In today's business environment business owners and staff need to be out on the ground selling and providing their services or products to clients, there is often a bit of a conflict of interests for business owners because as the old saying goes "businesses do not run themselves". That is true but what is the solution for the small business where every pair of hands in needed at the front end to ensure the business is carrying out its prime function. Small and medium sized businesses cannot always afford to employ staff in the back office on non income producing activities. Is the answer outsourcing? Perhaps, but outsourcing can prove expensive and the loss of control does not always sit well with proprietors.
Front Office Software Software is one way of dealing with this conundrum as it provides complete control to the business whilst automating many of the processes of both front and back office freeing up staff for primary functions. The downside to software is the learning curve to be able to use it to its full potential and of course the expense of maintaining it. In addition the diverse range of tasks involved often need several software programs to complete, increasing not only the cost but the time taken to train and learn and operate several different software products.
Integrated Software Suites In an attempt to make things more plausible for small businesses many companies developed integrated suites of software which helped to some degree as the learning curve was reduced and many programs behaved in the same way, much like Microsoft Office (TM) each separate piece of software looked and felt the same with only the actual output differing. These are useful for small businesses but lack in many ways as they just didn't come up to the standard needed and it was difficult for software to apply to different industries, for instance a medical sales company would need completely different functions in their programs than a recruitment company.
Industry Specific Software The situation is now that many industry sectors do indeed have their own dedicated software platforms, you can buy dedicated recruitment agency software if you are a recruitment agency and there exists not quite so dedicated staffing software solutions for human resource departments of larger corporations. Unfortunately that does not really help the small business unless they are a recruitment agency or need some recruiting doing for them.
Effectively this leaves the option of having a back office & front office software solution or outsourcing the functions or having the expense of an in house member of staff or team to do it. Each business will have to find their own solution that fits best with their situation, for some software will provide what they need and for others it will be outsourcing or internal staff, whatever is chosen these activities are required to keep a company operating and in profit and should be ignored to your own detriment.