An ‘off the shelf’ business system is essentially a website template that saves small businesses a fortune, and assists in the sale of products for larger companies. But how does it do this?
Let’s look at McDonald’s. Be honest, we’ve all stopped there at one point in our lives for a quick meal or coffee. And yet no matter how remote the town, no matter what part of the world, all McDonald’s establishments look the same. Why? Because each building is based on a template, and this template is followed by all chains everywhere.
This is what an ‘off the shelf’ business system is. Instead of designing an entirely new format every time a website is created, these templates are provided and people simply pluck them off the shelf, enter their own logos, kick back and relax. It’s extremely helpful for small to medium-sized businesses (SMB’s), as it increases marketing opportunities and customer popularity, but like all things, it comes with its disadvantages.
Disadvantages? What sort of disadvantages?
- Some templates can come with additional features such as statistical functions and mail merge, which not only costs more, but can be completely unnecessary for the type of website you wish to create.
- Due to the repetitive templates, they tend to all look the same and customers can easily become bored with the repetition, lessening popularity (and we all know that that’s a bad thing).
- While the initial template price may be low, you may find yourself constantly paying for upgrades.
- You have no control over the source code of the software, which can open the door to technical issues if something happens to the source code.
- There may not be a template designed for your business when buying off the shelf, whereas they should be designed specifically for each type of business.
While an ‘off the shelf’ business system is cheaper for SMB’s and easier to apply than custom templates, it does come with the additional complications listed above. That’s why it’s important to be informed of the disadvantages of implementing an ‘off the shelf’ business system with a SMB.