Quantcast
Published On: Tue, Aug 29th, 2017

How to Choose the Right Software for Your Business

Software is designed to make running a business easier…

From invoicing and managing payroll to tracking quarterly and annual reports.

However, all too often, business owners find choosing the right software to be a source of frustration and expense.

photo by photoSteve101 via Flickr

You might find yourself searching online for hours, to no avail or simply purchasing the first applicable software you can locate, even if it is not the best deal.

Are you still asking yourself what you are even looking for?

Whether your business is a health care facility or a coffee shop, the right software is vital to keeping things running smoothly…

And, the right software is out there waiting for you:

Traits of the Right Software

The right software for your business should help you analyze sales, manage cash flow, and improve your overall efficiency.

On the other hand, the wrong program can just as easily send your financial records into a tailspin – costing you productivity and money to recover from.

With hundreds of products available, it is important to have a game plan in place to select the right software without breaking the bank…

Here’s how to get the job done:

 

  1. Look at the bigger picture.

    Why are you shopping for new software? Are you simply looking to upgrade or will this be the first time you have purchased software for your company?

    Rather you are an experienced business owner or just starting out, your search for software should begin with understanding your final goal…

    What are your needs and wants?

    Start by determining what your problem or problems are that you would like to solve…

    Then, this can help you determine what your top needs and wants are – and help you understand what falls into which catergory.

    For example, you might need a segmented general ledger to track the performance of individual divisions of your business…

    But, you might just want to close out the quarter for each division at a separate time.
  2. Determine your budget.

    Once you have your wants and needs listed out, it is time to determine how much you can afford to spend.

    The cost of the software itself is important, but also consider:

    Will you need someone to set the software up for you?

    Will you need extensive customization?

    …And any recurring costs that might apply.
  3. Narrow down your options.

    You can automatically start by eliminating the software that doesn’t meet your list of needs or your preliminary budget…

    Next, choose four to five software packages that seem to fit the entire bill.

    Evaluate each one – weighing out the pros and cons. Which one covers all the needs and the most wants?

    One attribute to look for is a platform with a broad base of users…

    This will help ensure you won’t have trouble finding the appropriate resources later down the road needed to keep it running.

    Tip: Try to focus on companies whose products are clearly designed with an eye on the future. Consider if they are building products that will easily integrate with other platforms and technologies and are built using common languages like SQL and PHP.
  4. Get input from internal users.

    The best resource for your decision-making process are the people who will be regularly using the software.

    Ask your order entry specialist about the limitations of your current system and/or what they expect to see in the new system:

    A faster invoicing system?

    Other features which might save time and increase profits?

    It is likely they already have a few improvements in mind they would like to see.

Final Thoughts

The whole point of investing in software is to automate things to save you time and money, but without the proper plan in mind, just searching for software can actually do the exact opposite…

Start by composing a plan and a budget.

It is easy to get caught up in just getting the task done, but you will be much more productive in searching for software if you start out with a goal in mind.

Remember, don’t be afraid to ask the people who will be using the software for their input – they are familiar with the flaws of your current software.

Have you found a technique you follow when searching for new software that we didn’t cover here? Let us know in the comments!

Author: Brandon King

On the DISPATCH: Headlines  Local  Opinion

Subscribe to Weekly Newsletter

* indicates required
/ ( mm / dd ) [ALL INFO CONFIDENTIAL]

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

Tags

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter



Categories

Archives

At the Movies

Pin It