If you are blocked because your day-to-day work is already taking up 150% of your time, I will tell you how you can free up that valuable time to continue growing your business.
You probably use computer applications in your business.
Before registering with the tax authorities, every entrepreneur already has email, WhatsApp, an online calendar, contact management, …
All this is already included in your smartphone.
A spreadsheet to record important numbers.
Some system to keep notes, and share them if there is a team.
And, from there, you add pieces.
- A CRM to manage your customers.
- A website so they can find you online.
- Maybe an e-commerce if you have to sell online.
- Or applications to process sales and purchases.
- Invoice folders to share with your accountant.
- Hidden folders with private and sacred data for human resources management.
- Mailing systems to send newsletters.
- Booking systems for your holiday home or your coaching hours.
- And many, many others.
Nowadays, there are applications for (almost) everything.
So little by little, piece by piece, you build a software system.
Which, you assume, will simplify your life. It will reduce your workload and make it easier for you to attract more clients, sell more and be able to leave work on time to go and play paddle tennis with your friends.
Until one day you walk into the office, and you see piles of papers on all the desks.
You open your email program, and you have hundreds of emails to read (and, supposedly, answer… someday).
You see that your co-workers have hundreds of icons on their desktops. Don’t even think about having to look for an important document if that colleague is on holiday.
And you get a call from a potential new client asking for the contract to be signed. And it turns out that it hasn’t been sent yet because the person who has to do it is preparing the information for the quarterly tax return and still has three working days to finish it.
Maybe that’s the time to make a decision to fix all this.
You may then ask yourself a number of questions:
Can I afford to hire someone else to help fix all this?
Can I search the internet for another application to add to the puzzle to eliminate some of the manual tasks?
None of these solutions are really ideal
I mean, I’m not saying they won’t fix the issue temporarily.
But it is very, very likely that in a few months you will be back in the same situation.
Is there an alternative to all this?
Of course there is.
Designing an “IT system” by contracting out individual applications as the need arises is like hiring new people without a strategy.
It will cost money to introduce the new parts into the team.
It will probably generate conflicts both with the other pieces and with the people who will have to use them.
And, if they don’t fit well, they will end up generating more work than they actually solve.
Designing the right “IT system” is about selecting the right applications that you really need and that fit the way you work (and your budget).
And making sure that those applications can fit in with the rest of what you already have.
Avoiding manual tasks if possible.
Need help designing your IT system?
Designing the right system is not a simple process.
- It requires knowledge of the possibilities of different technologies.
- It requires keeping up to date with new and emerging applications that offer new possibilities.
- It requires knowing how to automatically connect applications created by different vendors.
- It requires knowing when to do custom development.
- It requires questioning manual procedures that may not be necessary or can be done differently.
- It requires taking into account legal issues (with data protection laws changing every month) and security issues (you don’t want cybercriminals accessing your customers’ data).
- It requires a proper assessment of licensing costs, both now and as the business grows.
In these and other aspects, I can help you make the best decision for your business. The one that will avoid risks, manual work and unnecessary costs.
So this is my proposal
I analyse your business, your way of working, your team and your current software and I detail the application system you really need to be productive and how to get it up and running in the fastest and most effective way.
So how does this work?
To design I will work with you and your team in three phases:
Phase 1: Audit
I analyse your current system, both manual and automated tasks, as well as any legal, budget, security, and other priority constraints you may have, to generate a report of areas for improvement.
Phase 2: Architecture
I propose the ideal future system within the identified constraints that maximises business productivity at a reasonable cost and with reliable technology.
Phase 3: Roadmap
I detail the initiatives or sub-projects to be carried out to reach the ideal system, prioritising those with the greatest impact on productivity and the lowest implementation cost.
With this, will I have a finalised system?
No. With this you will have a guide to know where to go and in what order to do things.
Each of these initiatives can be executed in the order suggested, perhaps on your own or perhaps using specialist support.
Some initiatives may be simple. You may only need to change the way you do some things with the tools you already have.
If you need help in any of the phases, you will have the information you need to be able to commission the work to whomever you want. If I can help you in any of the initiatives, I will let you know. My help could range from executing one of the tasks (implementing an application or developing one of the points) or putting you in contact with a reliable specialist if you don’t already have one. In some cases, even coordinating with your suppliers or development teams to build what your business really needs.
With this information, you will avoid having to make complex decisions, and you will be able to go to specific specialists without the danger of being sold what you don’t need.
What dedication will I need to consider as a client?
- A contact person to coordinate the necessary information gathering, including meetings with the people performing the tasks to be studied.
- Access to information on the current platform which may include, for example, processes, volumes, licences, services and contracts.
- Information on short- and medium-term growth needs.
- Formal approval of the various deliverables in each of the two major phases within no more than one week of submission.
NOTE: All information exchanged under this contract, including that already seen in the previous meeting, will be treated as confidential by me. If you consider it necessary, a Confidentiality Agreement can be signed without any problem.
And how much does it cost?
Well, as the song says: it depends.
Designing the system for a small start-up that is just starting out is not the same as designing it for a multinational with 50 different applications already installed. That’s why, before starting, we should have a first conversation to see if I can really help you given your situation and to be able to assess the project.
This is not advice for everyone. It is advice for companies that are aware that they need to run like an automatic clock: absolutely reliably and without having to wind it up every day like in the last century.
It’s not cheap to work with me hand in hand, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than wasting time and money experimenting with the wrong tools.
If you want to take the next step let’s talk.