by Randy Johnston
The right add-on product can be the difference between success and failure in a business. While this may seem like an overstatement, the right add-on tool can help a business owner spot and remediate a problem in business operations quickly and before the issue causes operational problems.
One of the pleasures of my career has been to help smart people create new products from a simple idea. I’ve been present at the germination of the idea, brought in early and brought in after the product was running in a prototype to help improve and position the products for greatest success. These entrepreneurs usually have an idea or a pain point that they are trying to solve, frequently don’t see how good the idea really is, and almost always have a deep passion for solving the problem. Beyond that, sometimes they are lucky enough to have all of the skills to bring a product to market: technical, financial, and marketing. As they grow, they have to be wise enough to hire the additional skills needed to run the business well, which usually include technical support, operations and sales.
Add-on products for the small business accounting market usually follow this development pattern, just like solutions for the mid-size to large business world of ERP have in the past. Because of your relationship with The Sleeter Group, you have had the privilege of seeing the world of “Awesome Add-ons” citing the merits of many of these products. You probably know the applications that would be named first, but the list below is particularly meaningful to me because of their integration with Intuit QuickBooks products, as well as other solutions such as Xero, Intacct, NetSuite, Sage 50, SalesForce, and other successful products.
These products can really make a difference to the business operator that probably cares less about technology and more about running a business:
- Reporting—Biznet Software, BizTools Professional, Spotlight Reporting
- Document Management—eFileCabinet, Doc-It, SmartVault
- Business Management—Palo Alto Live Plan, SageWorks ProfitCents
- Dashboards, KPI—Sage View, Insperity Reveal, webKPI, Clearify QQube
- Business Development/CRM—Results CRM, Method CRM, SalesForce
- Operational tracking (Time, Expenses)—BillQuick, SpringAhead, Tsheets, Expensify, Concur, Bill.com
- More could be listed in specific vertical categories
Any one of the products above could make a huge operational difference to your own company or to one or more of your clients. Yes, there would be extra charges to purchase and install any one of the products, but all now have subscription pricing instead of requiring a capital expenditure, and most allow some sort of a trial period.
Can it really make that much of a difference?