In today’s world of growing technology, small businesses that are looking to streamline and improve their processes prefer getting a software. Software is now an integral part of business managing sales, service, manufacturing, and distribution. Since software is vital for your business, it is important to make sure that you do some research prior to buying it. The pre-eminent thing for most of the businesses is to find a solution that reduces cost and overheads. As many software have proliferated in the market offering various features to cover nearly all the functions of business, its selection has become more difficult. Before buying software for your business, you therefore need to consider the below points:
Before deciding on a particular system, you should do a need analysis to assess the features and functions that you need your software to do. Take out time to list out important transactions significant to your business for you to choose a software that can handle them efficiently. What reports are important for you and what integrations you will require should be listed too.
Reading the reviews of the customers before buying a solution will give you a better idea of what you are purchasing. Many consumer websites have countless reviews, where users have pointed out the ease of use, reporting, support, price, OS compatibility etc. of the software.
Price v/s Value
Pricing is integral to any business decision for SME. But that shouldn’t be the only consideration. It is important to draw a direct correlation between the cost of the software and the value it offers to your business. Purchasing software that has a big list of features won’t be helpful for you, as all of them will not be usable. Also, look for support and implementation options offered by the vendor.
Being an SME, you would be having expansion plans. It is important that your software can accommodate your growth. Things which change with the growing business are the number of products and services, number of employees, etc. Before buying software ensure that it allows flexibility to add more number of users and provides you the scope of growth. You need to take into consideration the heights that your business will reach five to ten years down the line.
You also need to see whether your system is customizable enough to meet your bespoke business needs. The less customizable the software is, the more difficult it is to modify it and tailor it as per your business needs. A highly customizable system again is complex and difficult to adopt. A trade-off is necessary to consider before you finalize your software.
Ease of Use
Before you purchase software for your business it is always good to try its trial version to get its look and feel. Get a solution that can work easily and has a user-friendly interface. You will not want your employees to refer to user guide repeatedly even after the training is over.
Cloud solutions facilitate paying a yearly subscription fee to be able to continue using it. This requires zero investment on your part, with no need to invest in IT infrastructure and IT staff. You need to select the option which will be preferable for you. Cloud software will never get outdated as the updates and upgrades are done on a regular basis, and the improved versions are available at no extra cost.
When you are buying software for your business, you need to consider how well it integrates with your current business processes and systems. You might have already installed applications in your organization and want the new system to integrate with it easily. Buy software that is flexible enough for integration.
Support & Maintenance Services
It is important to consider the support and maintenance services provided by the vendor post-deployment. It can include a helpdesk or bug fixes and patches. Depending on the criticality of the problems your software faces, support should be provided to meet the business requirements. The vendor should also provide the business with an upgrade path to the next version of the software.
Anytime that you are assessing software it is imperative that you make sure that it is the right software for your unique business needs. Software should make your work easier and more efficient and not complicated for your organization to adopt and utilize. Buy a software that suits the specific needs of your business. The security of the software is an equal important consideration. Current assessment of business is imperative to buy a software along with your business plan to dictate where you want to be one, five and ten years down the line. A business solution will either take you towards your goals, helping you achieve them or become a hindrance in your quest for growth and efficiency. So take a step ahead only after proper analysis and research.