Software Selection and Recommendation
The Purpose of Business Management Tools
Managing business can be overwhelming, especially when we have so many options for applications to help us manage our business. Finding the right software for my business was not about a perfect application or applications because there is no such system. Yet you will rarely find a system, including very expensive systems, that will have every feature. These systems often have to be combined with other applications to create what we call an ecosystem.
An ecosystem helps you to operate from "home base" a central point or command hub. A system that helps to connect and manage other applications. Now keeping in mind that the more applications we mix with other applications we risk security and efficiency. Rushing a developer to create connections to third party applications without giving the time to test properly and secure the applications makes the apps shaky. I have seen this happen so I wanted a system that I can work with different applications that I could test each application and learn how to use the applications features before trying to combine that with another applications. I know this is a hard truth but most people do not learn about the full potential of their current software before jumping to another application. Since app jumping costs time and money you will benefit from learning the full potential of your current applications.
Application jumping is switching applications for various reasons but most people switch after the introductory or trial period is up to avoid paying for the applications. Others do not understand we have to develop routines and processes outside the applications and then search for applications that will help us to complete our routines and processes. Instead most people skip learning full processes to "keep it simple" and falsely believe the applications will do it all. Your applications are only as good as your routines and then the actions that you take.
The use of applications also takes training and involves a learning curve. I have seen some people only look at something for 15 minutes and then write it off. I have seen many hidden gems in applications that I watched and worked with and yes I paid for applications past the trial period so I could get this feel. Some applications may not be a good fit in the beginning but after giving it time to develop an application can be the best fit for the current season. I am not saying we can not change because when we have attempted to make the application work and we fully understand the features if something else is a better fit it is time to change. But today most people think it is instant and are price hunters. Interestingly this causes them to spend more money and waste more time in the long run.
Learn more about the Zoho ecosystem. Begin with this introduction: accounting-and-business-process-optimization-part-1
A benefit of using accounting software is faster more accurate reporting. As well as history for comparison for better navigation.
When considering business management systems I recommend listing what you need. I created time during the year that I can step back and look at things and determine what I need to eliminate. Anything that is not profitable has to go even if I enjoy the work because of the negative or low profit it will bring down my business. I have learned to pour more into things that are profitable to grow and sustain. What I offer for sale will depend on my system needs. I create and review business processes and that will give me what I need to determine the applications that I can work with that will help me to best run my business. I have found this over the last 6 years of testing an monitoring process that the Zoho Applications, not all of them, but I have found the ones that help me best carry out certain services and management for my business and at an affordable price. I like the systems that grow with me over time and I can mix and match applications that are meant to work together. But they will also work well with other third party applications. A third party application is one that works outside of Zoho. So I will list the applications I like on my blogs.
Accounting Software is the Heart of Business
First and foremost of course will be Zoho Books because I am an accountant first. Your accounting application needs to be separate from your CRM because using your books to manage your business will not work. What is your CRM? Customer Relations Manager. I will talk more about this in this blog:
I want to introduce you to Zoho Books. You can access a free trial.
I am a Zoho Partner as in a Zoho Accounting Advisor not a business partner. Yes, of course I earn commission from the referrals. If you tag me in my store I am able to help you with licensing and price recommendations for the Zoho Software include other applications like Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, Zoho Forms, Zoho Sign. I do not recommend applications based on earning a commission. I am recommending the Zoho Ecosystem for the applications that I am familiar with using. I recommend what is best for you so I will not recommend Zoho if I know another application will work better for you. My goal is to help you best manage your business. I am however going to share what I know about Zoho and how it has help me walk out my business vision and processes for better optimization. I can also work with you to determine the best licensing options for you depending on your needs.
Zoho expense is another helpful application when proper setup is set in to place. Zoho expense is not a substitute for your accountant software. Zoho expense is to be used in conjunction with an application such as Zoho Books. Zoho expense is not for bills. Zoho expense is best for bulk upload and scanning without having to purchase additional addon. Zoho books requires an additional scan purchase. However you can still email your receipts into the application without auto scan when using Zoho Books. When using Zoho Expense you can email your receipts or bulk upload. The first upload will take the longest and will require the most work for setup. The mobile application is also great for those on the go. You can use Zoho Expense individually or with Zoho Books. If you purchase Zoho Book you can use Zoho Expense for free with limitations of course. However this application is very affordable.