How do you plan to control your growing business?

Does your growing business have growth pains?

Growing a business is what all entrepreneurs want to achieve, but the very growth that keeps your business alive also brings its own challenges. Lack of skilled resources, inefficient processes and a reliance on certain key individuals means that your business can struggle with managing the grow and could possibly cause more harm than good.

Areas such as stock management or sales forecasting become more and more important to ensuring that your business runs efficiently and maintains your customer satisfaction ratings, particularly if you sell via the web, or through common channels such as ebay or Amazon. One of the most common problems when a company grows is the need to increase your rating numbers and to ensure that your business processes are able to grow with the changes.

Traditionally in small or start up companies, these processes tend to rely on spreadsheets to manage many these aspects of the business but this has inherent problems with information sharing and real time information for making decisions such as ordering new stock or materials, cash flow

The answer to this of course is a computer system which encompasses all your business information, making it easy to share across the whole company. Now various solutions exist for this. There are several off the shelf applications which will address parts of your business, both in the cloud and as a product to buy. The problem with these is they tend to only manage some of your requirements and not all of what you need.

You can end up with separate applications for Sales, Finance, Manufacturing etc. Don’t get me wrong, some systems do exist that do everything in a single application but the cost for these is often prohibitive for small and medium companies.

Off the shelf systems also have a one size fits all approach and expect you to change your business process flow to meet their pre-ordained model, rather than adapting their model to fit your company.

A genuine alternative option exists for SME businesses, more affordable than you would expect and can be built to suit both initial requirements and long term goals and more importantly to suit your budget – a custom built solutions.

Custom built software

Custom built software allows you to build a system that exactly matches what you need right now as well as catering to your future growth plans. It is always the right size, providing the right functionality and priced for what you need today. Not only that but as you grow, the system can grow with you. Many clients start by building a CRM or sales forecasting system, then go on to add invoicing, stock control, manufacturing and distribution as and when they need or when the budget / business can justify the new functionality. This allows you to manage your cash flow in the most appropriate manner, just in time spending if you like rather than up front investment.

We’ve built many such systems for clients of all sizes both large and small, enabling them to address their problems, which whilst they may be very close to others, cost control, business improvements, customer satisfaction etc. are all very personal to your business.

One of the biggest issues with every new system is user acceptance. Your staff are very familiar with the processes and systems they use on a day to day basis. When a new system is introduced, we often see resistance and push back from users who struggle with change.

One of the advantages of a custom system is the ability to adapt the use screens to reflect that which they are used to and ease their acceptance of the new system ensuring an easy adoption of the new system.

Similarly when you have to use multiple off the shelf systems, generally you end up with multiple user screens with a different look and feel, again complicating the uptake of the new solution and new processes. With a custom solution the look and feel can be promoted across the whole system making the user experience as simple and smooth as possible.

So in conclusion, a custom solution can improve your cashflow as well as customer satisfaction whilst reducing disruption to staff and you business.

How will you control your growing business?