Everyone wants to use business technologies to make their business better to some degree. Good technology can be the difference between an efficient company and an inefficient one. It can save you time, money, and effort if used correctly.
With countless business apps/software now available, it can be quite stressful to select the right software for business. A product might work well for your friend’s business but not for yours. You need to take into consideration the functionality of the product and whether it meets your business’ needs. You need to consider your technical skills and whether you can use the app. You need to consider the cost and whether you can afford to pay for it.
Tech is subjective and finding good products can be particularly hard if you don’t have much experience using the software. An app may not be the right option for you but it could be for someone else. So how do the best businesses pick their stack of software?
Tips to Pick The Best Business Software
Work out what you need it to do
Work out what it is that you want the software to do. Think about all the things that are taking up your time and your staff’s time. Think about the things that you can do better. Think about what you can make more professional. Don’t just buy software for the sake of buying it. It needs to support your business processes. If your business processes are simple, keep your technology simple. There’s no point buying software that can do a hundred different things if you don’t already do those things and you have no intention of doing them or no time to do them. Another thing to consider is any software specifications. For instance, if you have bad internet, you might want desktop software. If you work outside the office from time to time, you’ll want a cloud-based product.
See what others are using
One of the best ways to find appropriate software is to see what similar businesses are using. Ask other business owners you know that have similar businesses what apps and software they use. Ask what they like and don’t like about their current software. Beyond that, read product reviews and see what other people have to say about the products you are interested in. Their experiences will say a lot about the tools you’re looking at using. Also, see how the product has responded to the feedback. If they have responded or made any fixes pointed out in bad reviews, the product is making an effort to make their product better and listens to customer feedback.
Know your budget
Take into consideration how much you can afford to spend on the product. However, also consider how much money it might save you in the long run. You can find the best product in the world but if it’s outside your budget, it’s going to cause you more problems than it will solve. You might need to skimp on certain features but if your business doesn’t have a huge budget, it probably doesn’t need them as you won’t have the staff members to use them all. With that in mind, don’t automatically say no to a product because it is slightly more expensive than what you’d like. Investing in good technology can save you money in the long run. It might cost a bit of money at first but if you don’t have to hire someone else to help you with it, you’ll save money. If it saves you time, you can use that time to do something else that will help your business grow and earn more money.
Understand your skill level
You already know how good or bad you are with technology. There’s no point in buying expensive and sophisticated software if you can’t use it. If all you need the software to do is basic processes, find something that does just that. For instance, if you need to bill your clients, a simple invoice app can do just that. You don’t need to buy a full accounting package if you can’t use it and have no intentions of learning how to use it. If you find a product hard to use, it’s only going to cost you time and money in the long run. You might tell yourself that you will learn how to use it but there’s no point in learning how to use complicated software if you don’t actually need it. Chances are that a more complicated product will only increase the time you spend on admin tasks. Choose products you will actually use and will help you with your business operations.
Look for integrations and automation
The software you choose should not make your other software more difficult to use. An especially good set of tools is one that will work together. Look at the integrations and automation that a product offers. Integrations and automation will prevent you from entering information twice. For instance, having financial tools that all integrate will make it easier for you to manage your money and for your accountant to do your tax. Integrations and automation cut down your administrative time and will also remove the need for you to hire someone to do administrative and data entry work.
Talk to The People who will use the Software
Speak to your team about the software you’re looking at and the one you want to use. Tell your team why you selected this app, what issue it solves, and how they will be using it. If they’ve used it in the past, they might be able to give you some feedback on how they found it. They might also have advice on other products to look at that they’ve used in the past. Your staff will tell you if it’s easy for them to use or too complicated. At the end of the day, despite how much you like a product, if the people who need to use it can’t use it, it is not a good product for your business.