Dec 19, 2018 by Matt Dixon
Small businesses without updated technology spend about 23% of their workdays completing manual processes like data entry. That's a ton of wasted time!
As a business owner today, you're going to reach a point where you need to enlist the services of a software professional in order to keep your doors open.
This should come as no surprise considering technology is at the forefront of small businesses and large corporations alike. There simply is no way to compete without making regular updates to your website and other keen components of your operation.
Fortunately, there's a software consultant somewhere waiting to take on your project. But what exactly does this job entail and do you really need them?
This article will list answers to those questions and many more, so keep reading.
Software consultants meet with business owners to learn about their day-to-day needs and goals. From that initial meeting, they are usually able to set up a customized software solutions plan that caters to your specific business.
Since every business is online these days, a huge part of a software consultants' job is to help with establishing and maintaining your online presence. The work they will do depends on what your company currently looks like online.
Your software consultants' job can include helping design your website, mobile app, or e-commerce system. As well as resolving issues they may arise with technical quality and system updates.
It's important to keep in mind that the job of a software consultant doesn't end when they've set you up with a new website or system update. Part of this job is sticking around for continued maintenance as well.
So, it's best to think of them as a person who can handle a wide range of tasks that relate creating online solutions for your business.
There are plenty of things you should consider before you hire anyone to do a job for you. For instance, you have to see if there's room in your budget for their fees or if the person understands your vision.
More importantly, you have to decide whether they will truly benefit your business. Here are some benefits of hiring a software consultant that will help you make the ultimate decision:
After discussing your business needs and goals with a software consultant, they are able to set up a strategy to help you get there as soon as possible. But doing a great amount of planning is just as important.
While you might be worried more about the present time, they will always keep your long-term needs and the big picture on their mind as well.
Additionally, they can assist with prioritizing your business needs versus your wants based on important factors like the customer base you're targeting to use your website.
Technology is everchanging and if yours isn't up to date with what your competitors are doing, your profits can easily fall behind. This is where a great software consultant can save you money while also helping you make more.
They also know that although technology is important, the people using it are important too. The new technologies your software consultant will introduce to your business is designed to improve the way you work.
And don't worry if you or members of your staff aren't exceptionally technical. Training is often part of a software consultant's services for this very reason.
As a business owner, you are probably already wearing multiple hats. And if IT isn't your core business, it's easy to spend too much time on it which can take away from things that need more of your attention.
Your consultant will give you the opportunity to improve your focus on business operations. In the meantime, they are doing the work that helps you in their areas of expertise, such as risk management, business processes, organization change, and IT.
If you're in need of a major software change like one that switches your platform or adds functionality to your existing one, the process can be slow and time-consuming. However, software consultants have proven procedures that assist with speeding things up.
They also keep you from having to deal with things like project management and communication with other parties.
Your company's technology and its reputation are closely related. So, you need to make sure that the consultant who is handling those important factors are qualified to do so.
These are some factors you should consider during the interviewing and hiring processes:
If you need someone to build web applications for you, the software consultant who specializes in inventory tracking for brick and mortar stores won't be a good fit.
Make sure the person you hire is familiar with your industry, the trends within it, and the specific types of services you need. And because they will spend large amounts of time working with you and possibly other members of your staff, they should fit well into your company's culture.
You shouldn't ever feel awkward about asking for proof of a person's experience. Requesting references who are past clients is an excellent start.
Before you spend any money, you should feel comfortable knowing that you are putting it in the right place.
Communication is going to play a major role in your relationship with your software consultant. For starters, you want to make sure you are working with someone who can break down all of their complicated technical procedures into terms you will understand if you don't have a similar background.
This should never include belittling you or using large amounts of technical jargon.
Additionally, your consultant should also be able to explain why they are doing certain things and how their actions are benefiting you. Nothing should ever be done without your authorization or knowledge.
Hiring a software consultant is a cost-effective way to keep your business technology up to date while helping you reach your long-term business goals. These professionals bring so much value to a business that they can be the difference between the business failing or succeeding.
For more information about how our professionals can help you, contact us today!
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