Every modern business is reliant on some form of software – whether it be POS software or case management software. There are so many programs out there nowadays that it can often be difficult finding the right software solution.
Here are just a few tips for choosing the best business software when first starting out.
Know your niche
Having a thorough understanding of your niche will help you to understand exactly what software you need. If you’re setting up a real estate brokership, real estate CRM software could be important. If you’re setting up a legal firm it could be essential that you have legal research software. Quite often, only by working in the industry beforehand will you know which software is needed. You may decide to stick with software that you’re familiar with or you may decide to avoid software that you previously used and found to be flawed.
Think small but scalable
Some software is aimed at medium to large businesses. This software will likely be too complex for your needs and may be overly expensive. When choosing software, look for programs aimed at small businesses. At the same time, try to select software that is scalable. Many software companies will have plans that you can upgrade as your company gets bigger.
It’s worth reading reviews of software to get an idea of the strengths and flaws of each program. Read a mixture of user reviews and professional reviews. You may even be able to find software comparison guides, which compare a variety of programs and the pros and cons of each. Don’t rely solely on reviews advertised on the software developers’ website – these are likely to be handpicked positive reviews that won’t give you a good idea as to the general consumer consensus.
Download free trials
Many programs allow the option to download a free trial. This allows you to test out the software yourself for free for a few days to get to grips with its features. Free trials are great for helping you to work out whether a program is user-friendly and efficient enough for your needs. Certain features may be locked during the free trial, so bear in mind that you may not be able to fully test the program’s capabilities. That said, taking advantage of the free trial will still give you a good idea of whether the program is right for you without having to buy it first.
Watch Youtube videos
You may be able to find informative videos on Youtube such as video reviews, demos, and tutorials. These can give you a further idea of what you can achieve with certain programs. Some of these videos may be uploaded by the software developers themselves and so may contain largely biased information. These videos could still be useful however for helping you to visualize the layout of the software on the screen and familiarise yourself with the features.