Workplace inefficiencies can threaten the viability of small businesses. Inefficient processes at work cost businesses 20 to 30 percent of their annual revenue. With 82 percent of small businesses struggling due to cash flow issues, this significant revenue loss can accelerate their path to failure. Improving operational efficiency and boosting workplace productivity is critical for small-business success.
Business software improves operational efficiency as it simplifies time-consuming tasks and streamlines daily operations. Choosing the right software for your company can help save time and money, giving you more resources to promote small business growth.
Choosing the best software for your business needs can be a costly, time-consuming, and complicated affair. If you’re planning to upgrade or acquire new business software, make an effort to choose the right one. Software systems are expensive to implement. Choosing an inadequate software system will impair workplace productivity and drain your business’s financial resources.
In this guide, we’ll provide useful advice to help you successfully choose the right software for your small business. Use these tips to find a software solution that will generate the highest return on your investment.
Identify Business Needs
The first step in choosing the right software for your business is to identify the problems you want the new system to solve. Are there inefficient processes in your daily operations that new software can improve or automate? A survey conducted by The Alternative Board found that entrepreneurs spend ⎼ on average ⎼ 68 percent of their time tackling mundane day-to-day tasks at work.
Are you wasting significant amounts of time organizing, scheduling, and confirming meetings? A free online calendar software can help you plan and book meetings within a few minutes. Do you wait for days to receive a financial statement from your accounting department? You can use financial reporting software to generate quick, easy, and accurate statements in less than ten minutes. Review your operations to identify which tasks can be automated to boost workplace efficiency.
Take into Account Everyone’s Needs
To select the right software, you should address the needs of everyone involved in your business. This means taking into consideration your own employees’ and customers’ requirements. Every business has unique challenges to overcome to reach its full potential.
An eCommerce upcycling business that sells refurbished furniture will require different software solutions to promote business growth than a financial consulting firm.
Before you purchase new software, talk to your employees and customers to conduct a needs analysis. Doing a bit of research upfront will enable you to discover what features and functionalities to look for in a software system. When you have a clear understanding of what you need the software to do, you are more likely to purchase the ideal solution for your business.
Key Factors to Look for in Business Software
Once you’ve identified your business needs, you can go out and search for your ideal software. Look out for these criteria to help you choose the best software for your small business:
Ease of Use
One of the most important factors to consider in choosing the right software for your business is its usability. The ideal business software should be easy to learn and use. Intuitive software will reduce the number of resources needed to train employees. It will also decrease the likelihood of software misuse in the future, reducing workplace inefficiencies.
Software Compatibility and Integration
Most businesses use multiple apps and programs to conduct their day-to-day tasks. The average small business uses 102 different software solutions to simplify and optimize daily processes. Your business software and apps should be able to connect and work together to boost workplace efficiency. In your search for the perfect business software, make sure the platform is compatible and seamlessly integrates with your existing programs.
If you need software that handles and stores sensitive data, look for a solution that has security in the forefront of its mind. The alarming rate of recent cyberattacks signals that it’s crucial to protect business and consumer data from cybercriminals. Cyberattacks often cause substantial financial loss, devastating cash-strapped businesses. To choose the best solution for your business, find software with multiple security layers to safeguard sensitive data and control accessibility.
Your budget will play a very influential role in selecting a business software for your company. Business software is expensive to implement and maintain. Almost 42% of small businesses say the cost of technology is the primary factor for choosing a specific software. As you search for the right business software, don’t let cost be the primary deciding factor in your final choice.
When it comes to technology, you will get what you pay for. If you decide to purchase low-quality software to reduce operating costs, you will end up paying more down the road in lost productivity. Purchasing high-quality software is an investment in business growth as it will more than pay for itself over time.
Choosing a Software Vendor
After narrowing down your choices to a few ideal options, you should select the best software vendor to purchase your product from. The best software vendors offer stellar customer service and support to help their clients overcome technical issues with their products. Conduct a simple Google search to read customer feedback and check out software review sites to learn more about its product and service quality.
Customer reviews alone should not influence your decision to choose a software vendor. Do not purchase software before you get a first-hand experience of working with the product. Many software companies offer free trials and demos to help your team try out their product to determine if it satisfies their business needs and requirements. Sign up for a free trial to familiarize yourself with the software’s interface and functionalities before making your final purchasing decision.
The Right Software Can Help Your Business Thrive
In our modern, digital age, technology is critical to help your business stay competitive.
Advanced technologies and software solutions automate tasks to improve efficiency, boosting business profitability. Choosing the right software for your company helps you save time and money, freeing up essential resources needed to help your small business thrive. Use this guide to choose the right software to help your small business reach its full potential.