Choosing the perfect software to help you run your business is a daunting task. With a million and one options out there ranging from a la carte solutions to all-in-one platforms, how do you know you’re making the right software selection for your small business?
While your checklist should be fairly extensive, this is your business after all, here are the top 5 objectives to consider when starting the selection process.
Start with Your Goals, Not the Product
Before diving deep into features and benefits, annual costs or the functionalities of various platforms, take time to consider the goals of your business. If you aren’t clear on what your business is trying to achieve, you could end up purchasing a product that hinders growth.
For instance, if you are looking to drive more organic traffic to your business’s website look for a platform that has a robust online listing management system.
Or, if you’re looking to improve employee collaboration and communication, a platform with internal chat features is key.
Help Should Be Right Around the Corner
On a scale of Mark Zuckerberg to a newborn baby, where do you fall on the tech-savvy scale? Do you have time to stop focusing on your businesses and be IT if a problem arises?
That is why the next consideration for software selection should be customer support.
When something goes wrong or isn’t working right, will there be someone to call, 24-7? Or, do you have to figure it out on your own? And beware, some companies say they have support but charge extra for those calls.
Long-Term vs. Short-Term Solutions
Most software is purchased with an annual or monthly subscription. If you are looking for a long-term solution it’s important to understand if and how various solutions can grow with your business.
The longer you use a system like a CRM the more your business becomes intertwined with it. The last thing you want is the hassle of going through the software selection process again a year later if it can’t keep up.
Before clicking the purchase now button, ask yourself questions like:
- Does the software work for my business now?
- Will it work if I double my clients in a year?
- Can it work for my business if I add more locations?
You Can’t Overlook Security
A data breach in your system can bring your business and your reputation crumbling to the ground. And these days, scammers are getting more sophisticated.
An essential item to tick off your software selection checklist is security features. Is your company’s information safe and secure? What about your customer’s personal and payment information? Do you need HIPAA compliance?
And don’t think just because your business is small you can skip this step.
82% of ransomware attacks in 2021 were against companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.—Coveware
Does It Play Well with Others?
Every job has its nuances, and there are often industry-specific tools (e.g., practice management software) that will help you do business best.
But if your software doesn’t integrate seamlessly with your practice management tool or accounting suite, this could make extra work for you and your team.
Research and ensure the tools you select work together seamlessly.
Begin Your Software Selection Process
Now that you’ve got the basics down it’s time to make your final decision. Start your software section process by downloading our Step-by-Step Checklist for Buying Business Software to help you make the right decision.