When You Need Software, Part 1

Don’t go into the software market blind, defenseless against the claims of the vendors and uncertain about which features are, or are not, genuinely important to your business needs.

This series of short articles gives you a way to:

  • Quickly assess what you need from a software package
  • Find potential software solutions
  • Evaluate each one of those
  • Pick the one that’s best for you and your business

Small business software that will do what you want it to do… seems like that should be simple enough, doesn’t it?

You can find software that will fit your requirements.

You can avoid the traps many small business owners fall into.

Software doesn’t have to be expensive, and the selection process doesn’t have to be a toss of the dice, or left to experts who speak in tongues.

Unfortunately, lots of times people buy without putting enough thought into it.

Or they buy out of frustration, or desperation, or because it seemed like a good idea.

Or on the recommendation of some well-intended friend.

And then they wind up with software that:

  • Doesn’t do all they want, or
  • Does way too much, or
  • Is much too complicated, or
  • Was too expensive, or
  • All of the above, or worse!

Which, in a small business, can be an absolute killer.

A step-by-step way to find software that works

“Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended
consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful.” Margaret J. Wheatley

You may not have the time, money, or people to do the same sort of research corporations do prior to multi-million dollar implementations; on the other hand, you can’t afford the consequences of a poorly informed decision… you don’t have the same monetary “buffer” that large companies often think they have.

The steps in this short series will save you time, money, and heartburn, because you will be prepared.

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Confucious

Use this series to give yourself an edge. Don’t go into the market blind, defenseless against the claims of the vendors and uncertain about which features are, or are not, genuinely important to your business needs.

Read the articles, they’re short and to the point. Think about how knowing this will help you be a smarter buyer. Just reading the articles will be a good beginning, because your mind will have a much more focused approach.

Do the exercises. If you were buying a house, or looking for office space, you’d put some thought into it first, right? Maybe even months of time, considering all you need and eliminating what you don’t need. These articles give you a step-by-step approach to buying software for your business.

When you’re done you’ll be many, many times more prepared for evaluating your business software choices.

After all, you want to buy the right software for your specific situation.

This obviously saves time and money, but it also eliminates the frustration and loss of momentum that comes with purchasing, installing, learning and attempting to use the wrong product. It’s demoralizing to have to go back and start over.

Turn yourself into a smart buyer. Finding the right software for your small business isn’t hard, but there is some work to the process. If you use these steps, you’ll have a great roadmap, and the confidence that goes with it.

Jump to Part 2: What’s the “mental environment” of the people who will use the new software?

Photo credits: striatic, Pulpolux !!!

Brett Jordan

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