Choosing The Right Software every business has its own needs when it comes to software and apps, and making the wrong choice can cost you time, money, and even productivity as you try to adapt to the wrong tools. The good news is that with careful planning, you can choose technology that works well with your industry and your workflow, which makes it much easier to get more done in less time without compromising quality or productivity. To make the right choice for your business, follow these 10 tips for choosing the right software for your business.
1. What type of data do you collect
Data can take on many forms: text, images, video, audio, and more. Consider what you need to collect. Do you need a way to track different types of data such as inventory and sales? Or do you simply want to compile basic
information about your business or clients? You might also consider how easy it is for your team members to use; ease of use is especially important if they won’t have a background in technology.
2. Do you need to be compliant?
Compliance is a big deal for large corporations, but it can also be overkill for small- and medium-sized businesses. If you are running a business that doesn’t process or store sensitive data (for example, if you’re an
accountant or a dentist), then you probably don’t need to worry about compliance just yet.
3. Is the software easy to use?
First and foremost, your business software should be user-friendly. It should come with training or a tutorial to help you get started. You shouldn’t have to waste time learning how to use it on your own; instead, you can focus
on getting work done as quickly as possible. If your software is complex, you’re less likely to complete tasks in a timely manner—and if it feels complicated, potential clients might lose confidence in your abilities.
4. Does it come with training?
Buying software is just like buying a car. When you buy a car, there are extra costs that come with it. You have to pay for insurance, gas, and car washes. Some software companies even charge additional money for training on how to use their product. Make sure your budget accounts for all of these costs so you’re not caught off guard when it’s time to set up your software.
5. Do you need in-person support?
A lot of business software companies offer some level of in-person support—which can be crucial to your success, especially if you’re starting a business. Support can come in several different forms—from scheduled virtual meetings with an account manager to one-on-one phone calls with a technician. Choose what works best for your company and don’t underestimate its importance. (See also: Is In-Person Support Necessary for Small
6. Does it come with reports or dashboards?
Most all software programs will have some sort of report or dashboard so you can keep track of your business. Some are better than others, but if you are going to be using software for your business, make sure that it comes
with reports and dashboards. You’ll want to be able to see everything in one easy-to-read place so you can take action. Most businesses fail because people don’t have access to or understand their data properly.
7. How does it integrate into other systems?
Look for software that’s integrated with other business tools you use—CRM, email marketing, financial management, etc. This will save you time and keep your data consistent in one place.
8. What are some ways in which this system can scale as your business grows?
Choosing The Right Software your top priority when choosing a software package is making sure it can scale as your business grows. You want to be able to take advantage of new features and plan for additional staff as your company expands. If you are just starting out, look for a platform that provides robust security protocols, fast performance times, and an easy-to-understand interface. Also, consider whether or not any other software packages you may purchase in the future will integrate well with your system of choice.
9. Does it fit within budget and timeline requirements?
One of the first things that a potential software client will ask is whether or not your firm can handle their project within their budget and timeline requirements. As a designer, you should have a solid grasp of how long it will take to complete both design and development projects. If your potential client’s timeline doesn’t mesh with yours, there’s nothing wrong with suggesting another method of reaching their desired outcome or letting them know that you aren’t able to help them achieve their goals.
10. In summary, what are the benefits and drawbacks of this specific solution
Smart businesses look to integrate more than one tool into their operations. This ensures that, when it comes time to upgrade or switch things up, they’ll have more options in mind—and a better understanding of how to weigh their options. With that said, not every tool is going to be a good fit for your business model. Before you choose one solution for your business, take some time and research potential integrations with other tools you’re using or interested in using.
When it comes to picking the right software for your business, the options seem endless. And since each program has its own unique features, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices and all the technical jargon. But we believe that no matter what you’re looking for, there’s probably a cloud-based program out there with your name on it. If nothing else, our checklist should help you figure out what types of programs will work best for your specific needs.