best business management software Archives - Striven

Striven’s Stellar Showcase: Dominating Fall 2023 ERP Awards on G2

We are ecstatic to announce that Striven has once again proven itself as a leading force in the ERP landscape, this time in the Fall 2023 ERP Awards on, a leading provider of business software reviews. This is a testament not just to our innovative technology, but to our dedicated team and the unwavering support of our loyal customers.

Every quarter, G2 highlights the top rated solutions in the industry, as chosen by the source that matters most: our customers.

Here’s some of our noteworthy achievements for Fall 2023:

  • Americas Regional Grid® Report for ERP Systems: Making a remarkable debut, we secured the 13th position among 58 contenders.
  • Small-Business Americas Regional Grid® Report for ERP Systems: In the small-business segment, we have outshined numerous competitors, grabbing the 6th spot out of 26.
  • Mid-Market Americas Regional Grid® Report for ERP Systems: Yet another debut, where we were ranked 11th out of 38 participants.
  • Momentum Grid® Report for ERP Systems: Continuing our upward trajectory, we progressed to 12th out of 73, which speaks volumes about our momentum in the ERP space.
  • Small-Business Usability Index for ERP Systems: Reflecting our consistent commitment to user experience, we secured the 4th position.
  • Usability Index for ERP Systems: Maintaining our stronghold, we stood firm at 5th out of 62.
  • Small-Business Results Index for ERP Systems: Here, we proudly sustained our position close to the top, being 2nd out of 22.
  • Results Index for ERP Systems: Dominating the competition, we clinched the #1 spot among 51 contenders.
  • Small-Business Relationship Index for ERP Systems: And of course, our relationships with our small-business clientele remains unparalleled, as we retained the #1 position.

Our recognition on is a direct reflection of the hard work, dedication, and innovative spirit of the Striven team. But, more importantly, it underscores the valuable feedback, trust, and partnership of our users and customers. Without your testimonials, reviews, and constructive feedback, this incredible journey wouldn’t be possible.

We remain committed to pushing the boundaries of what an ERP system can do. Our future holds further innovation, improved functionalities, and even more ways to support and enhance your business processes. Stay tuned for more exciting updates, features, and advancements as we stride into the future together.

To our customers, partners, and the entire Striven community – thank you for being part of this remarkable journey. Here’s to many more accolades, successes, and shared growth!

The 10 Best Ways Your Hearth and Fireplace Services Business Can Manage Costs

As your hearth services business grows, it is important to consider all of your costs, including labor, materials, and overhead. This is essential to remaining competitive in the market while growing investment capital to continue to build your business. From the early stages of establishing your company, your needs may evolve as you continue to optimize profits. Hearth Services management software will offer you a holistic view of your operations and finances to plan your longer-term strategy based on your market position. 

For business owners in the hearth services industry, strategically managing costs can allow growth with the addition of service technicians and up-to-date equipment.

1. Negotiate with suppliers for lower prices on materials

Building strong relationships with suppliers can lead to discounts and special deals on materials and supplies. This can be accomplished through regular communication and by purchasing in bulk. If businesses can negotiate longer payment terms, they can improve cash flow by redirecting cash reserves to other crucial operations.

Vendor negotiation can improve a business’s bottom line by gaining a competitive advantage over competitors and streamlining supply chain operations. Key performance metrics that indicate the state of the supply chain for the upcoming months are central to smart strategy execution.

A report by Aberdeen Group found that companies with optimized supply chain operations achieve an average of 15% reduction in supply chain costs, a 17% increase in order accuracy, and a 20% improvement in order-to-delivery cycle times.

2. Utilize automation and technology to reduce labor costs

Automation can help to reduce labor costs by streamlining repetitive tasks, such as scheduling appointments, ordering materials and supplies, and managing customer information. This allows employees to focus on bigger-picture tasks and reduces the need for additional staff.

Hearth Services management software provides tools for scheduling & dispatch, inventory control, and powerful CRM that not only utilizes automation but also unifies these processes in an all-encompassing system.

Automation of tasks previously done by human hand can translate to an improved customer experience, increased employee efficiency, and enhanced accuracy.

The World Economic Forum estimates that by 2025, technology will create at least 12 million more jobs than it destroys, a sign that automation will have a net positive effect. This can ease the employee relationship strains that may come from the introduction of automation.

3. Control Expenses

An operating budget is a crucial tool for controlling expenses. It allows you to track income and expenses, and identify areas where you can cut costs. Hearth service management software provides tools to manage revenue and expenses.

Implementing an operating budget based on these tools can help you better predict financial stability by being able to plan around controlled expenses and profitability. 

Integrated business management software can help keep all of these moving parts optimized for productivity and profit. For example, running a business with QuickBooks and dozens of complex spreadsheets allows for duplicate records and multiple versions of the same data that can become confusing and lead to inaccuracies across the many systems your business currently uses.

4. Outsource operational tasks to reduce labor costs

Outsource tasks to third-party specialists in marketing, payroll services, and IT support. This can save on small business labor costs by hiring freelancers or virtual assistants who can provide certain professional services at a drastically lower cost than hiring and training full-time employees.

5. Utilize a cloud-based accounting system to streamline financial management

Cloud-based accounting systems allow you to manage your finances from anywhere, and automate many tasks such as invoicing and expense tracking. This can help you to save time and money and make it easier to understand your financial position. 

According to a survey by Aberdeen Group, companies that use cloud-based accounting software have an average of 1.9 days faster cash conversion cycles than those using on-premises software. This can reduce the need for financing and free up capital previously tied up in inventory and receivables.

Hearth Services management software provides unified and accessible cloud-based accounting systems that save overhead costs. For Hearth Services businesses, a cloud-based accounting system can easily adapt to changing business needs, as it can be scaled up as your business grows.

6. Take advantage of tax credits and deductions for small businesses

Research tax credits and deductions that may be available to small businesses in your industry. This can include deductions for things like equipment, supplies, and employee benefits.

Tax incentives and deductions can provide additional funds to invest in research and development, capital equipment, and new employees as you expand your growing business operations. Tax deductions reduce how much business income is subject to taxes, while tax credits can increase cash flow and reward your business for allocating your finances wisely.

7. Rent or lease equipment instead of buying to save on upfront costs

Renting or leasing equipment can be a cost-effective alternative to buying, as it allows you to spread the cost over a longer period of time and avoid large upfront expenses. This gives you more flexibility to adjust your equipment needs as the business grows. Hearth services businesses may rent hearth accessories such as demo equipment or temporary fireplace inserts for temporary or seasonal installation.

Along with lowering upfront costs, rental companies typically take care of maintenance and repair costs to further save on future costs. Renting can even provide your business with tax benefits such as deducting lease payments as a business expense.

8. Implement a cost-cutting strategy and regularly review expenses to identify areas for improvement 

Track your expenses regularly, and identify areas where you can cut costs. This could include things like reducing energy consumption, negotiating better deals with suppliers, or streamlining processes to improve efficiency. 

As your business expands, it can pay dividends to identify areas for improvement so that you can incorporate these improvements into your longer-term, cost-cutting strategy. Hearth Services business management software provides a real-time, cloud-based, 360° view of your financial data and everything that means for the success of your business.

9. Network with other small business owners to share resources and ideas

Networking with other small business owners can be an effective way to share resources and ideas for managing costs. This can be done by joining industry groups or attending events. Oftentimes this can lead to collaborative endeavors and access to new markets to expand your business while managing costs. 

Running a small business can be stressful and isolating, especially in this digital age where people are increasingly working from home. Business networking can provide emotional support and motivation during challenging times such as worldwide pandemics.

10. Implement a pricing strategy that generates a profit and improves customer relationships

It’s essential to price products and services to cover your costs and generate a profit. This can be done by analyzing the costs of labor and materials, then factoring in the level of competition in your market. According to a survey conducted by QuickBooks, 40% of small business owners report that pricing their services is the most challenging aspect of their business. Having a pricing strategy in place to ensure profitability can ease some of the largest stressors for Hearth Services business owners.

To emphasize the importance of implementing a pricing strategy, a study by McKinsey & Company reports that businesses that optimize their pricing strategies can increase their profit margins by 2% to 7% on average. This can result in a significant increase in the bottom line for your Hearth Services business.

How do you do that? Be different. Consider trust-based pricing within your business ethos. Many companies quote an inflated job cost leaving room for when the customer beats them up for a lower price. While haggling can create temporary satisfaction and good vibes, long term it is harmful to maintaining good customer relationships. If you have soft pricing, how does the customer ever know they’re getting a good deal? 

If a customer is asked, “Do you want me to give you a little bit higher price so that we can negotiate…OR…do you want me to actually price it where it needs to be for us to succeed for you?”, the customer will always pick the latter. 

Hearth and Fireplace Services Success

Quote with confidence! Hearth Services integrated business software lets you know the true cost for every line item on your proposal, allowing you to attract and retain customers for life

What Being Remote From Your Job Means For Your Career

In recent years, the trend towards remote work has become increasingly popular. Advancements in technology, such as business management technology, have made it easier than ever to work from anywhere in the world. However, this shift towards remote work has also had a significant impact on careers, and it’s important for professionals to understand what this means for their long-term career prospects.

Remote work has several benefits, including increased flexibility, a better work-life balance, and the ability to work from anywhere. However, it also presents a number of challenges that can impact career progression. In this article, we’ll explore what being remote from your job means for your career, with a focus on the role of business management technology in supporting remote workers.

Limited Opportunities For Face-to-Face Interaction

“One of the biggest challenges of remote work is the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues and clients,” notes Martin Taylor, a resume writer at Discursive Essay Service and MLA Format Outline. This can make it harder to build relationships, collaborate on projects, and get feedback on your work. It also means that remote workers may miss out on important networking opportunities, such as industry events or team-building activities.

Business management technology can help to mitigate some of these challenges by providing remote workers with tools to collaborate and communicate with colleagues and clients. For example, video conferencing software like Zoom or Skype can be used for virtual meetings, while project management software can be used to manage tasks and keep track of deadlines.

Increased Reliance On Technology

Another challenge of remote work is the increased reliance on technology. Remote workers must be comfortable with using a range of software and tools to communicate and collaborate with colleagues, manage tasks, and stay organized. This can be a challenge for some workers, especially those who are used to more traditional ways of working.

Business management technology can help to alleviate some of these challenges by providing remote workers with user-friendly software and tools. For example, cloud-based file sharing platforms like Dropbox or Google Drive can be used to share files and documents with colleagues, while time tracking software like Harvest can be used to keep track of billable hours and ensure that projects are completed on time.

Potential For Isolation

Remote work can be isolating, especially for workers who are used to working in a traditional office environment. “Without regular face-to-face interaction with colleagues, remote workers may feel disconnected from the company culture and miss out on important social interactions,” says Amanda Webb, an eCommerce writer from BeeStudent and Paper-Research.

Business management technology can help to mitigate some of these challenges by providing remote workers with opportunities to connect and collaborate with colleagues. For example, team chat software like Slack or Microsoft Teams can be used to facilitate real-time communication and help remote workers feel more connected to their colleagues.

Lack Of Visibility and Recognition

Another challenge of remote work is the lack of visibility and recognition. Without regular face-to-face interaction with managers and colleagues, it can be harder for remote workers to demonstrate their skills and contributions to the company. This can impact their chances of career progression, as managers may not have a clear understanding of their strengths and abilities.

Business management technology can help to alleviate some of these challenges by providing remote workers with tools to showcase their skills and contributions. For example, project management software can be used to document a worker’s involvement in key projects, while time tracking software can be used to demonstrate their productivity and efficiency.

In conclusion, remote work can have a significant impact on career progression. While it presents several benefits, such as increased flexibility and a better work-life balance, it also presents a number of challenges that must be overcome. Business management technology can play a key role in supporting remote workers and helping them to mitigate some of these challenges. By providing tools for collaboration, communication, and productivity, business management technology can help remote workers to stay connected and engaged with their colleagues and the company, while also showcasing their skills and contributions. Ultimately, the key to success as a remote worker is to stay proactive, communicate effectively, and stay up to date with the latest trends and best practices in remote work and business management technology.

Why Inventory Software Is Crucial To Business Management

Every successful business needs to know its stock levels for all of the different products it sells. In a digital landscape, business management software makes the process of inventory management more efficient and accessible to business owners. Inventory software syncs data in real time and integrates processes to ensure the business owner’s peace of mind when it comes to tracking orders. 

Different industries demand different requirements from businesses. It is important to look for the inventory software that serves you and your business the best and most fully. Once you integrate this kind of software into your business, you will find that not only are you improving the accuracy in tracking quantities, shipments, and materials, but also saving valuable time that your business can use to increase profitability in other areas.

Important Features of All-In-One Inventory Management Software

In order to find the right inventory software that serves the specific needs of your business, it is important to take into account some of the key features of inventory software. These include but are not limited to:

Inventory software keeps you on top of your orders and sales in an organized fashion while keeping you informed about all of your crucial KPIs in real-time. This is a proven method to avoid errors and discrepancies. For example, with the right business management software, you can improve your manufacturing processes by creating a bill of materials and labor, easily calculate material costs, update your inventory with new items, and create tasks for your staff.

inventory software

In terms of order management, you are able to instantly create purchase orders, control vendor costs, record tracking and shipping information, and add images and notes to items. Integrating an inventory management system within all of the departments of your business can assure you understand all of the ins and outs of your finances in real time, most importantly your profitability.

On top of these features, a great business management software is able to be customized to suit your specific needs, allows your customers and vendors to communicate with your business representatives, provides an intuitive applicant tracking system and a complete inventory management system. It is recommended to look for an inventory software that is both comprehensive with optimized tools and can automate many routine and repetitive tasks. Also, it is important to consider the usability of the program to ensure that the management of your inventory becomes seamless and largely automated.

You may find that some software is easier to use than others. Some software focuses on enhancing work orders and B2B sales channels, while others adapt to a variety of business types. Automating processes and reducing costs to maximize profitability should be a staple of any easy-to-use inventory management software. Business management software systems can reduce operational costs as well as administrative costs, while increasing on-time deliveries.

Wrapping Up

Decisions about software are difficult when taking into account all of the seemingly unpredictable variables that may arise over time. For this reason, it’s crucial to know what your business needs and seek solutions that serve it best now and in the future. The best inventory software will support your process of buying and selling products to help your business succeed. The tools a business management software brings to the table allows you to operate your business more efficiently using automated real-time updates to quickly sell products and services while leaving customers completely satisfied. It is a proven way to increase sales and increase profits.

Does Your Business Need A Zoho Alternative?

In the current business management software market, Zoho produces a variety of applications—some bundled into an all-in-one suite—that provide a variety of CRM, accounting, and other business management software solutions. 

Though many businesses benefit from the suite of products that Zoho offers, is your business getting the most possible value that it can from Zoho? Disconnected apps and separate systems can be inefficient and expensive. While Zoho One offers all of these apps under one account, they are still a suite of individual applications rather than a single, all-in-one application.

Business needs vary by industry, size, and a host of other factors. Even businesses within the same industry need different solutions, or solutions custom-tailored to their specific needs.

Zoho and its vast suite of applications work well for businesses that are considerably large in size, and some smaller, growing businesses have found Zoho to be suitable for their needs. But when it comes to your business, do you want a solution that merely checks all the boxes or a solution that is custom-tailored to your business needs in order to thrive?

In this article, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of Zoho and what benefits your business might see from exploring Zoho alternatives that are on the market.

What Is Zoho?

According to Zoho’s profile on Capterra, Zoho is a suite of 40+ applications with complementary mobile apps that allow a business to reach customers, grow sales, manage accounting, and increase workflow efficiency.

Zoho One, the package that includes all of the various Zoho applications, is billed as a way for users to be streamlined and connected by utilizing a single login to connect to all of the different applications. 

In terms of pricing, Zoho offers a variety of plans based on the total revenue and number of employees. In addition, pricing can vary drastically depending on which modules are selected. Some estimates of Zoho’s pricing suggest that smaller businesses can expect to start their plan at around $14/user per month while the highest tier package is $57/user per month.

Advantages of a Zoho Alternative

zoho alternative

While Zoho, Zoho One, Zoho CRM, and the rest of the Zoho suite contain useful tools that help businesses manage their products and assess profitability, they’re not always the right fit for every business. 

Zoho Alternatives are Affordable for SMBs

The cumulative nature of micropayments coupled with the à la carte model indicates that paying for individual apps and functionalities can get expensive over time. Sure, it’s possible to only pay for certain apps, bringing the price down considerably. But when it comes to managing all of the mission-critical segments of a business, just a few apps and functionalities may not cut it.

For growing businesses, getting the most value for their money is more important than ever. Some Zoho alternative platforms shy away from the application/module model in order to give growing businesses all of the tools they need to run their entire business, all in a single connected software platform.

Zoho Alternatives Provide Elite Customer Support

When it comes to features to prioritize in a Zoho alternative, even non-technical features are important to consider. For example, finding a Zoho alternative that maintains an elite standard of customer service (at no or low additional cost) is crucial.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) concept with icons. Production, human resources, inventory, CRM, sales, service, distribution, business process.

No matter the quality of the software, errors always occur. And in reality, users will always have questions about the system they are working in.

Zoho offers several support plans for an additional fee, which can get very expensive for growing businesses. In addition, some Zoho modules—notably Zoho CRM—have below-average customer support rankings while other, all-in-one business management systems have stellar customer support scores

Though it may be tempting to opt to go with a large-scale platform, it is often the case that many smaller, all-in-one business management software companies provide better—and 100% U.S.-based—customer support.

Customizations Are A Breeze With A Zoho Alternative

Every business is unique. With large-scale, widely used applications such as Zoho, customizations can be difficult to implement. While not always the case, some Zoho customizations require some level of coding.

For small and growing businesses, having to code (or having to pay for coding services) can skew drastically out of budget. Beyond that, having a single, dedicated, familiar customer champion working with your team can be the difference between successful software adoption and the painful realization that you need to rethink your initial software partner selection.

A Unified Business Management Platform

The post-Pandemic work world has changed and continues to evolve at a fervent pace, and technology has never been more crucial to the success of every business. The importance of having top-shelf, all-in-one business management software has never been greater.

zoho alternative

Running a successful business is challenging enough when your technology stack is running smoothly and efficiently. Speedbumps like erroneous data, complex user interfaces, and technology that simply does not allow for ample, on-time communication only make things tougher.

While the Zoho suite’s individual applications perform very well on their own, it turns out their biggest drawback is that they do exist on their own, not fully integrated with one another. Not only do additional modules require additional investment it also requires more advanced technical support, additional time spent learning how to properly integrate data, and additional time spent ensuring accuracy across multiple systems. 

Having all of your business processes—accounting, inventory, sales, marketing, projects, HR, operations, and more—working seamlessly as a complete, unified software platform will improve your business’s overall performance by increasing efficiency, accuracy, and scalability.

Striven – The All-In-One Business Management Software

Out of the numerous Zoho alternatives on the market today, Striven has been recognized as one of the industry leaders in terms of affordability, quality of customer support, and overall ease of use. Check out what everyday users have to say about Striven.

While some large-scale business management software providers like Acumatica may be a good match for large-scale, Fortune 500-sized companies, Striven understands that not every company needs a system that’s quite as technologically bloated—and one that doesn’t require breaking the bank.

The importance of having all of a business’s core processes housed in a single platform has never been greater. Instead of hoping that various software modules can successfully and efficiently interact with one another, it’s important that businesses are able to view everything that they need from a single dashboard. (Hope has rarely been a successful business strategy.)

For small- and medium-sized businesses to be as successful as their large-scale counterparts, this level of visibility allows businesses to harness the insights they need to corner a larger share of their respective market. Remember, technology is a strategic competitive advantage for any business regardless of size.

Wrapping Up

Software needs to be flexible and anti-fragile. It’s true in terms of business just as it’s true in terms of technology. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution to success—every business and business plan needs a solution to fit their specific needs.

Many small and growing businesses have a tendency to lean towards a product like Zoho based on its global reputation. But, it’s important to recognize that just because this product works at such a large scale doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right fit on a smaller scale.

Striven provides the same high-quality software and customer support as some of the larger ERP names on the market while being more affordable for the average small- and medium-sized business. 

Business Management Software: Finding The Best Fit

Business expense is a touchy subject. It’s not always easy to know how much to spend, or even what to spend it on—especially when it comes to new technologies. Ultimately, when it comes to business management technology, the true financial risk comes from sitting on the sidelines. 

The Aberdeen Group reports that small businesses that implement ERP, CRM, and other business management technologies reduce operational costs by 23%, administrative costs by 22%, and increase on-time deliveries by 24%.

Overall, 95% of businesses surveyed achieved major improvements after utilizing interconnected module ERP software. 

Despite many small business executives being aware of the positive financial impact that utilizing business management solutions can have, it’s common to still be wary about actually diving in head first and implementing these solutions.

Some common questions that small business owners ask themselves about business management technology would be:

“How do I know what technology can support the unique components of my business?”

“With so many different solutions on the market, how do I parse through them?”

“Will the perceived discomfort of implementing this technology be worth it?”

“Is my business big enough to warrant the use of a business management software solution?”

Answers to these questions are never immediate or obvious. It takes time to research, analyze, and find the best fit for your company—but first, you need a plan:

 How To Know When It’s Time To Invest In Software

1. When Scheduling Is Going Awry

Businesses use all kinds of apps for scheduling. Google provides handy calendars, and many people simply use the calendar built-in on their phones. And yes, physical calendars hanging on the wall still exist, too.

While there’s nothing inherently wrong with these types of calendars, it becomes an issue when they become out of sync. Some employees work remotely, some are constantly in the field, and others simply don’t adhere to the conventional 9-5.

Having to constantly ask “Are you free to meet at ___?” becomes an inefficient and unproductive use of time when multiplied across an entire organization every single day. This doesn’t take into account the importance of scheduling meetings with customers and others outside of your company.

Business woman planning day scheduling appointment in calendar application.

It’s important to have a single, accurate, universal calendar that you and all of your employees can access from anywhere. It should contain all of the various tasks, milestones, and time-off considerations needed to have a streamlined workday free of confusion and schedule conflicts.

2. When Remote Work Becomes Challenging

Since 2020, remote work has evolved to change the way businesses operate. Many employees report higher levels of productivity, reduced stress, and financial freedom when they’re able to do their jobs from home—or, really, anywhere that isn’t the office. 

While remote work has by and large been a benefit for businesses that have been able to make such a transition, it hasn’t come without proper planning and management.

HR departments need to adjust their practices, project management strategies have to adapt to geographically scattered employees, and customer relationships need to be maintained in new ways—the list goes on. At the heart of the way that these new norms come to be is the technology used to facilitate them. 

3. When You Spend Too Much Time On Tedious Tasks

Mundane tasks are often important tasks but that doesn’t mean you should be spending a disproportionately large amount of time on them. Put another way, there are often smarter ways to tackle these kinds of tasks.

Automation is one of the key benefits of business management software. Tracking inventory, managing employee certifications, accounting, and even market campaigns are some of the areas where software can benefit your business. 

business management automation software

4. When Growth Is Imminent

While you don’t have a crystal ball to tell you exactly when your new customers will roll in, there are ways to know when growth is on the horizon. The cumulative effect of the work you and your employees have been doing for years eventually pays off. Sometimes it takes months, other times it takes years. But if you don’t properly plan for the success coming your way, you’ll be behind the curve when it comes time to manage a higher volume of business.

As the old adage goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Look at business management software in the same light—invest in an ERP for the company you want to grow into, not for the company you are at this very moment.

5. When Your Decisions Are Solely Gut-Based

Many small business owners rely on their intuition to make decisions. Entrepreneurship is full of success stories that come from decisions based on “gut feel.” While this can be effective when a business is just starting and has no data to pull from, it’s a whole different ball game when it comes to making decisions once years and years of data is available. 

For example, take Walmart. Not a small business, obviously, but every business starts somewhere. In Walmart’s early days, they were suffering setbacks by selling products at such a low cost that it wasn’t profitable. To paraphrase Sam Walton’s gut instinct, “If I offer the lowest prices, I’ll eventually generate the highest volume.” Obviously, this paid off. 

Flash forward to today. Do you think that the executives at Walmart are making their decisions based on gut instinct alone? While they certainly rely on human intelligence, they more importantly rely on swathes of customer data, sales figures, production trends, material costs, and countless other data points. 

While you won’t necessarily have billions of dollars to throw into an R&D department, you do have the option to utilize business management software to help guide you to better, more data-driven decisions.

6. When You Need To Pay More Attention To Customer Relationships

Reaching potential customers is hard, conversions are even harder, and retaining a regular customer base is the hardest of all. It’s easy to get excited about customers arriving en masse. But in reality, is your sales and administrative staff logistically prepared to handle a large influx of customers?

Gears and Customer Relationship Mechanism

One of the biggest benefits that business management software can offer a growing company is the ability to automate parts of the sales funnel. The human touch is still crucially important to the process, make no mistake—that’s exactly why it’s crucial to adopt automation technology.

Automating email campaigns, customer surveys, and the inputting of sales data within your system will allow the people within your business to direct more human attention to the people deciding to purchase your product or service, not to the back-office work done behind the scenes. 

7. When You Need Data Redundancy

With many staff members across all industries routinely working remotely, data security has taken on an increased level of importance. Hopefully, even if your business’ files are stored on a local hard drive, you have some sort of data protection and/or backups in place.

If this isn’t the case, or your backups are located on scattered flash drives and external hard drives, it may be time to invest in the cloud-powered data redundancy technology that business management software offers. 

Cloud storage is the safest way to back up your most precious data and documents. Decentralized across multiple servers and protected by world-class encryption technology, your data will be actively protected by security professionals.

In a 2021 study led by IBM, the average cost of a small business data breach for companies with less than 500 employees was $2.8 million dollars. Needless to say, this is a cost small businesses simply cannot afford.

8. When Your Employees Are Burnt Out

Work-related stress is going to happen with or without business management software. That’s just a fact of life. Meeting project deadlines and landing a big customer may always be stress-inducing events, but the methods by which those goals are accomplished don’t always have to be stressful.

Issues like missing documents, faulty financial data, and communication breakdowns don’t have to add stress to an already stressful professional workload. If your employees have voiced any of these concerns—or if you’ve felt them personally—take that as a sign to explore some business management software solutions.

business management hr software striven

9. When Compliance Measures Take On Increased Importance

Whether it’s meeting OSHA requirements, getting documents ready for tax season, or just maintaining general legal compliance throughout your operations, it’s financially and fiscally prudent to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping things organized. 

Having trouble locating this data, let alone losing it outright, can cost you and your business in both the short and long term.

If your business is able to keep this data centralized and easily accessible to all necessary parties, you’ll be able to find information and make updates quickly without having to delay any contracts, miss tax deadlines, or lose any customers.

10. When You’re Spending Too Much On Technology

There will always be some costs that will be unavoidable. Computers eventually get old, cables eventually fray, and interns eventually spill a pot of coffee all over the keyboard. It happens.

Businessperson's hand holding tray with big pile of money

What doesn’t have to happen is the large-scale purchasing of equipment such as servers and software on a routine basis. Sure, software upgrades always occur no matter the type of software you’re working with, but it doesn’t always have to come in the form of a massive expenditure.

Most business management software bills on a monthly basis, with software routinely being upgraded on a monthly or quarterly basis. When it comes to expensive servers, you can cut them out entirely. Powered by the cloud, the cost of maintaining servers falls on the service provider, not you.

Where To Find Reliable Information

Finding reliable information is one of the most challenging things about today’s hyper-digitalized society. When it comes to making big business decisions, it’s important to act off of smart and reliable information.

Beyond the basic subscription costs and features, it’s important to dig into some of the finer details about the software you select to manage your business operations. Onboarding, implementation, and training costs, customer support packages, and verified user testimonials are just some of the pieces of information to consider throughout your search. 

Fortunately, there are trustworthy websites dedicated to helping businesses like yours make the smartest decisions possible. When it comes to your business, you can’t be too thorough.

G2 is an industry leader in all things software—they’ve compiled over 1.5 million authentic software reviews for ERPs, video conferencing solutions, eCommerce platforms, and much more.

Their goal is to help businesses make better decisions about technology. You can break down the pros and cons of each software listed on their site as well as compare prices and features between various software solutions.

One of the greatest advantages that G2 offers is the way that it displays its user reviews. Users are asked about the pros, cons, and overall “whys” for each respective software title, and users also list the type of business they represent, what industry they serve, and how many employees are in their organization. 

For example, there could be lots of glowing reviews about a software solution that primarily services large-scale manufacturing companies. While this software is great, it may not be great for your business, which, for example, could be a small catering company with 20 employees. Knowing the specifics of the businesses behind the reviews makes all the difference.

Capterra is another industry-leading software review website that has compiled over 1.5 million verified reviews in over 800 software categories. 

Their mission is to list every software product on the market so that every business can adequately search for its perfect software match. Founded in 1999, they’ve always been one of the leading free resources for software reviews.

Capterra breaks down its user reviews into an intuitive format. It asks users about the pros and cons of each software product while gathering a 1 thru 5-star rating in 5 categories—overall rating, ease of use, customer service, features, and value for money. It also lists a “likelihood To recommend” category that’s based on a 1 thru 10 scale.

Another great feature that Capterra offers is the ability to see what software alternatives users considered before settling upon their final choice, and what software they had previously switched from. With so many solutions available, it’s very helpful to have this firsthand knowledge.

Custom Demos

When it comes to software, the best way to see if it’ll work for you is always to try it yourself. Fortunately, that doesn’t require diving headfirst into a contractual commitment.

Most reputable software companies will offer you a free, custom demo of their software. It’s important to know that certain specificities within your operations can be accounted for. 

Business management software demo

For example, accounting software that doesn’t offer the ability to translate financial metrics into Canadian dollars may not be a good fit for your manufacturing business that has several clients in Canada. Or, if your business works on government contracts, you’d want to make sure that certain data can not be viewed by certain users within the system.

Even if your business is a somewhat run-of-the-mill operation, getting a demo of the software is a great way to ensure that the user experience, onboarding processes, and data management tools are up to far for the requirements you set forth.

How To Pick The Right Fit For Your Business

So far we’ve covered when it’s time to start looking for business management software solutions and where to find the best information. Now, it’s time to explore how your business can pick the software that’s the “right fit.”

“Right fit” is a somewhat ambiguous term. It means different things for different businesses, even within the same industry. To put it another way, finding the right software fit is a lot like exploring the dating world. 

Don’t judge a book by its cover, ask the right questions, and steer clear of red flags. It’s also important not to compromise what you want. Just like in the often chaotic, yet often wonderful world of dating, there are some general guidelines to keep in mind. But don’t forget, the right matches rarely fit inside of a broadly definable box—they require you to decide what you want and to make it happen.

Accounting Needs Accounted For

We’ll start with accounting because, well, it’s always about the money. It’s certainly not the only facet of software that’s important, but it’s something that’s universal among all businesses. And quite frankly, some software solutions do it better than others.

small business accounting software

Strong reporting functionality, connectivity to the cloud, and automation capabilities are some of the “must-have” boxes that need to be checked off for competitive, modern business management software.

It’s also important to have a system that can be easily accessed by your customers and vendors. This way customers can pay invoices online, vendors can submit purchase orders and submit bills, and a full record of all transaction history can be pulled up with a click.

In today’s professional environment, it pays to utilize the best technology available—businesses that use cloud accounting software acquire five times more customers than businesses that don’t. Five times! Not only do the automation capabilities that come along with cloud accounting software reduce costs and increase efficiency, but customers will also feel better about trusting a company that trusts the best software on the market.

Project and Task Management Is A Breeze

At the end of the day, what does your work boil down to? The small tasks and projects that comprise the larger work that you do year after year. As a business owner, your job is to keep the big picture in clear view while still maintaining a firm grasp of what needs to be done on a granular basis. 

With the right project management software, you’ll be able to do just that. It’s more than just assigning tasks and responsibilities, it’s about assigning the right people to the right jobs, keeping customers in the loop, and managing changes on the fly.

The best way to manage projects is by utilizing a microscope that can adjust from a wide-ranging, zoomed-out point of view to a hyper-specific, zoomed-in view and everywhere in between. Obviously, this is a metaphor for being able to manage both the big picture and granular details (unless you’re a scientist or something, then you can take this literally.)

Right now, only 22% of businesses take advantage of project management software despite the fact that 77% of high-performing projects undertaken by businesses put project management software to use. Project management capabilities are one of the many ways that business management software can keep your business ahead of the curve.

Top Notch Customer Support

Even high-performing software is only as good as the people behind it. It’s a lot like the food service industry—a restaurant could have the tastiest menu in the world, but if your waiter screws up your order and brings out a cold plate of food, it’s hard to say that this restaurant delivers upon its potential. 

Business management software falls under the same ideological umbrella. The system could be top-notch from a technical perspective, but if the customer service and implementation teams do not properly assist your business in unlocking its full value, then it isn’t likely to be the best fit.

five customer service people providing outstanding software support

Even in our tech-centric world, it still takes a proper human touch for a business to succeed using a business management software solution. Every business is unique—developing a relationship with the people behind the software to make sure that the software accommodates your needs is a crucial aspect of success.

All-in-all, customer service and support is crucial. 90% of Americans take customer service into account when deciding whether or not to do business with a company, and 89% of customers are more likely to make another purchase if they have a positive experience.

Wrapping Up

Making decisions—especially large financial decisions that affect your entire business—is never easy. There are so many variables to take into account. And once you’ve taken all of those variables into account, you’ll find even more to consider. 

At the end of the day, it comes down to knowing what your business wants and needs and conducting a thorough research process to seek out solutions that accomplish your goals. Business management software is never a one-size-fits-all solution for every business, but with the right tools, you can find the one that fits you and your business.