You’re listening to The Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast. A podcast designed to help retailers, restauranteurs, and entrepreneurs simplify business operations, and use modern technology to elevate their business. Here’s your host, Dhiren Bhatia.
Hello, hello, and a very big welcome to The Elevated Entrepreneur Podcast. My name is Dhiren Bhatia, and I’m your host, and also the founder of Cloudscape here in Dubai. I’m here on a mission to help you simplify your business process, grow your profit, and connect you to the wide community of other entrepreneurs who are running successful businesses through this podcast. Today’s episode is going to be talking about how and why you should choose a cloud based software. This is something that I get asked very often, and I’d like to share some knowledge with you guys, so that it helps you make the right decision. So I’m going to present to you four questions that you should ask yourself and your team before you commit to any system for your business. And as we all know, the right cloud based system can be a game changer for your business.
And today’s online programs are so powerful that they can manage every single aspect, not only of your sales, but also the other aspects, the accounting, the HR, the inventory. And many of these systems can integrate with each other, so that they can handle all of this seamlessly, and you can have a better customer experience. And all of this is obviously super secure, and super easy to use. But, all of this functionality can also make committing to the wrong POS, to the wrong software, an expensive mistake.
Onboarding for any software takes time and energy regardless of how user friendly the system is. You need to learn how to set it up properly, train your staff and how to use it. Then create internal procedures and processes around its use, and then finally, customize it for your business needs.
That all takes time, and then distracts you from your main operations. And then of course, there are the cash costs for the software systems, and all the hardware that you need to buy, that go with these software systems. And most businesses end up overpaying for their software because they fail to set it up properly, or they underestimated the additional costs involved. So, to make sure that you don’t make that same mistake, here are the four questions that you need to ask yourself or your team. Number one, will it accommodate my business growth. Most businesses have plans to grow in some way, whether it’s physically expand to new locations, or simply grow their customer base, even open an online store in the near future. In fact, you may already be searching for a system that is specifically going to help you grow. And most cloud based systems offer unique advantages for scalability, especially compared to traditional systems.
By which I mean, traditional ones that you install in a server somewhere in your IT room. Administrators of systems that are online can easily see data from all locations and registers in real time, all in one place. And that’s an undeniable advantage for business leaders managing growing companies. If you’re already looking for a POS system, you know how consuming it can be to comb through all the features and benefits of online programs and softwares to find the best fit for your company. Imagine your frustration if your business were to actually start hitting your growth goals, and your system just couldn’t accommodate that growth. You’d have to start the search for a system all over again, scrapping many of your established procedures, and wasting hours in the process.
So, think to the future. Where do you expect your company to be in two, three, and five years? Do you want to have additional locations, staff, or a customer load that will make your current system difficult to use? Do you have plans to grow online? Do you want to start selling them both online and in store? Keep these goals in mind when you evaluate your software options. Second question that you need to ask yourself, what kind of hardware do my systems require? Cloud based systems as I’ve mentioned, are really easy to use, but they can present a significant change from traditional hardware, that come with software installed usually, and also the best cloud based systems tend to work with a variety of equipment. There may be some limitations on hardware.
So before you buy, make sure you understand the systems requirement for the platform, is it Mac, is it PC, is it iPad, or is it a combination. And also, what other requirements are needed in terms of printers, scanners, barcode generators, gas drawers, and so on, and so forth. And depending on the store’s needs, you may choose to invest in additional accessories, such as tablets, stands, wall mounts, so on, and so forth. And hardware costs I’ve seen can sometimes be a deal breaker for smaller businesses that just need a few registers, but bigger operations will need to play much of a closer attention. Going into a purchase with a clear understanding of what’s required will save you a lot of headache in the future. Great.
Now the third question, what does the software do and does it work for companies like mine? So web based systems are gaining popularity with all kinds of businesses, new programs are popping up to meet growing demand and existing programs are trying to compete by adding more features. And with these market conditions, software companies are fighting to establish dominance in specific industries. Although it’s not essential that your software has industry specific features, Benefits of a well established, industry specific program are hard to ignore. Companies that cater to your industry are more likely to understand the issues your company is facing.
And they may also have developed specific features to address industry problems that are common to your industry. If you are speaking to a representative of that company, they should also be able to provide examples of companies that they have worked with and implemented this particular software and how it has helped them. And they should also be able to demonstrate basic understanding of your business needs before you even explain them. Again, it’s really very easy to find a great software system that doesn’t cater specifically to your industry. And any software sales team will try to find a way to make their program meet your needs. But if your company is going to be the first or the only one of its kind to use this software, the customer support for By that company all those representatives will become even more important.
And finally, the last question that you need to ask yourself or your team before you commit to buying software system. What’s the quality of customer support? As I mentioned earlier, one of the biggest non cash costs of implementing a new software system is the interruption to its business operations. And in many cases, small business owners spend a lot of their own time shopping for a software solution, which distracts them from running the company or the business. And also any transition related interruption can also cost a lot of customer goodwill, because they may not have a good experience while you’re doing the shopping process. For these reasons, businesses should look for a software system that has amazing customer support, ideally in your country or your location, or if not online, 24 by seven and I delete that support system and team should also be able to help you set up the system provide the training that you need to get the software up and running.
A good software system with a good support network can really cut down your onboarding time, and all the other related costs monetary and non monetary. If you find a program or a software that has a dedicated representative in your region, they can help you bring down the time to set up and train drastically. And it will also ensure that you’re not making mistakes in setting it up incorrectly, and then having to start all over again later down the line. It’s also less likely that you will fail to use all of the features if you have someone training you and your staff. Let me end this episode by telling you this.
One of the biggest benefits of choosing cloud based systems over traditional hardware based systems, in fact is that there is a team of professional software folks and developers that are constantly working to improve and update the product. In real time, with no effort needed on your end, but many of the systems that you are going to be looking at may not necessarily come with these options. They often have a standard support and help file and that’s it. They’re definitely better than not having anything. But for the chance of a smooth implementation, you need personal and proactive support and training. I hope this has been helpful for you. And if you have any questions, I’m always here to answer them. You can reach out to me terrain dot party at cloudscape dot A. And if I don’t hear from you, I will look forward to seeing you in the next episode. Thank you so much. Have a fantastic day ahead.
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