We get asked daily for advice on how to choose the right software for small businesses and startups. As well as impartially reviewing all things tech and software online we also support small businesses with tough decisions such as this. When budgets are tight it's crucial to invest in software that will help to support your business.
So, how do you find the right software for your company? Every day we talk to founders who are trying to find business software that optimises their operations. So, to aid you in successfully finding the best software for your business, we’ve created a fast, 4 step process.
The first step of the software-buying process is identifying your needs and making sure they’re aligned with your business goals. What problem do you want this software to solve?
Are your processes streamlined and clearly documented? Tools will not solve management or communication issues. Sometimes it's more important to figure out your processes and communication guidelines before starting to layer on tools.
The right software should help to enhance productivity, but only if your processes are clearly defined. If not, you may discover weaknesses in how you operate.
Once you know what area you need help in you can then understand the type of software that will suit you. If your business deals with accounts, then accounting software that can help you sort and keep track of invoices might be best. Or, if you’re having trouble with payroll, a system designed to pay employees could be helpful.
No matter what kind of software you’re looking for, it’s important to check that you know exactly what you need before moving forward.
Although budgets may be tight, we advise against opting for the cheapest option purely based on price. Whilst this may save you money short term, in the long run, it could damage your productivity and functionality, impacting your business severely.
We advise investing in the most appropriate software that will free up your time, maximising productivity, reduce frustration, and increase client or customer satisfaction. It’s possible that the best solution could also be the most cost-effective because it prevents issues and streamlines processes.
Ensure you have a clear idea of exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to new software for your business. Establish the pros and cons of your current software (if you are using any software!) and then use this to make a list of requirements for any new software.
This list should be categorised based on need. You can then refer to this throughout the process to ensure you meet as many requirements as possible and ensure nothing crucial to your business is missed.
Google it. Pretty obvious, but it’s often the best place to start. Another relied on way to discover great software tools is to look at what others in your industry are using. Reach out on LinkedIn and ask what your network is using.
Although it's always worth bearing in mind that the best tool for someone else isn't necessarily the best tool for you.
It’s our mission to become the number 1 free and impartial support for small businesses looking to source software and technology.