Making big business software decisions

Choosing an email service provider or accounts package can seem like a big decision, and you might feel that you have to get it right first time. It’s tempting to think that you need to have your complete ‘back office system’ set up before you start your business in order to be seen as offering a professional service. That’s great in theory, but it is not realistic in practice.

You won’t know what works for you until you try it out. As well as meeting customer needs, you need to work out what you like and don’t like to support your business. As an example, I’ve used Sage, Quickbooks, Freeagent and a simple excel spreadsheet to keep track of business finances at different stages. I’ve used Constant Contact, Aweber, 1shoppingcart and Mailchimp for different aspects of business communication. I know lots more than I did when I first picked a business back up system and have different needs now compared to back then. Be prepared for your business back office to evolve.

DO have plans for how you will look after your customers, communicate with them, handle your business finances etc. When you need to choose new software, write down a list of what you need, and get advice from technical experts and specialists. But DON’T let the fact that your back office system isn’t perfect stop you from making progress. Be prepared to adapt as your business grows and you’ll develop the system that is right for you and your clients.

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