Avoid these 5 software costs

Avoid these 5 software costs
Avoid these 5 software costs

Last week I wrote about a proven software evaluation system to pick the right software tool for your business, be it CRM, accounting, marketing automation, PPM or any other software tool that is out there to save you money.  This week we are going to dig a bit further into some of the ways the wrong software tool can cost you.

  1. Opportunity costs – Selecting the right software tool will boost your sales, productivity and reduce costs.  The wrong software will not deliver on those results, causing you to lose out on all those money making opportunities.
  2. Business continuity – Implementing a software tool will take time.  There could be downtime in your business operations while you make the investment in the tool and implement.  You don’t want to have to pay this price more than once.
  3. Unused licenses or services – Sales people are awesome at what they do and their goal is to sell you the vision of where your organization is going.  Typically that means they will upsell you in the next pricing discount or add on services.  Make sure that you really need those additional licenses now and that the estimate to get there is realistic.
  4. Decrease in customer satisfaction – If the software helps you deliver your goods and services, and it doesn’t deliver on your requirements, the customers will notice a decrease in your performance.  Your reputation could take a hit that may not be recoverable.
  5. Re-implementation – this could be one of the worst and is a sum of all the issues listed above!  You’ve conducted a software evaluation or software trade study, selected a tool, spent money on the licenses and implementation and tons of time on the roll-out for you and your users.  You’ve spent time having the team work in the tool only to find out months down the road that it isn’t going to work.  Your career takes a hit and the organization has to go out and do it all over again!

Utilizing the proven system for software evaluation developed by the Mandrier Group to select the right software tool will help you avoid these costly situations.  Contact us today to learn more about our software evaluation process and signup to receive your free software evaluation process diagram!

How to make the case for outsourcing?

How to make the case for outsourcing?

I was recently talking with a friend about outsourcing a project for her small business and how she didn’t think it was feasible for her because of the added expense.  I think many entrepreneurs struggle with this concept, so I wanted to share a few quick thoughts on how to find the room in your budget to make the investment in your business.  Here are the top five types of tasks that will bring you a return on investment if you choose to outsource:

  1. The task is repetitive in nature and can easily be passed off to someone else. These are mostly administrative – posting blog posts to a website, updating plugins, and entering bills into the accounting system.  The tasks are the same each time.  Generally they don’t take a lot of your time on an individual basis, but when you add them all together, it can take up to 20% or more of your day.  This time is an opportunity cost at the expense of growing your business.  Outsource!
  2. The task requires expertise or equipment that you don’t possess and don’t have the time or money to acquire. I recently had a logo developed for my brand.  I have no experience in this area, nor do I have the software tools at my disposal to do it right.  I tried some online logo development sites, but the results just didn’t feel right or designed for me.  So, I outsourced and I love the final product!
  3. Your time could be better spent on higher value tasks. Let’s say you are an amazing copy writer – you’ve built a business writing copy for other people and you are very good at it.  Every hour you spend writing copy, you make $100.  Or, every hour you spend on business development is the chance to make another $1,000 on your next project. Every hour you spend paying bills is $100 minimum lost opportunity.  Outsourcing allows you to focus on building your business – the return on investment is clear.
  4. You just plain don’t like the task! Chances are, if you don’t like the task or you dread doing it, you won’t be putting your best foot forward.  You will rush, make mistakes, all which lead to more work down the road.  Outsourcing will help you enjoy your business life more and free up your time for that ever so important strategic thinking which leads to more revenue.
  5. Your key employee is out for a temporary period of time. I was recently talking with a colleague who will be going on maternity leave soon.  She was worried about how her company would cope without her there to provide top-notch customer service, solve problems, and continue to move the business forward.  I suggested outsourcing as a solution – interim executives and interim managers are a key resource for businesses faced with a temporary absence of key employees or temporary projects that require a skill set not currently available on staff and not needed in the long term.  The short term investment will ensure that your business does not remain stagnant during the period of absence.

There are many more reasons to outsource, there are books and classes on this topic, so these are just a few ideas on how to justify it.  Small businesses need to consider the return on investment they would receive if they were able to make the choice to outsource.  Finding room in the budget for one more thing is never easy, but if you commit to spending the amount of time you save on revenue generating activities instead, your investment will pay for itself.

Why your next event planner should be a project manager

According to Wikipedia, Project management is the discipline of initiating, planning, executing, controlling, and closing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria.  Yikes – so formal!  So how can something so formal translate into fun, energizing and beautiful events?

Project managers are trained professionals in the art of managing timelines, budgets, resources and risks.  They study these different areas and learn inputs, outputs and techniques for managing all these moving parts to the successful conclusion of the project.  They are creative problem solvers by nature, excellent leaders, and skilled at balancing constraints.

Project managers are always looking ahead into the future – remember that event vision, timeline and budget that you created at the beginning of your event planning process?  We project managers pour over that collateral.   It becomes our compass to ensure that your event is successful.The Big Event Special Access Ticket Pass

We also identify these things called milestones – points in time in the planning process.  Identification and management to these milestones ensure that you are planning at a smooth, organized pace and not running around while guests are pulling up.  Event planning is a marathon, not a sprint.

Using our formal training, project managers will deliver you a smooth, successful event.  We will take the stress out of the pre-event crunch.  We’ll make sure you are prepared for any situation that may arise.  And, if you are working with the Mandrier Group, we’ll make sure that we have a lot of fun too!