A business consultant is someone who gives expert advice. Businesses will hire consultants to help them understand problems that the company doesn’t have the skill or experience to solve. The consultant will often create a plan and lay out the steps to be executed to achieve success. The business then isis responsible for executing the plan, sometimes with the consultant’s help, but often after the consultant has moved on to the next job.
A well-written piece of software can act as both a consultant and an execution aid. If the processes within the software are well thought out, the users can learn best practices from the software. An example of this is how your accounting software might lay out the purchase order, invoice receipt, and payment process. If you are a small business, you may learn valuable lessons from how you are required to enter the data.
To make the most of what your software can teach:
- Ask yourself why the developers would design the software this way. Assume that they wrote the software to satisfy someone else’s needs. Understand what that need was and learn from it.
- Choose software that has the same approach and opinion to business as you do. We know that software is an opinion, so don’t expect every piece of software to do the work as you do. If you are a process-oriented business, don’t choose software that only operates in a non-centralized, un-connected environment.
- Think about whether changing your processes to fit the software would make you better or worse. You shouldn’t change your business model or strategy simply because the software doesn’t do what you want it to. But too often people fight against software because it doesn’t fit their model perfectly. If you choose to leverage the software as-is, you might find that you don’t have to change your business model, AND you benefit from efficient software.
Let your software structure guide your business. You shouldn’t be a slave to the software in a way that makes you change your business, but you can start by taking advantage of what the software can teach you.