Recently, Small Biz traveled on location to Austin, Texas in :15 for Zoho Day 2022. Here, Zoho Senior Evangelist Taylor Backman sits down with Shawn Hessinger, the executive editor of Small Biz Trends to discuss the benefits business software can bring to your business.
3 benefits of all-in-one business software
1. Gives you one solution versus several different solutions.
Shawn: If you’re a very small business and just getting started with technology, can you comment on the ways in which using one solution instead of a plethora of different solutions can be beneficial?
Taylor: I think when you look at an all-in-one, you think about the different things the company does, what we work on as an organization? And then we’re looking for a solution that best fits those requirements and is something that we can hopefully grow into over time or expand our usage over time.
So I think with that mindset you will clearly find a product that is going to work for you and it will be a price that you are comfortable with and all will be well.
But over time you will save a lot of money and time by not changing things too much, because all those changes become very expensive… to another product.
Or you have to go buy another product that already increases the cost, and now you have to integrate that product that is going to be even more expensive. And now the costs keep spiraling out of control.
So, looking at what are the requirements that we have, what is a reasonable set of requirements that are likely to be in the future, we can start thinking about finding a solution that matches, that is a good price, that works for you today the day has that many dividends that continue to pay out.
2. Critical business data is integrated in one central place.
Shawn: You mentioned integration, and I can 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 our customer information? So we have one central place to store all our customer data. And once we have that one central place to want to think about what are all the interactions we have with that customer?
And so whatever channel or way or form of communication we have with that customer, we want to make sure that’s integrated so that data flows into that customer file and we get a full picture of it. And that, of course, will be helpful every time you reach out and talk to them.
And then, depending on the type of business you operate in, for example if you’re selling physical products online, we want that data integrated into the system as well, so we know which products it is. purchase.
If we are a service company and we sign a contract and now we have to start billing hours, then we want our project management tool to match too. So that way we can make sure we track and bill that properly and get a good reputation there. And then, of course, customer support, if we really support customers, we want that.
3. Automation saves time and money
Shawn: I can imagine if your data isn’t all in one place, say your customer data, and you have multiple different sources, there’s even an amount of time involved in transferring it back and forth… or ways that small businesses that can calculate that a little bit and figure it out to see that saving because I think there is a saving that goes beyond just the price tag on the software.
Taylor: I mean, it’s hard to know specifically. But again, consider the sheer number of people doing administrative work that involves entering data. Hopefully your organization doesn’t have too much of that.
But if you have that, think of a way that you can somehow automate that now, or think of a way to export all these spreadsheets so they can consolidate spreadsheets or create one spreadsheet so it can then change into mini spreadsheets and then consolidate again.
Think about what those processes are, and now think about how much time that takes. If you have employees who do that, then tie the hourly cost of their time to those tasks, right? And if you can start automating now or simply being better organized on the data side, if you can take that out of their job responsibilities, then you can match a literal dollar amount of what you save from these new tools and creating new ones. 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 have to deal 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 big problem, right?
I mean, you can do that as a little thought experiment. You use ten applications and for that you need a new employee on board. Do that ten times versus that one time. How much money did that cost you? Right there. That’s just the beginning, right? So yes, there are definitely a lot of layoffs that are popping up.
Remember to keep it 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 discover other helpful business tips and highlights, such as:
- More real benefits of the integration that an all-in-one software platform brings.
- Ways to calculate the cost of redundant processes and see that there is a saving beyond just the price tag on the software.
- How to avoid being sucked into a marketing vortex that can put you in a bad fit and unnecessary expense when it comes to choosing the right all-in-one software.
- How to decide if an all-in-one solution is right for the type of industry you’re in.
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