5 things to look for when selecting new business software
Technology, eh? Where would we be without it?
Okay, so sometimes the internet goes down, or you embarrass yourself by accidentally choosing “Reply to All”. We’ve all had days where it just seems like our computers are out to get us.
But for the most part, tech is an integral part of our day-to-day lives, and it helps us get our work done more easily. It can also be useful for mining and managing data – helping us to gain more insight about our customers and our own business.
Of course, there’s also the question of having the right tools. You can have a great computer and the latest mobile tech, but without appropriate software, you’re going to be stuck. Remember, you can’t do everything with Microsoft Excel (no matter how hard some people might try!)
Choosing the right software might sound like an easy task – but there are thousands of options out there, with products that do different things and solutions at varying levels of complexity (and cost). Your choice of software can have a huge impact on how your team – and your customers – benefits, so it’s certainly not a decision to be taken lightly.
While the right choice will ultimately depend on your specific requirements and preferences, here are five things you should be sure to think about during the decision-making process:
Functionality – The first step in choosing software is to decide what you want from it. Start by making a list of features that are must-haves and nice-to-haves, and refer to that as you review the options.
Scalability – Business needs change all the time, so try to select software that will work for you now, and in the future. This is particularly important for startups, which are likely to expand and change. Often, the cheapest solution now will cost you more in down the road, so try to select a product that can grow with you.
Flexibility – All businesses are different, so a one-size-fits-all approach rarely works. Try to opt for software that offers additional modules or APIs to integrate and suit your specific requirements.
Convenient integration – It’s unlikely that you’ll find a single piece of business software that does everything your company needs. That means you need to rely on multiple systems – and getting them to work together can sometimes be pretty tricky. Systems with open APIs and other features that allow them to be integrated easily with other platforms and can help to keep your internal process streamlined.
Customer support – Great customer support is an absolute must. No matter how intuitive a piece of software may be, you’re going to need help with it at some point, so try to choose a product that comes with a good customer support system. Things to look out for include dedicated account representatives, reliable customer service phone numbers or email addresses, active social media teams and plenty of online resources.