Making business choices: Software and beyond

Stop. Pause. Think.

25th June 2019

My mother used to say ‘Do you really need it?  Is it really necessary? Is it worth the money?’  Of course as a young teenager, I used to completely ignore her advice, and happily fell into the trap of the bad hair dyes, the high fashion cheap and uncomfortable toe pinching shoes from the market, and who could ever forget those dodgy boy band posters… 

But as I’ve grown older, with kids of my own, I’ve realised the common sense of those words – and have refined it to a phrase that suits me better – ‘Stop.Pause.Think.’   It is essentially taking a breath and counting to three- but these action words, word your actions.  Stop the urge to purchase. Pause in order to clear your brain and reinstall objectivity. Think about the purchase from a dispassionate viewpoint – how does it compare to others in its league, what does it offer you, and so on.  It’s doing this that has allowed me to see past the dry rot in a house, choose a school for my child and help set up my own business.

Image: Logan Fisher Upsplash

Image: Logan Fisher Upsplash

Time and again I meet innovative business owners who simply don’t know where to start in terms of data and what software to use.  More often than not, they have either inherited existing software within the company, or if it is their own enterprise, they have chosen the system software that was appropriate to the business at the time in terms of function and budget available. 

There is, I stress, nothing wrong with either.  But if they had approached it from a ‘Stop. Pause. Think’  perspective then they may have had the foresight to purchase differently.  In a Business of Evidence analysis produced for the Market Research Society by PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2016 data analytics exhibited a 350% growth in the four years since the last survey was commissioned in 2012. And more recent research has shown that brands and companies that integrate advanced digital technologies are seeing a 6-10% increase in revenue, two to three times faster than those who don’t.    

So it is really worth choosing your system software with not only the ‘now’ in mind, but also the ‘future’ – buying the wrong software and then having to start over later on could be costly when you are busier, more productive, and have both staff and customer generated data to deal with.

A good CRM system, for example, can provide team information, customer information, figures, targets and aims and business information.  And each shelf bought package comes with benefits and downsides. Salesforce is great for reporting but is not so easy to use as Insightly, which in turn sinks on customisability. Apptivo is great for tracking small business growth but is hard to set up, where HubSpot is fabulous to install and go, but lacks a variety in features, and so on. 

As I said in my last post, Big is not always Beautiful.  What works for one company may not be right for you. Choose the right software system for you, by considering these points.

  • Look for free trials, talk to the experts such as data consultancy, read reviews- is it upgradeable, cost effective, easy to set up, easy to maintain- get the ‘buy in’ and opinions of your  staff. 

  • Can the software grow with the company – will it still be able to provide a seamless customer journey, or will it need an overhaul?

  •  Find a professional company that can help you – or indeed tailor or create a software that will grow with your business.   

Stop.Pause.Think.   It will do you good in the long run.


Sarbani Bose is Managing Director of ei² niche consulting for #data #insights #performance