About 80% of the workday is spent on activities that have no real value to the business. Think about that for a moment. Most people spend their time on busy work rather than important activities that make a difference to the bottom line.
How can you make sure that you and your team work on the activities that make the biggest difference in your business? Picking business software that can make you more efficient.
Keep reading to learn the top factors to choose the right business software.
1. Your Business Needs and Expectations
You know that there’s a task that you can do faster if only you had the right tool. For example, a payroll software solution can save hours each month processing payroll.
Write down all of the tasks that you would like to do faster. You’ll then want to note how you envision the software working for you.
This is important because you’ll uncover a lot of the features you want and need from your software program.
All businesses have to consider the platforms of the programs and the mobility of the software. Do you need software that you can use on both Mac and Windows platforms? Do you need additional mobile device support?
It’s also crucial to be aware that there is available software specifically designed for a particular industry. For instance, if you sell tires, it is a good idea to have a tire shop software. If you are a doctor, you can look for medical office software. You can take your time browsing through the different programs and see which one perfectly fits your requirements
You’ll have to think about the types of software. One of the most important business tools is anti-virus software. Accounting software, email management, and CRM solutions are other tools to consider.
2. Your Budget
The good thing about software is that it’s more affordable than ever. Remember the days when you had to shell out hundreds of dollars for an annual license, and then spend hundreds more the next year to upgrade?
Most software tools today are subscription-based. You pay a monthly fee based on the features of the program and the number of users. You can get a discount if you pay for the entire year upfront.
Once you have your needs and budget down, you’ll be able to start shopping for software tools. You’ll want to read reviews of different solutions because you’ll find the same names come up again and again. That’s a sign that those are tools to consider.
For example, if you’re looking for anti-virus software, you’ll want to start looking at reviews at https://setapp.com/lifestyle/the-best-antivirus-for-mac and a few other business software review sites.
3. Installation and Migration
Businesses with existing sets of data have to consider how easy it is to migrate their data from the old software program to the new one. This can be a time-consuming process, and you run the risk of losing your data.
Be sure that you understand how long the installation will take and how to migrate data. If the project is very complex, then you may have to hire an IT consultant to manage the migration. B2B EDI integration best practices are something you should keep in mind.
4. Software Learning Curve
The ease of use will determine if the software is going to be used or not. The software you choose should be robust and have the features you need.
It shouldn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure out how to use it, either.
Sign up for a demo or free trial of the business software before you spend money on it. You’ll be able to see how it functions and whether it suits your needs or not.
5. Software Integrations
The best business software will integrate with other business systems. For example, your accounting software can import data from your CRM. That can save a ton of time entering data into two different systems.
You may want your email system to integrate with your CRM, or have your CRM integrate with your calendar. Revisit your needs and expectations to think about how you can take advantage of the software features and integrations.
6. Customer Support and Training
You may have several business tools in mind that you want to purchase. Before you do so, make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. It will do you no good if you purchase software to find that you can’t get help with simple issues.
Look closely at the websites, and see how many ways you can contact a software provider for support. You should be able to call and email at the very least. Some software providers offer live chat sessions on the website and Facebook.
You’ll want to see how good the support is by testing the support team. Reach out to them and see how quickly you get a response.
7. Software Scalability
Business software is a sizable investment when you add up the costs of the software, migration, temporary loss of productivity, and training. You don’t want to lose that investment by choosing something that you can’t grow into.
Check to see how easy it is to add users as you hire employees. The setup process could take a long time, or it can be done in just a few clicks.
What if you’re a seasonal business and you need to scale back in the offseason? The software should be flexible enough to scale back without paying for unused seats.
Picking Business Software for a Stronger Business
If you want to have the most efficient business, you need to pick the right business tools to help you handle mundane tasks faster. You’ll be able to quickly turn your attention to the activities that matter the most.
Picking business software takes a few steps to make sure that your investment counts. Ultimately, it comes down to knowing your needs, what you expect the software to do, and finding the tools that will help you do it.
Do you want to start learning about different software tools? Check out the Reviews section of this site.