Guest blog post by Gloria Martinez.
Too many entrepreneurs have purchased software after watching a slick demo only to experience buyer’s remorse soon after. As a business owner, you want to buy software that delivers the value it promises, whether you buy it off the shelf or on a subscription basis.
This article shows you five crucial steps to buying software that fits your budget and needs:
- Assess your needs
- Seek buy-in
- Compare multiple options
- Mind the cost
- Pick a solution
Continuous Testing Blog from Eran Kinsbruner invites you to read on to find out more.
Assess Your Needs
Buying decisions that take into account all the facts result in satisfactory software purchases. Assess your needs before you make a substantial investment in software for your business. For example, if you’re looking to register your business as an LLC, then you may want to work with an online formation service that can help you correctly file the paperwork. You can call the Zen Business phone number to learn more about the process.
It’s important to break down which software and/or services will best serve your business before you consider purchasing anything, especially when you’re operating on a very tight budget.
Get Buy-In From Stakeholders
As the owner of the business, you may have the authority to make a unilateral decision on what software to buy. Still, it’s important to get buy-in from your employees, managers, IT team, and customers. Carrying out a comprehensive needs assessment helps achieve buy-in from all these stakeholders.
Take into account how implementing new software or replacing your current system will affect your processes, habits, hardware, and work culture. Purchasing new software often leads to significant changes in your operations. Let your employees know how these changes will affect them so they’re well-prepared to adjust.
Compare Prospective Software Solutions
Once you get stakeholder buy-in, start reviewing prospective software solutions. Narrow down to a few top-tier software providers. Your exclusion process should rely on questions based on the needs you identified in your needs assessment.
Here are a few examples of questions to guide you:
- What are your must-have and nice-to-have features?
- How much data storage do you require?
- How much customer support will you need?
- Do you want an on-site or cloud-based solution?
- How scalable is the software?
Your budget also determines the software solutions you consider. A feature such as live chat support may drive up the price but may be worth the investment.
Consider the Cost
Research all the costs involved in purchasing and implementing the software to ensure you’re prepared. Here are a few considerations to make.
- Is the software available as a one-time purchase or SaaS solution?
- For SaaS solutions, does the provider offer a discount for annual billing?
- Does the contract, if any, include an early cancellation penalty?
- How much will it cost to scale up?
- Is support billed separately?
Getting answers to these and other salient questions ensures you purchase software that fits your needs and budget.
Choose a Solution
You’ve whittled down your shortlist to one or two suitable software solutions. Take a multi-pronged approach to ensure you get the solution all stakeholders will find satisfactory.
- Use a trial period to test the software.
- Research the vendor by reading customer reviews.
- Ask your industry peers who use the software their thoughts on it.
Again, consult your needs assessment to determine what trade-offs you’re willing to make.
As a business owner, your bottom line is an essential KPI. You want to optimize the returns on your software investment. The steps outlined in this article will help you buy the best software for your business.
This is a guest blog post by Gloria Martinez.
Gloria loves sharing her business expertise and hopes to inspire other women to start their own businesses and seek promotions in the workplace. She created WomenLed.org to spotlight and celebrate women’s achievements