business Management.
Save Time and Money Right Away with Automatic Invoicing
While there are a plethora of functionalities the latest software can bring to SMBs, one particular feature stands out. Business software that tracks work orders and other types of jobs often come with automatic invoicing. Once a job is completed and both parties sign off, an invoice is automatically generated and sent to your customer. This may not sound revolutionary, but it instantaneously cuts down on tedious office work while ensuring faster payments post-completion. It’s one of the most popular features in Work Order Management Systems (WOMS) and other business platforms. Integrating it into your team’s workflow is generally pretty seamless. Automatic invoicing is a surefire way to stimulate cash flow and guarantee that your business software is working for your company.
WHERK is a just-launched service business software developed to help small businesses boost productivity, streamline their workflow, and gain new work. Tools like fleet and personnel tracking, dashboard reporting, and automatic billing and invoicing ensure that small businesses move through projects more efficiently and better understand all the data underlying their enterprise. We encourage you to visit the WHERK website to learn more.