I’m very excited about the advent of so many cloud-based apps now. They make doing business much easier. But it can be daunting to know which apps to use. This is the first article in a series on figuring out the best apps to support your business’ back end.
I base my services around apps that integrate with Xero, but there are many more to choose from regardless of your system. The collection of apps you choose is commonly referred to as a “software stack”.
A software stack is a collection of software that comprises your company’s back end. It can range from the OS to more complicated components (like servers, back ups, programming frameworks, etc.) which usually need the expertise of a good IT consulting company. I won’t be touching upon that in this article. I’m going to primarily focus just on the cloud-based apps here.
Often overlooked, there is more to the foundation of your choices.
First, a mindset is a person's philosophy on life. A fixed mindset is where one believes their intelligence, etc are fixed. A growth mindset is where a person believes their talent and abilities can be developed. The latter is important when approaching your software stack.
You will learn new skills and be surprised at advancements in technology. If you’re open to this, you can surf the anxiety of the unknown to smooth waters.
Second on your checklist is to look at your and your team’s areas of skills.
These are the actions that you are capable of carrying out to achieve a designated outcome. If carefully reviewed, you will be aware of the skills that you and your team has, admit and accept the areas that need improvement, then dedicate time and resources to growing abilities.
Third, here’s where you want to grab a pen and paper. Look at what occurs in the real world with your service or product.
Now you can start to develop the process and workflow. This is still senior to the tools (mostly software, talked about below) that you will use but having some knowledge of what’s out there could help shape your ideas here. Most importantly get tangible here: get a big sheet (or many) of paper and colored markers and draw out the flow of your company’s product. Next draw out the flow of important information passing through departments.
Finally, yes, now we can talk about software.
Start to list different apps in a chart. Make columns for different functions each app has. There will be crossover in functions as each app mostly makes their app in a vacuum, regardless of your particular needs. But if you have your system clear, it will be obvious why you would use one app for a function that your others might also have.
For example, two apps that you use might both send an invoice to a client, but one allows you to get paid digitally from the invoice and that’s part of your system’s needs.
This is a lot to digest - remember I will go into each one of these in more detail in the future. Stay tuned!
I hope this article was a great jumpstart. As a reminder, at Verte Consulting can take the pain out of this process. We provide bookkeeping and CFO work at our foundation level service, then stack technical services to ensure efficiency at your company. Our goal is for you to breathe a sigh of relief - let us know if we can help!