Thoughts on what businesses actually need from the Cloud, not what vendors wish they needed.

Chris Bliss

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One Button Business Solutions Are A Pipe Dream

Every successful small business should think big. Big goals are worth working towards, you have visions because you want to realize them, plain and simple.

Rube Goldberg Napkin

Rube Goldberg's Self-Operating Napkin

When we sit down and assess what needs work, we are want to start out with a grand big picture of what an ideal solution would do. We want orders fulfilled automatically, emails turned into tasks, tasks carried out without any work, and templates filled out automatically.

As the specific steps in a business become more clear, we begin to realize just how many little things are needed to be done everyday. We want the one button solution.

Wouldn’t it be spectacular to have a machine run your entire business, doing everything automatically! That’s what next generation business solutions sell you – passive income from an established business!

But, let’s face the facts, you can’t always get what you want.

Automated solutions that do everything for you can easily cost six figures to develop, and you’re probably familiar with many of them if you buy things on eBay, Amazon, or do online banking. And as good as some of these solutions are, none of them do everything automatically, and most are constantly being redeveloped (on big budgets) to adhere to the constant demands and changes of their customers.

The so-called perfect easy automated solutions that are advertised can create huge headaches for small businesses.  Trying to do everything in one solution is a disaster waiting to happen, or at best, a spork.

Instead of imagining the perfect solution, start with what you need first, and adopt a system that will grow and help you get to what you want in the future. For example: you’re looking for an online accounting solution to settle your time slips, invoices and estimates. This may be the perfect solution to solve your pain points now BUT, you grumble at the idea of it not integrating with your current CRM (contact relation management system).

Don’t let this be a dealbreaker. What you want right now is an easy way to deliver estimates, track time, and send invoices. As long as the accounting solution you pick has a competent API (software program’s way of talking to other programs), you can budget for integration in the future.

Furthermore, by giving you and your team time to really work with one new piece of software, you’ll have the time and focus to gather real feedback that directly applies to your business. Real case suggestions as opposed to hypothetical ones are far more valuable – you may be surprised at how many “wants” you initially had that are no longer there.

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Chris Bliss works at VM Associates, an end-user consultancy for businesses looking to move to the cloud from pre-existing legacy systems.