When it comes to choosing business software, having at least a bit of experience goes a long way. However, many small business owners, especially solo entrepreneurs, are entirely clueless about the topic. And while it’s perfectly okay (you don’t have to know it all), some people make common mistakes when choosing business software.
These, of course, should be avoided, as they can cost you money and time (and frustrate you quite a bit). And while it’s never guaranteed that your final choice will be the right one, knowing about some of those common pitfalls will help you avoid them.
Today, we’re covering the biggest mistakes people make when picking new software for their business.
Thinking Only About the Budget
One of the most common mistakes when choosing business software is fixating on its cost.
It’s true that some types of business software can be expensive. Especially for solo-run businesses or small teams, subscriptions can be a stretch to a monthly budget. However, making the price the only decision-affecting factor is a huge mistake.
Remember that the idea of using business software is to help you make more money. As such, you should treat it as an investment, not a burden. Sometimes it’s a better choice to spend a little extra but gain access to a better solution that will solve more problems you face every day. And through that – help you increase your revenue.
Not taking into consideration user-friendliness
You and your team must feel comfortable while using a given platform. Of course, the more advanced it is, the more complex it will be as well. Some levels of complexity can’t be lowered and you need to learn the ropes.
However, there are business applications which are unnecessarily bloated or complex (it’s a major red flag discussed in the article about things to avoid in business software). These can be a pain in the neck to use even for the tech-savvy people – and a real nightmare for those who struggle with technology in general.
Make sure to pick software which matches how technologically advanced you or your team are. In the end, being unable to figure out the app will only lead to wasting its potential, your time and your money.
Not spending enough time testing
It’s possible you will love some solutions from the first try. However, there’s also a major risk that if you don’t spend enough time testing, you won’t discover problems or drawbacks that surface later on.
Make sure to spend enough time learning about the strong and weak points of all considered solutions. Testing is a vital part of a software selection process and you can’t be shallow about it.
Not researching less popular alternatives
Each software category has its market staples – platforms that are tried, tested and loved by millions of users. Usually, going for them is a good choice for cloud software beginners. Not always, though.
Oftentimes it’s a good idea to dig a little deeper and find alternatives to these massive brands. For each well-known platform, there are dozens of smaller and less popular ones. Sometimes, they’re less attractive copies. But sometimes, they’re gems targeting your niche, problems and needs.
Misunderstanding your problem
Problem awareness is a major factor that will affect your decision. Be sure you understand what ails your business – and that you understand it correctly. Because what happens if you’re unsure what’s wrong, or suspect the wrong thing to cause you trouble? You end up wasting money on software that doesn’t help you and your problem remains unsolved.
Sometimes it’s worth it to talk to sales reps at different software companies. They’re versed in understanding the problems of their users – and sometimes they can explain them to you better than you’d expect.
Not researching enough options
Even if you end up with the second or third option you tested, it’s a good idea to have multiple choices to go with. As said above – for each popular platform there are dozens of alternatives. Doing short, shallow and quick research is not going to help you find the right fit for your business.
Spend time researching. It’s going to be worth it.
Not reading reviews
Reviews, however biased they are, are a great way to see your potential solution in a new light.
While it’s always a good idea to take them with a grain of salt, read reviews to learn about the most common complaints related to your software of choice. These which repeat time and time again are likely to be more than a one-time incident. And they probably tell a whole lot about the solution’s quality.
Similarly, educate yourself on a given platform’s advantages so you know which pain points and problems it addresses best.
You may be extra cautious, but it’s likely you’ll still make some mistakes when choosing business software – especially if it’s your first time. Don’t worry – most software selection processes aren’t perfect.
However, by being familiar with the mistakes listed above, you can spare yourself a lot of trouble. And in the end, that’s what matters for your business.