To a small business entrepreneur, work means juggling a never-ending series of moving parts. Work means keeping track of vendors, managing employees, dealing with unsatisfied customers, and maintaining their books. It means marketing their product and making sure that they are bringing in enough each month to hit their targets. It means having their employees look to them for all of the answers.
So who do small business entrepreneurs look to for answers?
There are thousands of tools out there to help people run their businesses . But do business owners really need more tools? The next generation of software aims to solve problems for business owners instead of just giving them tools.
Solutions, Not Tools Are the Next Generation of Software
Software-with-a-service, sometimes called “end-to-end” solutions, provide businesses with solutions to their problems, instead of tools to help them try to solve their problems. They don’t just hand over a software to a business with a subscription price .They take a step out of the equation and complete the process for them.
These solutions allow business owners to do what they do best — manage and run their business — instead of the process-oriented things that they have to do. Professionals will do these things better, and allow business owners to do a better job of running their business.
So end-to-end solutions can free up the time and energy of business owners, but aside from that, what value does an end-to-end solution really provide? A business will run more efficiently, but is it necessary?
Actually, it is.
As one example, 46% of small businesses fail because of poor financial bookkeeping. Something so integral to the success of a small business should be in the hands of professionals who have one job: keeping your books accurate, up-to-date, and insightful. Full- time bookkeepers handle your books while you build your business. The more business processes small business entrepreneurs can take off their plates, the more likely they are to thrive.
Too Much Software, Too Little Expertise
Navigating the ocean of business-to-business SaaS companies is a fact of life for business owners and managers. With so many choices, it can be an overwhelming process to choose the right software for their business — add to that the learning curve of actually using the software, and they have quite a task on their hands. Most business owners don’t have time to do this properly, so they make use of the software just enough to get by.
Sure, they could get on the phone with the company, taking time out of their day to learn how to use the software optimally, but they are also running a business. Their time is valuable, and learning how to optimize their management software is just not at the top of their to-do list.
These businesses need someone to run this software for them. Someone highly trained in the trade and the software. Someone who can not only help them run their business, but take this off their to-do list entirely.
Small business owners need solutions, not tools, and the next generation of software is here to do it for them.
Software is Eating the World
Businesses today — both small businesses and enterprise corporations — are reliant on software for key operations in their business. In 2011, Marc Andreessen famously wrote in the Wall Street Journal that software is “eating the world,” meaning that almost all industries have been and are being transformed by software, and that software is soon going to become a cornerstone of the global economy.
Those words are taken as gospel as using software becomes a non-negotiable part of running a business. Software is used for taking payments and performing marketing, sales, and logistics operations in almost any industry. Running a salon? Software helps clients book appointments and pay for services. Have a business facing company? CRM software helps you track your customers. Have a chain of grocery stores? Software helps with supply chain and tracking employees.
Software has changed the landscape of business today, period.
The rise of the Software-as-a-Service company illustrates this trend. According to data collected and analyzed by Forrester, the cloud computing market has projected growth from $58 billion in 2013 to more than $191 billion by the year 2020. There are thousands of SaaS companies providing software to a variety of businesses, and that number is increasing every day.
SaaS companies create tools for companies and entrepreneurs that aim to make software that is user friendly. These help simplify tasks involved in running a business like HR, payment processing, and bookkeeping, management and scheduling. This has ultimately benefited businesses, but that doesn’t mean the software industry has seen its best products yet. Software-with-a-service will change the way software companies serve small business entrepreneurs for the better.