As a small business owner, it can be difficult to decide exactly what to spend your money on and what to save “for a rainy day” when you’ve grown as a company and you actually need to make that investment. A common mistake people make in the early stages of running a business is to splash the cash on the latest and greatest technology – computers, tablets and all the software to go with it – and then finding out that they’re struggling to make a profit.
Step to Distinctively Choose Small Business Software
As more and more companies make the move into the digital space, running either part or all of their business to the web, the software invested in becomes more crucial than just keeping the bank balance in the black and out of the red; it becomes an integral part of how the company is run. Many of the modern software packages can run large chunks of the business for you, meaning you can focus your attentions elsewhere, on the customers and clients paying you for your services.
The question remains, however, as to exactly what software is essential to business success, and what is just a novelty – an expense that could be saved and used elsewhere.
Your first thought should be based around the packages offered by the software you’re considering. Each program offers a variety of “novelties”, something that sets them apart from all of the others on the market that perform a similar function.
However, a lot of the features can prove to be irrelevant to you and you find yourself paying for things that you don’t need when a cheaper option from somewhere else on the market may feature exactly what you want, without the bells and whistles.
Where possible, see if you can pick up a “trial” copy of the package. This will let you use it for a while and see how you get on with it. The unfortunate thing with a lot of computer systems is that you either love it or hate it, there’s no in between and you very rarely learn to love it.
If you can use it for a few days, you can work out how you get on with it, how it benefits the company and if it’s actually worth the investment. Take shift scheduling software as an example, you might be struggling to find a way of monitoring the hours worked by your staff and how many people you need to be in the business each day. This software might be able to help make that process simpler, but you never know until you try it out – you might be better off with your pad and pencil, but you might also find out that you love the system and it frees up an incredible amount of time.
Listening to recommendations can be a good way of doing your research. Look at other companies in your niche or talk to people you know who run a business and find out how they perform certain tasks automatically, what they use, and whether or not it’s beneficial. First-hand experience is one of the best forms of research available as real people.
What are the other research methods you use in choosing the right software or systems for your small businesses? Would you mind sharing those with us? I await your comments