Having good processes, systems and software that can help you automate and manage the complex tasks of business is essential, no matter what size of business you are.
AUTHOR: Richard Sadler
I am often asked, “Can you save me tax?”.....
And yes, potentially I can but it is always important to focus on the priorities in the right order:
1. Business performance including profitability; and
2. Everything else.
Having a business which works for you means different business plans for different people but one area is very common to all and that is ‘business efficiency’.
Improving your business efficiency will often lead to:
· A positive impact on your profit;
· Additional free time for you and your team;
· Reducing stress; and
· Improving your business so it works for you and helps to deliver your goals.
Your app stack (the technical jargon for your software,systems and processes) is the solid backbone of many successful businesses. It improves efficiency, consistency and results.
When building your app stack, each element should be best fit for your business andwhere possible, they should compliment and integrate with one another.
Think of your app stack as a machine with many cogs all turning and working together to create optimal output.
Designing and building your ideal app stack can be daunting. With new software being released into the marketplace daily, it can be hard to know where to start and which apps will work best for your particular needs. Where do you even start?
Below is our 6 step process to help you do this effectively:
Identify and list down the following:
· all of your current software,applications, systems, processes and technology;
· all of the current challenges you arefacing;
· all areas of the business you would like to improve;
· all training which you believe would help overcome the above; and
· where updates to your existing systems, processes and technology are required.
You should then prioritise those issues where you don’t currently have a solution and need to put one in place.
The software and apps marketplace has thousands of offerings. You now need to research the apps and technology which are available to you and would help to resolve your issues identified in step 1.
It is important with any app stack that it fits your business case and aligns to your business plan. As a general rule, you should:
· Define the outcomes and goals which would be met;
· Calculate and define the return on investment;
· Identify who will be involved – both internal team members and external suppliers;
· Identify any risks and assumptions together with the solutions of how to mitigate them;and
· Define the timeframe.
The design of your app stack needs careful attention. Taking the information obtained from the tasks above, select the best options available for you and undertake demos. It is important to determine how the apps will integrate and work together with each other. Without this integration, it will be extremely difficult to optimise your business efficiencies and results.
Identify and list down all of the advantages and disadvantages for each option.
Analyse the results and based on your conclusions, recommend and documenta final solution.
Now you have determined your app stack, it’s time to implement.
This is a whole topic in itself but should include testing of your solutions, updating process documentation, training your team, updating job descriptions and being confident to ‘go live’.
Data can then be migrated and you are good to ‘go live’.
As I said at the start, there are often many new entrants into the apps market. Good practice would mean that you review your app stack by carrying out a regular review, say annually. It needs to ensure that your app stack is meeting your needs and the technology is up to date.
Designing and building your ideal app stack can be overwhelming. With new apps being released into the marketplace daily, it can be hard to know where to start and which apps will work best for your particular needs. If you need help with anyof the steps in the process to build your app stack, please get in touch.