As a small business owner, ensuring that you have the right software for your business is not only essential, it is critical. Buying software for your business can feel like a chore. With so much choice, available on the market it can incredibly difficult to know what to buy. More importantly, it is difficult to know what will add value to your business. After all, there may be a wide choice of software available, but not all of it will be useful for your business needs.
One of the biggest challenges faced by business owners is choosing the right software for their business needs. Even for those with the best intentions, it can be difficult to choose the correct software in the face of choice. In short, if you are considering updating the software within your business, you need to be able to guarantee that it will add value.
While sticking to a software shopping list may not be an entirely glamorous solution, shopping list will ensure that you get only what is needed thus enabling you to stick to your budget. Going over budget, is of course, a massive drain on your business. Going into software overload is another drain on finances and resources, so weigh up the practicalities of what is critical and what is considered a luxury or impulse purchase.
Small business software was crucial to your business needs, but it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of any purchase. Think about what your business needs are and think about what business problems you need to solve. Of course, some problems you will not know exist until you physically purchase the software. But think about the functions of your business and what you need. From the management to accounting, marketing to healthcare, law to hospitality; if you conceive it, software probably exists to assist with your IT needs. Small business owners are constantly on the look-out for new ways that IT can help and support them in their venture, as well as looking at effective ways to reduce overheads and increase the productivity of the business and its employees.
Small Business Software: Cost versus Value:
Small business software can help in a multitude of ways, but as aforementioned too many redundant or random applications will not improve your business output. In short, you will end up with a huge IT support bill by investing in the wrong product. In short, what you need is to buy applications that enhance the systems that you already have in place. Saving money is imperative for a small business professional.
Do not be impulsive. Think about your business needs: For example, are you aiming to increase business research or avoid risk? Then Lexis Nexis will be able to help. Thinking about your individual needs, and there will be a corresponding piece of software available. Consider the costs associated with your business. This includes:
- Technical support
- Ongoing management
Compare these costs with the added value of the software. Weighing up financial risk is significant.
Decisions regarding the purchase of software applications are an easier when discussed with a knowledgeable and experienced vendor. For example; should you have your own Law firm, and then contacting a reputable company such as Lexis Nexis will provide you with a deeper insight as well as knowledge to help with the practicalities of purchasing software. Of course, while every business is different, and their needs largely vary, many small businesses have a shared commonality so vendors will be able to give expert advice on their field. To be blunt, every business, regardless of its size, the world over wants to increase and improve profits and productivity.
When buying software, ensure that you follow these four basic rules:
Is your current system compatible with the recently purchased software? Your hardware and operating systems should be compatible with the software you have purchased. Likewise, the software should be able to assist and support the existing systems in place. Compatibility is imperative when seeking new software. I would recommend performing a test of the product to ensure that it meets the needs of the business. By testing the product, you are ensuring that it meets the needs of your business.
2. Track Software Licenses
One of the most pivotal things that you can do is license tracking. Maintain current licensing and that you match the number of licenses to the number of users you have within your organisation. This, ultimately, will save you time and money. This service may be available from your software vendor at low or no cost, so it is always critical to check with them that this service is available.
3. Active versus Total Users
While this may seem commonsensical, must you check the active users versus the total users to ensure that your system is more cost efficient. By changing the number of active users and total users, you could save money on your licensing fees. After all, we are all in this to make money, not to lose revenue.
4. System Patches
Keeping your system up to date is software 101. So many people forget to perform system patches and end up in a software rut. By performing software patches, you are protecting yourself from malfunctions and security issues. By performing this regularly, you are not only keeping your business safe, but you are increasing your client’s confidence. Could you imagine the heartache of having to tell your client that there has been a security issue within your company? That is one conversation I would not want to have.
As with all technology, purchasing software is only one step in the ongoing management and support world of IT. Business owners often get consumed with what software to buy and largely ignore everything else around them. Plan you purchases accordingly, and seriously consider the total costs against the value of the product before purchasing. Seek the advice of the experts within your field and industry, and you will not go wrong.