Businesses owners have two options when it comes to their business systems: An ‘off-the-shelf’ system or a custom system.

Off-the-shelf systems are developed to appeal to a mass market, and will generally have enough features for businesses to ‘get the job done.’

Custom systems are developed with the specific needs of an individual business in mind. This means that they don’t have unnecessary features, and allow businesses to achieve more.

Imagine you’re planning to cook a fancy meal and need a few select ingredients. An off-the-shelf system would be like going to Costco. Sure, the selection is impressive, and it’s easy to get caught up browsing the options. You may even take home that extra-large jar of peanut butter. But you’re also likely to waste an hour or two and still walk out without that special ingredient.
A custom business system is like popping into to a gourmet food store. You’ll have access to the exact items you need, without the noise and distraction of a large chain store.

For startups and small businesses, an off-the-shelf solution can be perfectly adequate in the early stages of the business. If you just need basic functionality, it’s likely that you can find workarounds for the things you can’t quite achieve.

Eventually, though, you’ll be planning to grow your business. Your staff are unlikely to enjoy those workarounds and may become frustrated at the system’s limitations. You may also find that you don’t have access to the customer data you need when you need it. Your systems may not play nicely with each other, and those functions that seemed like a great ‘add-on’ when you purchased the software will probably never have been used.

For most businesses, a custom business system isn’t a matter of ‘if’- it’s a matter of ‘when.’ Here are a few reasons you may want to think about building a custom business system sooner rather than later:

Employees are your greatest asset

34% of Australian employers are unable to fill their open jobs. Like many other countries around the world, Australia has an increasingly dire talent shortage. And with so many employees admitting to being disengaged at work, employers must focus on keeping current employees happy if they want to reduce churn.

Unfortunately, most people don’t find contentment when the systems at their work require them to constantly find workarounds to get through the day, manually enter data, and work off spreadsheets. If you’re hoping to keep your employees productive and engaged, a custom business system is a massive step in the right direction.

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You need a competitive edge

A custom business system can free up hours of productivity for your team members each week. What would your business do with that time? Would you devote more time to delighting your customers? Launch a new marketing plan? Develop a new product or service?

Time is arguably your greatest asset, and freeing up your staff will give them more time to innovate. Australian customers have more choice than ever before, and if you want them to choose your business, you need a point of difference. A custom business system can give you the competitive edge you’re looking for.

You prefer to own your assets

If you have an off-the-shelf business system, the developers of that system have ultimate control. You can’t choose which features are included and which are removed with each update, which other businesses are using that system, or how often it’s updated.

When you own a custom business system, this becomes an asset for your business. You can use that asset however you like- even licensing it to other businesses. You won’t need to worry about a developer changing the system or taking it in a direction that doesn’t suit the needs of your business. And you can change it yourself as your business grows to ensure it still meets those needs.

Considering building a custom business system? Get in touch today to learn how we can help.

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