If you haven’t noticed by now, there’s a constant flood of new technologies and tools entering and exiting the market just as fast as they came in. Some tools handle a large scope of things, and then there are others that just handle one or two things. And, if they do their marketing right, they all claim to be the #1 in what they do and the #1 solution for you.
If you’re not careful, you’ll end up in a position that we know all too well: 30 different tools that you’ve mix-matched together to create your Frankenstein business system. This is all too familiar to many entrepreneurs; Sooner or later, you’ll have to face this ugly monster if you want to grow past a certain point.
So, how do you choose the right tools that will allow you to scale with ease and keep your business finely tuned?
The most important thing is to make sure that you have a clear and visual understanding of your business processes.
And when I say visual, I mean that quite literally. The more that you can chart your business process maps in detail, the more insight you will have when it comes to choosing the right tools and how to implement them best into your existing tech stack.
Tech Stack - This describes the combination of tools, systems, and software that your business uses for day-to-day operations and in any other capacity.
If you already have all of that done, or you think you have a clear understanding of what’s going on, you need to ask our favorite question here at Automated Dreams: Does it integrate easily with the rest of your tech stack?
This is the first barrier to choosing to add a tool (or even removing one), to your tech stack.
If your answer is along the lines of, “Not that I’m aware of, I don’t see any integrations with the tools we use. Does that matter?”
Yes it matters. In 2019, there is no excuse for a SaaS product to not integrate with your other tools. This shuts the door on you being able to have an integrated tech stack which is unacceptable and leaves you at a competitive disadvantage. So my answer to these folks is usually: Yeah, that’s going to be a hard pass on that tool then.
Some people will say, “Not easily, but they have an Open API,” and if that’s you, then the next question would be: Okay, do you have the budget for custom development?
And if you do have the budget for custom development, or have the resources in house, then go for it. But if you’re growing small business that needs to tighten down on budget and resources, this probably isn’t the best route for you.
If you think that it’s a smart idea to just push off integration to a later time when you have the money, it’s not. Business system improvement tasks are one of those crucial areas in business that so many people push to the back burner for when it is a more convenient time.
And if you’re quickly growing, often times that “good time” never comes up, and what you have a year or more down the line is an even bigger mess to untangle and deal with.
Is to evaluate if this tool has overlapping functionalities with another tool that you currently have.
A good example is your email marketing system and CRM. We have some clients that come to us for Ontraport help and consulting, and we find out that they are also using an email marketing tool outside of it. Ontraport is an “all-in-one CRM marketing system” and email marketing is one of the things it does best. Some people will go to it for the landing page functionality or as a shopping cart and then totally forget that they are paying for so much more than that.
What we usually end up consulting these types of clients to do is drop their email marketing systems and start utilizing more functionalities in their CRM that they’re already paying for. Some other niched systems they may end up dropping are SMS, Shopping Cart, UTM Link Building, and Landing Page builders.
Less systems = greater operational clarity & cost savings
Less is only more when you choose the right tools!
So think about this last piece before adding in another tool - are you just increasing your overhead and operational cloudiness to add in another tool that is not solving an unmet need?
So many companies are hesitant in taking the first step toward selecting & optimizing their tech tools, software, & business systems and find it hard to bring in external support to do things right from the get-go.
If you think it's time to get your business systems in order, and you know that you need help from an expert, schedule a free call with one of our Business Process Consultants to kick off this new journey.