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Choosing Software for Your Business A Buyer’s Guide

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Having the proper tools for your business is one of the most important considerations you can have as a business owner. That’s why it’s important to choose the software you’re using with great care and with as much foresight as you can.

There are online tools that help you with the process, but the most important part of the selection process is knowing what your business needs and what kind of problem a piece of software needs to solve. Once you know that, you can focus on other important features such as how easy it is to use the software and how to pay for it.

What’s Your Main Goal?

The first step when buying a piece of software is to decide what the main purpose of the tool should be. That can be more challenging than you might think since most software solutions can do a lot of things at once and you need to decide on your priorities.

For instance, if you’re looking for an accounting tool and its key feature should be how collaborative it is, you may end up choosing a less complex tool if it has what it takes to facilitate collaboration within your team.

Create a Short List

Chances are you won’t find just one piece of software that suits your needs entirely. Instead, it’s best to have a shortlist of tools that might be good enough to do the job and make a selection between those. There are ways to compare software solutions online and make a list based on those reviews. Truely is one of those services.

When it comes to narrowing the choice down to just one tool, the reviews won’t be enough and you’ll need to test the software in the day-to-day work environment before making a call.

Who is Going to Use the Software?

Employees that use the software regularly have a different perspective on it. It’s a valuable perspective to take into account and one you should consider before buying a particular solution. This is especially useful if it’s done during the testing stage since it’s based on real-life experience.

It’s also better to encourage the employees to express their opinions in a creative and constructive way that goes into the details about the software and its features. It’s preferable just ranking or approving the software in general.

A Learning Curve

Onboarding is one of the most expensive and time-consuming tasks that a business has and it’s especially difficult if it takes a long time to train the employees how to use your software solutions. That’s why you should focus on tools that are easy to learn and that newcomers can figure out as well.

Some businesses have a buddy system where experienced employees are training the new ones. If this is something you do, you should take into account how that system will work with the software that you plan to purchase and use.

What Other Tools Are You Using?

Another important consideration to take into account is how the tool you add to your toolbox will work with other software solutions you’re relying on. This is especially important when it comes to collaborative tools that will be used by a team and interact with the software solutions used by others on your staff.

Choosing software that works with your operating system is an essential prerequisite as well. Regardless of how much you like a particular piece of software, it’s not worth it if you need to change your whole ecosystem to make it fit.

Do You Own the Software?

Buying a piece of software doesn’t always mean owning it as if you’ve purchased a physical object. In some cases, that’s how you acquire the software but in others, you’re subscribed to a service the software is providing. That means you need to make monthly or sometimes yearly payments in order to use it.

Both of these options have their benefits as well as downsides. In some cases, you won’t get a chance to choose between the two. Some software solutions allow only one of those payment methods and all that you can do is pay in a way that’s provided to you.

Does the Software Offer Customer Support?

Customer support is one of the most important features the piece of software can have. Chances are that at some point, something will go wrong with the software and you want to be able to fix it as soon as possible.

When this happens a good customer support channel can mean a difference between keeping your business operational and stopping it until the issue is resolved. The support should also be easy to contact and it needs to be staffed with experts that can guide you through the troubleshooting process.

Businesses and Software Need to Grow

Businesses grow and change over time and you need to prepare for it when choosing the software tools you’re planning to use. Chances are that the tool you get right away suits your needs now but that it may not be enough as the company expands.

It’s, therefore, best to choose a piece of software that offers a bit more than you need at the moment and allow yourself to grow into it and to learn its features over time. It may come at a bit of extra cost as well, but it’s worth it in the long run.

Leave Yourself Space for Changing Your Mind

It’s an important decision with long-term consequences. That means that you’re allowed to change your mind and to go back and forth between two or more options. There are trial periods for most of these software solutions and money-back guarantees.

Take advantage of these options and if you need to, change your mind if you notice that a tool isn’t working as you’ve wanted it to. It does mean you’re back at the beginning but it’s better than being stuck with a bad tool that you can’t use as you’ve planned. It may even end up being less costly in the long run.

Written by Marcus Richards

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