How to Build a Business Information System, Including 6 Things to Keep in Mind

How to Build a Business Information System

Starting and managing your own business can be overwhelming. There are so many aspects to keep track of, and it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the bigger picture. If you find yourself struggling to stay organized or wanting to be more efficient in your business, this article will show you how to create an information system that works for you and your unique business needs. Read on to learn ways to build a business information system so you can focus on growing your company!

Before Starting

Before you begin building your business information system, take some time to plan. Make sure that you’re aware of all of your options and their pros and cons before deciding on one. This step can be huge in terms of streamlining both your experience and productivity. The best way to do that is by doing research; try searching for similar programs within your industry and see what they offer before committing yourself to one platform or another. Remember: It's not so much about knowing if any given tool has everything you want right now — it's more about seeing what you'll need down the road so that you don't waste money or time later on.

Select Product Type

The first step in building your business information system is determining which products you will offer. This can range from simple/straightforward to extremely complex. Keep it simple by only offering one product type for now (i.e., if you plan on starting an online retail store, start there). As your company grows and expands into different markets/product lines, you’ll have ample opportunity to develop distinct systems for each product line or market segment. For now, though, you need to figure out how all of your products are alike so that you can leverage similar functionalities across multiple product types.

What Product(s) Should I Focus On?

First and foremost, decide what you're going to sell. When choosing what product(s) or service(s) to offer your customers you need to consider two things: What is unique about your product/service? How will it be presented? How can you deliver value through your business without becoming just another company out there selling products/services that are already available elsewhere?

How Do I Set My Marketing Goals?

Defining your marketing goals is crucial—they’re often what will help you measure your success. It’s possible that some of your goals may change and evolve as you go, so it makes sense to be flexible and adaptable. But at least having a few objectives allows you to set clear expectations for yourself. For example, if one of your short-term goals is simply getting more people on your email list—and following up with them regularly—you can then create systems that help you accomplish that. Every time somebody subscribes via an email opt-in form or social media subscribe button, they’ll be added to an email sequence about x topic.

Which Platforms Should I Use?

There are many business information system platforms and it’s difficult to pick one that will work best for your company. The key is deciding what exactly you want your business information system to do. Consider where your needs are greatest, which tools are available or affordable, and what you’re comfortable with based on experience or research. 

Your business might also have some limitations set by industry regulations, so make sure you find out what they are before deciding on a platform. Once you narrow down your options based on these criteria, it should be easy to choose which platforms make sense for your situation.

What About Customer Service?

Customer service is one of those back-office systems that you’re probably not very keen on, but it can be vital for keeping your business afloat. If you don’t answer your phone and respond to customer questions via email and social media, you could have serious problems down the road. Don’t ignore customers when they have questions or complaints! And if customers are so frustrated with your response time that they complain online, there’s a good chance they'll never do business with you again.

Conclusion

Document Everything! I know it sounds obvious, but so many businesses don’t have anything documenting their business processes. This means no one is clear on how things should get done or who is responsible for doing them. Documentation can be simple and straightforward—just a page of your notes every day with a heading of What Happened Today? can be incredibly useful when it comes time to review everything at year-end. Make sure everything gets documented somewhere—it doesn’t even have to be your software system—but it must exist somewhere. That’s what makes systems work!


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