For some business owners identifying which applications are needed to start a business is very obvious. However, because getting a startup going is so taxing, we are asked this question a lot more than you would think. And frankly, when an owner has so many things on his/her list, a checklist for as many things as possible is extremely helpful.
Line of Business Applications
Line of Business (LOB) Applications are programs/software that are essential to running a business. There are two areas to consider when determining your LOB applications: the industry and the type departments.
Industry LOB Applications
There is a LOB application for just about every industry out there. For example, a service company will need an LOB with some sort of ticketing system. We use ConnectWise, which was designed specifically for IT service providers. Engineers and architects use AutoCAD, a 2D and 3D design software. The specific application selected entirely depends on business needs and preferences. Look at three options, if possible.
Department LOB Applications
Uncovering the specific departmental needs is important when selecting the appropriate LOB applications. Typically the customer relation management (CRM) application is selected first, which may be industry specific or may address some of the needs below.
An accounting team will need accounting applications such as QuickBooks. The leadership team may need some sort of financial planning software like Microsoft Dynamics. The sales and marketing team may need something better than the CRM features, and additional software like Salesforce or Hubspot could help.
Some further considerations which may narrow your selection are:
• How do the applications integrate with each other?
• How is the software accessed (SaaS, Hosted Server, on premise)?
Desktop applications are programs or software that run directly on a desktop, laptop or other device. They allow users to manage, edit and print documents.
The most common desktop applications include:
- Microsoft Office Suite
- Internet browser
- Print and scanning
- Picture editing
- Video editing
If you have an IT service provider, we recommend utilizing their expertise by having them do all your desktop selection and ordering. We prefer to handle ordering to make sure the best selection is made for our client’s needs, and most of our clients prefer it that way. Occasionally, clients prefer to purchase their own machines, because they find a better price. However, usually the cheaper machine lacks software or adequate memory that a business machine needs and things often end badly.
Trust us when we say purchasing hardware is not a gold mine for good providers. In fact, quoting and purchasing can almost be a distraction from what we prefer to focus on – service. However, we understand providing the best service means selecting the appropriate hardware for our clients. Letting your providers handle hardware is beneficial for all parties.
Because startups grow so rapidly and scaling is essential, speak to an IT service provider about applications and many other technical aspects.
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