5 minute read
Article by AroFlo
Every trade business must constantly search for new ways to increase efficiency and operate better than their competition. But for many of us, it can be challenging to find the time to search for options and also implement a new system while keeping our day-to-day operations under control.
As more and more trade businesses go digital, the focus for change has increasingly fallen on business software over the past few years, with everything from job management to accounting being made easier by a relevant software solution.
But this creates new problems for the savvy trade business owner, who must now successfully integrate new software into their business while dodging the pitfalls of digitisation. Contending with dozens of software options while tackling internal business issues such as tech resistance and poor software uptake sounds like a huge hassle, but there is a way to make the process a whole lot easier.
Rather than being the catalyst for software implementation in your business, you could instead empower one of your employees and turn them into a software champion. It’s actually a lot easier than you’d think, and in this article, we’ll cover what a software champion is, why you need one, why it’s important to have a clearly defined software champion role in your business, what kinds of tasks they’ll oversee, and how you can get started training your very own right now.
What is a software champion, and why do you need one?
Broadly speaking, a software champion is an employee who is tasked with bringing new software into a trade business and ensuring that it is successfully integrated into its existing structure with minimal disruption. On paper, this sounds simple, just go out into the marketplace, find a new piece of software that helps grow your business, and then get it up and running. But as more and more digital technology is integrated into your business, it can become tricky to continue finding the right solutions to meet your many and varying professional needs.
You could spend days, weeks or even months searching for a specific piece of software rather than running your business, which may leave you wondering why you even bothered trying. This brings us to why you need a software champion because, at the end of the day, the job of finding and integrating new software into a trade business is one you can very easily delegate. But only if you’re willing to spend a bit of time getting the right processes in place and finding the right person for the job.
However, the benefits far outweigh the costs, and we’ll cover why in our next section.
Why it’s important to have a clearly defined software champion role in your business.
Rather than begrudgingly searching for new software on your own, having a software champion on hand whenever you need them gives you expertise on demand. The software market can be difficult to understand. It requires a certain amount of familiarity to jump right in and start searching for solutions that will help grow your business. By nominating a dedicated software champion, you ensure that whoever you pick will be well-versed in finding the products you need and how to work them into your business and get all your other employees on board.
Your dedicated software champion will be ready to go whenever you need to revisit this process, making the most of their time and ensuring you have the highest chance of success with your new software solution.
What tasks should your software champion oversee?
- Meeting with relevant stakeholders to discuss their software requirements.
Everyone in your business will have different requirements for a piece of software, and it’s important that your chosen champion is across all their needs before beginning their search for an answer.
- Searching the market for software solutions that meet these needs.
The more knowledgeable your software champion becomes about what’s available in the market, the faster they will be able to locate and shortlist several software solutions that might fit the bill.
- Interacting with software vendors and testing the software rigorously.
Whether it’s an interactive demo or a free trial, your software champion needs full autonomy to go out into the marketplace and bring back the best available software solutions.
- Showcasing the software to relevant stakeholders and gather feedback.
By showing them the software first-hand or sharing relevant material they’ve been given, your champion can work effectively with other employees to meet their software requirements.
- Acquiring and integrating the software OR Searching for a better fitting solution.
The more software your champion has worked with, the quicker the acquisition and integration process will be. Or, if the software isn’t a good fit, it’s time to go back to the drawing board.
- Mastering the software and taking ongoing responsibility for training or upskilling.
Your software champion’s job isn’t over when everyone is on board. Through continual use, your champion will learn to master any new software and help other employees reach proficiency over time as well.
How to get started training your software champion.
The best place to start is by picking the right person for the job, and it’s quite easy to shortlist possible candidates for a software champion role. Technological proficiency will be your first and likely biggest deciding factor, but how well your employee works with other employees and how eager they are to learn new things are very important to keep in mind.
Once you decide on a champion, the best way to get them up to speed on what’s required of them is to task them with finding a simple software solution that fixes a straightforward problem your business is currently experiencing. It could be something like an instant messaging package for employee communications or maybe a new invoicing software. What’s important is that they learn the tasks we laid out above by performing them and then meet the objectives you set for them.
Along the way, you need to nurture your software champion’s journey. Celebrate their successes and be transparent about where they fell short if a software solution doesn’t quite live up to expectations. This will help them further refine their skills and better meet your overall organisational objectives.
When you feel like the time is right, it’s completely ok to give full autonomy to your software champion, allowing them to manage the search for software from top to bottom, finally giving you more time to focus on the task of running your business and growing its success.
Point your new software champion in the right direction with our job management software. AroFlo streamlines and manages all aspects of your business from one location, helping you grow your business without getting caught up in the tiny details.