Many businesses focus their attention on customer-facing elements of the business, like securing the benefits of local SEO. They often focus less attention on getting the right business software solutions, even though US businesses spend around $300 billion on software annually.
While picking the cheapest software is easy and common, it’s not always the best strategy. You need a strategy for getting the right software. Keep reading and we’ll give you some picks for making good software picks.
Analyze Your Requirements
The popularity of a given piece of software isn’t a good indication of its functionality for your business.
Adobe’s Photoshop is one of the most popular photo editing application in the world. It’s also complicated and intended for professionals. If you only do basic image edits from time to time, a less powerful program might prove the better choice.
List the features and functions you need from a piece of software right now. Then, add on functions and features you think you’ll probably need in the next few years. This list informs the next step: research.
Top 10 lists and software roundup articles can give you a place to start. In the end, you’ll probably end up visiting developers’ sites. That’s where you can compare your list with a comprehensive list of software functions and features.
Pick out 3-5 pieces of software that line up closely with your list. This helps you avoid buying software with interesting but useless bells and whistles.
These days, many software developers offer demo versions of their software on their websites. These demos let you play around with the software and give you a sense of how they work in real life. It’s also a good way to find out if you hate the interface.
You can also ask for a live demo that shows you the software in action. Playing with demo software or seeing a live demo usually lets you narrow the list down to one or two options.
You can usually get a free trial version of the software for testing purposes. These trial versions let you test the software using your hardware, data, and staff.
Think of it as a kind of software due diligence.
After testing the trial software, you should know which software solution is the right one.
Parting Thoughts on Choosing the Right Business Software Solutions
Choosing the right business software solutions isn’t about grabbing the cheapest or most popular applications.
You must choose software based on the specific needs of your business. Developing a list of the features and functions you need lets you conduct a rational search of the options.
Once you narrow down the options to a few choices, you can use demos and trial versions to winnow the list down to a single choice.
Once you sort out your software situation, taking a swing at customer-facing issues will probably feel like a relief. If you need some inspiration about where to begin, read our post on enhancing the performance of a responsive design website.