Even the smallest of small businesses can benefit from technology to keep their organization running smoothly. With so many business management software options available, it can be tough to choose which one will best fit your needs, especially if you’re just starting out and don’t have many employees yet.
If you want to make sure you find the right business management software, start by asking yourself these questions about your business. This will help you figure out what kind of software suites your business needs and whether or not mobile capabilities are important to you.
Step 1: Understand what you need
Before you start shopping around, take some time to really think about what kind of software is best suited for your small business. Will you benefit from project management software, CRM software or invoicing tools? Some applications work better as part of a suite, so consider whether it makes sense to purchase multiple programs or buy everything at once. Ask other small business owners which apps they’re using—that can be a good starting point.
Step 2: Read Reviews
When deciding which business management software is right for your small business, start by reading product reviews from other users of these software products. For example, if you’re trying to decide between Insightly and Freshbooks, go online and read about Insightly and Freshbooks. The differences between Insightly and Freshbooks can be subtle, but such tiny details can make a big difference in terms of efficiency or ease-of-use.
Step 3: Ask Around
Chances are you know someone who has used a CRM solution in their business. If not, do a quick Google search for a small business CRM solution and see what tools come up. Reach out to one of these users, ask them about their experience with it, and find out if they’d recommend it.
Step 4: Demo before you buy
This is particularly important when you’re investing in an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. If you already own a small business and are considering upgrading, ask your vendor if they offer a demo version. This will allow you to try before you buy, without making any irreversible decisions until you’re sure it fits your needs.
Step 5: Shop around until you find the right fit
When it comes to business management software, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Every small business is different—and will have its own unique needs, resources and challenges—which is why it’s important to do your research and select a solution that will work well with your individual business. Whether you want a Google Apps Suite or an Apple iPhone app, each piece of software has its own benefits and limitations. It’s up to you to decide what works best for your business!
Step 6: Save money by signing up when it’s busy time in your industry
If you’re starting a business, you know how important it is to get a high-quality accountant. Asking around and doing research is great and all, but if you want to find an accountant at a lower cost, try going on during tax season. Obviously accounting firms are busy during tax season, so they are more likely than not willing to negotiate their rates if you’re not trying to just rip them off. Everyone wants and needs money right? So use that as your advantage.