In today’s digitally transformed landscape, it’s becoming increasingly important for every business owner to have the right software solutions in place.
According to one recent study from Capterra, more than half of small business owners said that the pandemic prompted them to utilize new software and technology tools.
If you’ve started to expand and need more help managing and motivating your team, a software solution can help you to do that. The right software can support your staff when they’re working remotely and give you the tools you need to track important metrics.
Unfortunately, while companies know they need to increase their investment in software solutions, many don’t know how to get started.
We’ve got some tips to get you started.
Invest in Tech That Integrates
There are more tools and apps than ever to help you manage your business. Unfortunately, the more software you use, the more there is to keep track of.
The last thing you want is for your team members to be constantly bouncing between many different apps to get work done. Because of this, it often helps to have a centralized environment which supports integration.
For instance, the Microsoft Office ecosystem integrates productivity tools with business email, collaboration through Microsoft Teams, and other features.
The more you can connect your software solutions, the more productivity you should be able to unlock for your teams. If natural integrations don’t exist, don’t be afraid to look into APIs.
Explore a Range Of Options
You don’t need to have to shoehorn everything you do into one application. With the integration options discussed above, you can connect multiple best-in-class solutions into the best solution for your team.
This could mean bringing together different platforms for CRM (Customer Relationship Management), collaboration, and customer support.
Take your time to search through the various options that are available in your industry, and make sure you don’t compromise on functionality and feature sets. The more open-minded you are about the tools you use, the better.
Plan for Now and the Future
As a small business, you probably have a limit on how much you can afford to spend on your software. It’s often tempting to invest only in what you need right now. After all, you don’t want to get the most advanced software if you’re not going to use all the features.
However, while it’s important to pay only for what you use, don’t overlook the importance of flexibility.
Your software solution should be flexible enough to adapt to your business as it grows. This means you need to be able to start off with a small selection of tools, but still have the option to upgrade your features and functionality.
Look at the scalability of the services that you’re purchasing, and make sure that the platforms you’re working with will continue to grow into the future.
Start in the Right Areas
Deciding where to start investing in tools needs to come from a consideration of the activities you do every day. If your company can’t thrive without constant communication between dispersed team members, it pays to start with a cloud collaboration tool.
If you’re trying to keep track of the assignments you send to multiple remote team members, you might need a project management or workforce optimization tool.
There’s no one-size-fits-all requirement for where you should start investing.
The best thing you can do is start with the crucial concerns you have right now and work from there. Consider talking to your team members about their biggest pain points for inspiration.
Use Free Trials
Finally, now that software is such an essential part of the business landscape, there are countless options available for virtually every need. With so much competition in the marketplace, many platforms offer free trials and demos to give you a taste of the software.
As a small business, it’s always a good idea to take advantage of these free trials whenever you can.
Trialing your software before you invest fully should stop you from making any expensive decisions that don’t work out for you long-term. Plus, it’s a great chance to see which kinds of tools really have the biggest impact on your business.