Thursday, 18 September 2014

How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business

We are smack in the middle of a tech era and no business can operate without software. But with new programs popping up every minute, all with different abilities and price ranges, choosing the right software for your business can be a little daunting. Here are 5 helpful and important tips to help you make the best choice for your business, your team and your clients. 

  1. A fantastic program will accomplish two things; it will do a better and faster job than you. This sounds simple, but many programs only accomplish one at the expense of the other. When it comes to software, you should be able to have your cake and eat it too. Invest in a program that will not only produce accurate, high-quality work, but will save you time in the process.
  2. Chances are you wouldn’t hire an employee with just one skill – the same principle applies to software. Rather than juggling multiple programs for several different tasks, look for comprehensive software that can benefit multiple areas of your business. Not only do you get more bang for your buck, but your team saves time by only having to learn and utilize one program.
  3. Finding software without the occasional glitch is about as futile as hunting for a unicorn. And when something goes wrong, the last thing you have time for is waiting 3 days for a solution. Before investing in new software, take a good look at the support that comes with it. Find a company with multiple channels you can use to get in touch with them – Twitter, Facebook, an online email form, a phone number, etc. This allows you to reach someone quickly and easily, no matter where you are or what day of the week it is. Check out their standard response time, too. Some companies promise to get back to you in 24 hours – others in 3 business days. Try contacting them through one or two channels so you get a first-hand idea of the kind of support you will receive. Don’t invest in software until you’re confident you can expect timely, effective communication.
  4. Your business is constantly growing and improving – so your software should, too. Choose a program that is updated regularly, rather than stuck on Version 1 from 2010. It’s important to know your software can evolve with your industry, accommodate changes to your role, and become continuously more useful to you and your team.
  5. Don’t suddenly spring a new program on your team, or they might just opt to keep doing things the old way. Take time to explain why you chose this software, how it’s going to make their jobs easier and faster, and which support tools are available. Make sure you allocate a few hours for training, and give sufficient time for everyone to become comfortable with the program. After your team has been using the software for about a month, follow-up to see whether it has been helpful, successful and user-friendly. Most programs allow you to use a trial version for the first month, so at this point you and your team can evaluate whether you want to fully invest in the software or not. 
What’s important to you when choosing software for your business? Share in the comments! 

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