I came across an infographic in my LinkedIn feed a while back, the busyness of logos caught my eye. For several reasons it caused me to pause but mostly because working in the small business IT world, I am always looking to arm myself with good solutions, it comes expected of me.
Tech guys love being asked, “Have you ever heard of …” fill in the blank with the latest solution name. There are so many solutions and with SAAS (software as a service) and cloud solutions becoming the standard and the norm, there seems to be a new solution/product every week.
That little graphic just reinforces this idea as I didn’t recognize half of them. The focus was on 12 or so legal solutions that apply to that field, according to its creator and there are way more, of course, depending on how broad you wish to make it.
Ok, get to your point Rob.
My point is: in a flooded market how does one choose a solution to take care of a business need? Investing or not investing in good small business IT solutions is not the question anymore, that is not if you want to succeed in running said business. So, how do we find the right one? There are many points to focus on that make a SAAS solution good, but for today’s conversation, let us look at niche solutions or industry-focused solutions.
I think so many of us fall in the trap of the Jack of all Trades route, well because, we are cheap with our time and our money. Get off the wallet man! This is the business we are talking about. Do you use the same filter in your car for oil and air? That leather cleaner better not be used on that vinyl dash, right? Or are you picking up the toilet brush to clean the sink? … have I made my point yet? What you save in a “one thing does all” type solution, you lose in business refinement.
A Jack of all Trades is an expert in none. Plain and simple, we’ve all heard it a million times. Are we trying to be par for the course or are we trying to compete to be the best?
Jack of all Trades solution providers do not care about your industry, just about their solution. They are not watching your industry standards, as they are trying to be relevant to all industries. This means they are not partnering with you in your industries groups and changing to conform to new standards and ways of doing business. They are not trying to find new ways to further your business, make it better, or be more competitive.
Compare this to a “niche” solution that has all their eggs in one basket and thus they want to make sure that basket better is the best darn basket possible, right? The same can be said about the support staff and account reps of these solutions. Niche staffs are going to be tailored to support companies like yours they are going to know the small business IT world of your industry.
…I like knowing that everything works together within one solution. My friend, that is what integrations are made to do. We love the “one-stop-shop” logic, but how did we get to a point thinking we could buy our cat food and athletic socks all on the same site and show up in the same box? Integrations between solutions can accomplish what you are looking for in the “do it all” solution and do it better, much better.
Why? Let us go back to the car filter example because the toilet brush one was too crude. Let us state some obvious stuff here. The two filters are built differently, with varied materials, and design for different outcomes. Now, they both have some similarities, flow, and filtration, but still very different. Together they make a healthy engine. When you cram a business support need and bookkeeping need together you may get an all-in-one box solution, but neither will be an expert in their fields.
With integrations, you get two powerful products that are designed to be experts in their fields. Now integrations take some work, in that you must research both solutions, determine if there is an integration between the two, and will the flow of information from one to the other provides the communication that you need.
You are right, it is double the work and I am not going to sugarcoat that, but brothers and sisters it is worth it! The work will pay dividends in the future. Plus, if one solution starts to fade in the future it does not require you to leave the other.
So, the niche is more work up front, ok we said it aloud so we can own it and move on, but it is our business we are talking about… So, it is worth it…? For our clients, we come alongside a virtual CIO/CTO, some of this discovery does take a technical mind. With that said, knowing the end goal is our client’s job and we direct the small business IT solutions to reach it. What is their business needs improvement, needs to be able to grow or scale, or simply make smoother?
Do not let a SaaS or software solution hold you back. If what you are using now is not making your company better, it is time to switch. Every day, you open that program or log in to that website, but if you are not doing it knowing you are improving your business, it is time to switch. If you ever need help brainstorming through what that looks like. Give us a shout!
At Computer Systems Plus, we help Small Businesses put together that right outfit for a sharp night out on the town, or to pitch that sales opportunity and knock it out of the park. You already know my answer on that one size fit all solution, right? Let us leave those sweatpants for the couch and Netflix nights!
Computer Systems Plus – A 37-year-old IT solutions provider, creating smart, stable, and secure IT ecosystems that successfully support the lives and business of our clients through education, quality solutions, and dedicated loyal services.