If you plan to increase your company’s performance through new software, there are a few things you need to consider. The features they need to have will depend on your needs so it’s crucial to sit down and check with your team what kind of program or application you need. You can’t have a successful business nowadays without having proper tools.
These tools or applications can be used for almost every process in your firm so if you can improve everything by acquiring new programs, there’s no reason not to do so. Start with the common issues you have and see how you can resolve them.
Does Your Business Have Any Issues?
The answer should always be yes because every company can have some changes. If you don’t know where to start, write down your goals for the next couple of years. This will help you realize what you will need to achieve these goals. Tools are meant to help you achieve a certain goal by making your processes faster and more reliable.
If you don’t have any problems, you might want to increase the number of sales each month. This is also achievable by using the right customer management tool. When you have a bigger issue like lack of communication or management, it is the point where you should start. When searching for the right product, make a checklist of the things that need to change and the features the application needs to have.
What Features You Want?
When you identified the problems you have or you might have in the near future, it will be easier to establish what the needs are. A lot of applications have multiple features that sound perfect for your business, but you would want to separate them by the operation. For example, if you have employees that do data entry and you need time tracking, there’s no need to have a tool used to send files that other employees need.
So, the best way to separate the features you need is by each section of your business. You should have software for project management, one for time tracking and payment, one for customer relationships and the rest depends on you. Make sure that you do this in detail so the list of potential candidates is shorter. If you don’t know what applications you can use, check for more here.
Budget and Packages
You shouldn’t start making a list if you didn’t set a certain budget and check what type of packages they have. Providers can offer one-time purchases or monthly subscriptions. It doesn’t matter the type you choose because you should look at how much it will impact your business and profits.
The packages are not as important as the adaptability of the provider. If they are willing to adapt to your needs and make improvements to the software, you will have a huge advantage. In most cases, these programs are having updates for all of their clients so only specific providers will adapt to each client.
If you don’t know if the product is worth trying out, try to find a free trial where you can compare the results after a month of use. There will be some improvements, but comparing the way you operate your business now and with the program will help you determine your budget.
Compile a List of Tools
The next step is to compile a list of potential candidates based on the features you want, budget, and problems that you can solve with it. In most cases, the list will be long because there are numerous providers out there. Some products you may already know but don’t choose the most common option just because most people use it.
Slack can be a great option for project management, but it might have a lot of options that you don’t need. So, it’s not necessary to pick the ones that are the best instead, look for those that are the simplest but get the job done. Reviews and ratings will also help you determine your top 10.
Features are not the only important thing that you need when choosing software but also how it looks. This isn’t what most people will tell you, but it’s like working in a beautiful building compared to a large grey skyscraper. It’s much more appealing to work on a platform that looks great which is proven to boost efficiency.
It doesn’t matter in the end if you like the program unless your team does too. When you compiled a list, you should check with your employees and team if they think it’s a great option. This is usually the manager’s job that knows what their employees need and like but sometimes you would need to ask them directly.
You would want to have a great relationship with your workers and let them know that their opinion matters. It would be best if they are familiar with the application because they can provide honest feedback or potentially find a better option. They can also help you determine what features you would want to have and help you cut down the list to a couple of products.
Testing and Choosing
If you have already gone through a free trial, you will get a glimpse of what you can expect in the future. But, some of them don’t offer this option and you will need to buy it first. This isn’t something you should try unless you know that it’s the best choice.
In this case, you would want to contact people that are using certain software for their business and ask them about their experience. On the other hand, most of the tools have a free and paid alternative where you can get additional traits like unlimited data storage.
The best providers usually offer a free option because they believe in their products and that most of their clients will buy a premium package. You don’t want to waste too much time when you can focus on growth so put the ones that you can upgrade to premium at the top of the list.