Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What to do when your business outgrows spreadsheets

If you are like most businesses, you track some of your data in spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are easy and flexible, but they have one major limitation: they can only be worked on by one user at a time. Many businesses start by tracking customer records, daily activities and other data in spreadsheets but what do they do when they start having more people that need to access them at the same time?

One solution is to use pre-made software. For instance, if you wanted to keep track of your contact’s information, you could use contact management software such as LogicBright CRM. This would allow you to keep track of all your contact’s information in one centralized place where all your employees have access to the same set up data.

But what happens when your spreadsheets are specific to your workflow and boxed software just won’t cut it? Having a software custom written for your business, may not be as hard, or expensive, as you think. Many small businesses utilize custom software to automate repetitive tasks or assist with reporting.

To get custom software solutions developed for your business first ask yourself the following questions:

1)Are there time consuming daily tasks that could be automated?
2)Is my business relying on spreadsheets for day-to-day operations?
3)Would real-time reporting help my business?

If you answered yes to any of these things then you may want to find a custom software vendor by looking for website development firms.

Finding the right vendor

Many web design firms do only website design and they do not have extensive experience programming complex business applications. So make sure you choose a vendor that has the appropriate experience.

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