Nowadays, automation is a core part of having a successful business. In fact, 31% of all businesses in the US have fully automated at least one function, and 76% of businesses automate everyday workflows. Choosing the right business software is critical for business automation. But how do you know how to choose the best business software? The trick is to learn the errors in business software shopping first. This way, the process will go much smoother overall.
Keep reading this guide to learn six common errors in business software shopping and what you can do to avoid them!
1. Not Reading Online Reviews
The last thing you want to do is buy the first business software you come across without researching. Remember, business software is an investment, so you must be diligent in finding a reputable company.
Reading online reviews is one of the easiest ways to do research. Google reviews will give you a good idea of the overall customer experience.
Checking with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for reviews, ratings, and complaints is also good.
You also need to look at various software features. For example, your employees may need certifications to run the software you choose. Therefore, be sure to look for testimonials from businesses that give details about the software’s capabilities and features.
It’s also best to read professional reviews written by software experts. These types of reviews give you an in-depth look at critical features. Business publications like Forbes are a great place to start.
Or, if you decide to shop for Microsoft SQL server software programs, you’ll need to thoroughly review the features and requirements since there are so many options.
2. Choosing the Lowest-Priced Software
Obviously, cost is a critical factor when looking for options for software. However, choosing software because it’s cheap may come back to haunt you. Buying the cheapest software can easily result in complications since it will only perform so much.
Ultimately, you’ll have to pay more to upgrade or fix the issues caused by the low-priced software.
Also, cheaper software solutions may not be able to handle your growing business needs. It may also not integrate well with your existing software systems.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t set a budget, but you must be mindful of what you’re actually paying for.
You should begin by comparing software costs from at least three different companies. This will give you a good idea of the average cost you can expect from almost any software vendor.
Make sure to get a list of exactly what’s included in the price quote. The total cost of ownership (TCO) includes what you’ll pay over the lifecycle of the software. This can consist of various fees for things like:
- Training costs
- Regular software updates
- Maintenance fees
- Integration and implementation fees
You must also consider how frequently you’ll need upgrades and additional applications.
3. Not Looking at Integration Requirements
Another common error when looking at a business software provider is not looking at integration requirements.
Software integration is the process of combining two pieces of software to join the data together. It’s important to remember that most applications aren’t connected. This means your data is isolated from other data, much like its own mini-data city.
Connecting software systems is critical so data can be shared seamlessly between the systems. When you don’t do this, it can lead to problems like increased costs and lost business. This is because failing to identify gaps in integration will make the entire process take longer.
To avoid this, you’ll need to work with your IT department to ensure the process goes smoothly. Take the time you need to carefully consider all integration requirements before purchasing the software.
Doing this will help you have a more streamlined business operation overall since you’ll have time to focus on your customers, not software problems.
4. Not Planning Ahead
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the excitement of having new software with fun features and options to explore.
However, your software implementation will fall short if you don’t clearly understand your company’s goals and needs. This is because a lack of planning leads to workflow issues that can cause multiple delays. It can also lead to integration problems with your current system.
Additionally, many businesses buy software that lacks the necessary capabilities and features. When this occurs, you have to spend more money investing in extra resources and tools to cover these gaps.
To avoid these issues, you must plan ahead by taking a strategic approach. First, sit down and thoroughly evaluate your business needs to ensure the software you choose is enough.
Software that’s easy to use and can grow with your business over time will help you save money in the long run.
5. Not Considering User Needs
Ignoring user needs is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when choosing software. While having the most up-to-date technology is fantastic, you can’t forget to consider who will use the software daily: your employees.
If the software is too challenging to navigate and leads to frustration, you’ll have decreased software adoption rates. Employees will look for alternative solutions or workarounds to avoid using the software.
This can significantly decrease productivity and efficiency for all of your employees.
The easiest way to avoid this is to involve your employees in the decision-making process from the beginning. Be sure to get frequent feedback on the features your employees need. Take their input seriously as you look at various software options.
Doing this will positively impact your business and employee happiness overall.
6. Not Thinking About the Future
Finally, don’t make the mistake of not considering the future when choosing business software. Remember, you’ll be making a 10-year commitment at minimum to the system.
Due to this, it’s crucial to consider how your business needs will change in the coming years. You can do this by getting a good handle on your long-term business goals by considering:
- Your business’s trajectory
- Product and service development
- The hiring of new employees
- Potential expansion plans
You also need to ensure you choose scalable and financially sustainable software. This way, you won’t select software that will become too expensive once you need to upgrade.
Instead, look for flexible software solutions that can grow right along with your business.
Avoid These Errors in Business Software Shopping
Avoiding these errors in business software shopping will help you to find the best software for your needs.
Remember, choosing the right software is no easy task, and it’s essential to take your time to avoid going with software that doesn’t meet your business needs. To learn more business tips and tricks, be sure to read the rest of our blog articles today!