No matter what task you are trying to complete for your business, there is probably at least one type of software you need to accomplish it. With the amount of products out there, choosing the one that best meets your needs may seem a bit daunting. You must consider cost, customer support, ease of use and a slew of other factors. Here are some helpful tips for choosing the right software solutions for your business needs, whether it be data security, payroll or project management.
Clarify Wants and Needs
This tip may seem like something that is so obvious, it is not even worth mentioning. But, all too often, businesses make software purchasing decisions without giving sufficient thought to what they truly need from a solution. Sometimes people get all caught up in the bells and whistles and overlook whether the program meets their core needs. Before you start shopping for a program, get out a good old pen and paper and write out a list of exactly what you need this software to do; then, separately, make out your list of wants—the types of things that would be nice to have, but are not absolutely necessary. Only then will you be well-equipped to make a sound purchasing decision.
Will it Grow with Your Business?
As your business grows, you will need more from your software and technology solutions. It is important to consider whether the products you are currently considering have such a capability. As your needs change, can the additional functions be easily integrated into your current program without any major disruption to your business?
Check out Credentials and Certificates of Vendors
Getting the best results from your software solution is not just about choosing the right product, it is about choosing the right vendors. Check out the credentials and certificates. How long have they been in business? Is the company financially sound? What sort of partner certifications do they have? How well equipped is their staff to offer support on the programs at which you are looking?
Ideally, you install your solution and you never need to deal with the vendor again. But, this is an unlikely scenario and you want to thoroughly investigate customer support when choosing a product. What type of support is available to you? Are there any additional costs associated with certain types of assistance? Do you have a dedicated account representative that you can reach out to specifically and will service your account?
This is one of those tips that are oft-recommended but rarely implemented. But, when it comes to choosing the right software for your business, this is a step not to be skipped over, regardless of how well the sales appointment went, how great the company’s website is or how perfect the solution seems to be for your business on paper. Don’t buy anything without checking in with other customers, specifically from your industry. Inquire as to how long they have been a client, how the customer support has been and how successful this solution has been in meeting the specific needs of your type of business.
Carefully Consider Price and Offerings
Just going by price can cause big problems; sure, it is a primary consideration, but you must tread carefully. Something that is more expensive is not necessarily better. You can get cheap windows cloud hosting by ToggleBox for example, while still getting a quality product that meets your needs. That is why the first tips is so important. The better idea you have of what you want and need in software, the more accurately you can assess what meets your needs.