Why Inflation Should Have You Consolidating Your Business Software

8-Aug 2022
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Chelsea Williams COPYWRITER

It’s a well-known economic principle: When everyday life gets more expensive, people change their behavior. And paying for basic needs is getting harder for a lot of people around the world right now.

In May 2022, year-over-year inflation reached 9.6% among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The increases in food and energy prices are significantly higher.

Correlating behavior changes have already started to happen. And for business owners like you, that can be scary, especially if this is the first time you’ve been through it.

Hard times can put you under more stress than the average worker: You’re worried about housing and feeding your own family and wondering if clients will continue to pay for your services. To make matters worse, you might be inundated with confusing advice about how to keep your business afloat.

We’re not here to compound the mayhem. Instead, we want to offer practical solutions you can start implementing right away. Accelo believes in taking baby steps in the right direction — making wise short-term choices that support your long-term success.

In this article, we’ll discuss:

What Inflation Means for the Professional Services Industry

The professional services industry is uniquely positioned to withstand the pressures of inflation. Clients tend to think harder about downgrades for services versus products. Instead of just clicking a button to reduce a subscription, they have to consider changing or letting go of a relationship and the valuable support that comes with it.

If you’ve established a strong mentoring relationship with your clients, they’ll turn to your business for even more guidance as inflation climbs. 

While it tends to be important to service businesses all the time, a keen customer focus is even more critical when the going gets tough. 

The Answer: Make Forward-Thinking Decisions

As the world prepares for a recession, you can prepare to keep your services in the “essentials” bucket of your clients’ budgets.

Contrary to what many are tempted to do right away, the answer is not to blindly start canceling software subscriptions. Instead of striking line items from an accounting ledger simply based on amounts, aim to spend strategically. Come back to your business goals and take the time to forecast the outcome of each decision.

Furthermore, by what values does your company operate? If you’ve communicated your mission well to your clients, they’ll expect your actions to continue to align with who you are in their minds, despite what’s happening in the world at large. That means you should keep the value of your offerings as high as possible.

Before you deem any technology unnecessary, it’s crucial to forecast the potential effects of not having it on your long-term client base. 

Cutting back on certain monthly costs can ultimately reduce the quality of your services, which can lead to additional unexpected losses. For example, if you decide you don’t need an automated invoicing tool, you might extend the length of time it takes for clients to pay and increase the chances of billing errors. If you were to remove your team’s access to quote creation software, you could lose deals with new opportunities who are comparing your offer to those from firms with nicely branded quotes.

Maximize Efficiency With a Streamlined Tech Stack 

Rather than cutting your team’s access to critical tools — and losing your clients’ trust — due to the fear factor of the costs you can see now, we recommend going the route of software consolidation. 

That way, you can remain on the path to full digital transformation amidst rising inflation while more tightly tracking and controlling resources. 

The key is to look for chances to be more efficient. Start by investigating the following:

  • Are we duplicating any core functions? Check to see if you’re inadvertently paying for two platforms that offer the same features. You could have a dedicated CRM plus email marketing software with a contact database and sufficient sales capabilities.
  • Do we pay for software we don’t use anymore? Unbeknownst to you and your leadership team, there could be some unused and underutilized platforms that no longer serve your business needs.
  • Is our team struggling with learning and maintaining multiple platforms? You might be losing a ton of time on non-billable work if your employees are spending unnecessary hours in onboarding and on daily admin tasks — not to mention contacting various support teams.

If yours is like most professional services businesses, you’ll answer ‘yes’ to at least one of the above. But we’re here to tell you that’s normal, and there is a way out of the land of excess tech.

Many business owners will live in a reactionary state when economic news looks grim, but you can use the secret of tech consolidation to stay even-keeled and confident.

Single-Function Software You Can Eliminate by Using Accelo

Whether you’re in marketing, consulting, IT, accounting or another client-based industry, your consolidation journey should be about supporting the client relationships you’ve already worked hard to establish.

We built Accelo to be your primary software platform for client work management. In a nutshell, Accelo can replace: 

  • Your CRM
  • Your proposal and quote creation platform
  • Your project management tool
  • Your contract management and billing tool
  • Your client portal
  • Your ticketing software

Not only can you save money by moving to one end-to-end platform, but you can eliminate the need to pay several in-house salaries, especially in admin and implementation. The combination of endless trigger automations and superior implementation support add up to enormous cost savings.

It’s always a good time to evaluate how your business is spending money, but there’s no better moment than an economic downturn to correct bad habits, streamline workflows and eliminate inefficiencies. Take the opportunity to set yourself up for the better times that will inevitably come.

Schedule a demo of Accelo to see how tech consolidation can play a fundamental role in your profitable future.

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