It can feel daunting to choose the right software for your business. The stakes are high and so are the rewards. As well as the financial costs, there are other factors that can feel overwhelming. You need to find time in your busy schedule. It takes energy to consider what’s needed and to communicate change. There’s the cost of time and resources in the business. Then, there’s the disruption of change.
Having said that, the process is relatively simple. You need to analyse what you need, research the options, and make a choice. There are a few gotchas, and that’s what I wanted to share in this article.
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When you think about choosing the right software, the first question is, what does ‘right’ mean? Typically, you’d look at what you do, and then create a list of needs. However, this may not be the best starting point. You don’t want to replace like for like for the following reasons:
- The business moves on. In a rapidly changing world, there are changing customer expectations. Better business models and better ways of working.
- Technology moves on. If you buy a new car, you’d expect some new features as standard. Generally, costs come down and you get more bang for your buck.
- The reasons for upgrading. Understanding the current limitations can give you insight into unmet needs.
The next step to choose the right software is the research. You can do most of this by surfing the internet. Useful sources include comparison websites, YouTube channels and reviews. Obviously, this is time consuming. It’s good to have a criterion to limit the work involved. What you’re aiming for is a shortlist. A couple of points to watch out for:
- Don’t trust tick lists. Some vendors have a minimal feature to get a tick in the box and make the shortlist. Unfortunately, these don’t offer much value if you’ve got a serious need.
- Research the vendor. Are they targeting your size of business and industry? What’s their support like?
There’s no perfect solution. When you choose the right software for your business, it’s a balancing act. You’ll already know that you’ll have balance features with cost. But consider that the most flexible solution might also involve costly customisation. At the end of the day, it’s got to work for you. That means you should always know what it must do, should do and what’s a nice to have.
Driving a new car after driving an old banger is such a different experience. Similarly, when you choose the right software, you’ll get a more positive business experience. That’s good for employees, customers, and the business as a whole.