These days, businesses have plenty of options when it comes to choosing software. There are hundreds of developers creating and perfecting new products designed to help you more effectively and efficiently run your business.
With so many options available, it’s important to focus so you know where to start looking and how to make the best decision.
Here are some factors to keep in mind when you choose software for your business.
Your core needs
Not every business needs every type of software, so you’ll want to sit down and think about what your business actually needs, and what will help you achieve your future goals.
Some types of software include:
- Lead generation and sales to help you identify and track prospects throughout the sales process
- Finance and accounting to help you manage your finances, track accounts, and invoice clients
- Supply chain and logistics to help you manage your supply chain and inventory
- Proposal software to help you create, send and track your business proposals
- Productivity to help you improve productivity and track employee activities.
Each of these has its benefits, but you don’t need all of them. Consider what your most important goals and objectives are. Do you want software to make your business more efficient? Do you need software to take administrative chores off your hands? Is there an important gap in your business that software can fill?
The answers to those questions should help you decide on which category of software to start with.
Next examine products within your chosen category to find the best product for you. This is based on a number of factors, including your current software, the new product’s functionality, and the developer’s responsiveness.
Key factors to consider:
Functionality: Although it’s tempting to go for a product that has all the bells and whistles, you might be paying extra for features you’ll never use–and which could actually cause problems of their own. Look for software that has the features you need and will use.
Integrations: If you’re already using software, you’ll want new products that integrate with what you’ve got.
Security: If you’re handling confidential or sensitive information, you need software that has ample security.
Customer support: You need to know that issues can be handled and dealt with quickly. Make sure there’s a solid customer support policy backing the product.
Budget: Choose the best product that fits your budget and has what you need.
Making the decision
You don’t have to go it alone when making a software decision. Research to find out what software others in your industry use. Talk to your team to find out what their experience with software has been and what they recommend. Find out what factors they need taken into account to make their jobs easier.
Read online reviews, particularly from companies similar to yours, to find out what they liked about the software you’re considering. If the developer offers it, read their buyer’s guide, white paper or other documentation to get a feel for the product and their philosophy. It’s even better if you can get a demo of a product to try.
Buying new software is an exciting opportunity for your business. You’re purchasing something that can make your business more efficient and profitable, while also making your job easier. Take the time to consider what you really need, what will work for you now and as you grow, and what others say about your options before making a final decision.