Whether your business is brand new or you’re looking to expand, new software can be a great way to take things to the next level. Finding the right software for you can naturally feel like a big deal, and you want to make sure that you’re investing your money into something that works well in the long term. 

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with all the options available, so to keep a level head, it helps to follow a specific process when you’re going through the selection process. Whether you’re looking for LMSs, CRMs, support tools, or more, we’ve got you covered.

Here are our top tips for choosing software products for your business:

Identify What Needs To Be Improved On Or Introduced 

First off, your business needs to have a clear idea of exactly what it’s looking for. Start out by making a list of what you feel needs to be improved on or introduced into your company. What do you like or dislike about your current software?

What do you want to improve on and how can these improvements be made? Is there anything you think you should get rid of? Maybe your website is running a little slow, or perhaps you want to offer a wider variety of payment options to bring in more sales. 

Once you get everything down on paper, you can clearly see the areas that you need to work on the most. This helps you to tailor your software search so that you’re only looking for what your company needs, and since this should significantly narrow down your search, you’ll probably feel a lot less overwhelmed. 

Do Your Research

Research

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start your search. Make a note of each type of software you’re considering, before branching out and listing the pros and cons for each one. Keep things like price, features, functionality and other determining factors in mind.

If you prefer, you could make a table with a different category for each software product so you can see more clearly what features each product boasts. This allows you to easily pick out the pros and cons of each type of software, making your decision-making process much easier. 

If you’re experienced in using a wide range of different software, then you’ll have an instant advantage, since you’ll already be aware of the pros and cons. However, if you’re completely new to the world of software or want to branch out into new territory, then it’s worth doing your research to make sure you’re confident of your new purchase.

Your eCommerce platform is essentially the face of your business, so if you’re looking to refresh your platform, it’s important that you find an exceptional team of web developers. Ecommerce developers like Iconography expertly combine design, development and client service, so your business will be fully taken care of.

You can take a look at Iconography’s guide for how to choose the best B2B eCommerce platform for 2021, to give you more of an idea of what to look out for when selecting an eCommerce platform, as well as what kind of services Iconography offer. 

Research New Software

Software

By this point, you’ve probably began actively searching for software online. It’s really up to you how you go about finding the right software for your business, and it’s easy enough to find the best software out there through a quick search on Google

The more analytical businesses may prefer to gather their information from a software comparison site. These handy sites will usually list the most popular software solutions available, while comparing different aspects like the price, the features, the functionality and more. It requires much less research on your behalf, saving you valuable time.

Another way to find the best software solutions for your business is to take a look at what your competitors are using. This is a great way to see how well the software performs on a site that is already launched, so it saves you the hassle of having to try it for yourself.

When you think about the most successful business in your niche, who immediately comes to mind? Is part of the reason they’re so successful because of the type of software they’re using? If so, can you implement this software into your own business? 

Trial Out The Software

Software

Once you’ve come to a point where you’ve narrowed down your choices, it’s time to try them out for yourself. It can be tempting to dive straight into using the product, but if a trial is offered to you, then you should always take it. 

Similarly, vendors may offer a demo with an in-depth explanation from a trained professional about how to use the software. Again, you should always accept the offer for a demo, since you’ll likely learn some valuable information along the way.

In order to avoid repeating yourself, it’s best to organise a meeting with members of staff so that everyone can see how the software works and share any questions they may have. If possible, compile a list of the questions you think are most important beforehand, so that you get all the information you need when the demo is happening. 

Pace Yourself

Once you’ve taken a look at the different demos on offer, it’s time to get analytical once again. Encourage staff to create a list, table or mind map sharing their thoughts on each of the demos. What did they like and dislike?

Which software seems easier to manage? Is there a software solution that seem more professional and of a better quality than others?

This stage can seem pretty overwhelming, so it’s a good idea to pace yourself. You don’t have to commit to all your demos and free trials at once.

Testing multiple different software types at the same time can get confusing, and it may result in you getting mixed up. Instead, aim for one or two trials at once, and allow enough time for note-making after each trial has ended. 

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Stefan Campbell
The Small Business Blog was started in 2009. Aiming to start, help, and grow small and medium sized businesses.