We are living in the age of information, the age filled with technological advances that are reshaping our lives.
However, novelties of this kind are not only affecting the way we talk to each other, play with each other, enjoy music, movies, and so on. These advances are also changing the business world of today.
Fortunately, there is a way to benefit from this. You may have heard that certain types of software can improve the way you are running your business, but you are not so sure how to make it happen or how to choose the right tool.
If you’re eager to learn more about this, keep reading.
Why Using Software Can Help Your Business
There are quite a few segments of your business that can be improved with the help of software. Some of the more prominent ones include finances, customer support, email outreach, time-tracking, and so on.
Below you will find important tips that will help you choose the best software for your business and implement it right away.
With the help of software tools, you can do a great job when it comes to client management. To be precise, you can build and manage a customer database. However, don’t mistake this for a contact list.
A contact list is great because it is a place where you store phone numbers and addresses, but it doesn’t do anything else. However, a number of entrepreneurs recognized the more-than-clear benefits of customer databases.
In a database, you can store more details about your clients, and that will help you deliver quality service. What’s even better, you can even track personal preferences, service history, equipment details, and other important notes.
Service request tracking software
Many business owners claim that this kind of software needs to sit right up there at the top when it comes to quality and usefulness.
By implementing a service request tracking system, you will improve the time management between the second a customer calls and the moment of service request completion.
Without a good service request tracking system in place, users spend more time on non-value added work. Of course, this could be as simple as reducing the time it takes to answer a customer’s question, or as complex as managing resources efficiently.
With a solid system of this kind, you can work faster, save more time, and then spend the saved time in a better, smarter way.
If you are having trouble with the productivity levels of your workers, you will appreciate time-tracking software.
Even though some believe that this kind of software is ‘too much’, it is still an excellent tool for mapping out where time is spent and by whom. When you have such insight and use it properly, you can learn what your workers need to improve and how.
There are so many programs that you can use to share files easily, chat with your colleagues, and even hold video conferences. The purpose of these apps is to boost collaboration.
Some of them allow you to store files that can be downloaded by your employees, while some have to-do lists that you can customize, task boards, and so on.
You can even find free collaboration software online, but these free tools are only good to some extent. On the other hand, if you want to get better features, be ready to pay for them.
More prominent examples of this kind of software include Slack, Jira, Trello, and Basecamp.
Finally, there are some advanced software tools that you can use as online invoicing services that reduce the costs of collecting payments from your customers.
In addition, there are a number of budget tracking apps that make it easy for you to track each and every expense of your business. And, when you combine this with good accounting software, you will have no trouble filing your taxes.
This way, you will not only be aware of where each buck goes, but you will also make your accountant’s job (and life) way easier.
How to Choose the Right Software Tools for Your Business
Now that you are aware of the numerous benefits good software tools can bring your business, let’s see exactly how you can implement them in the office.
Bear in mind that not all types of software will fit your business. However, it is worth noting that there is something for everyone.
Let’s see how you should choose the software that best suits your business.
Think about your needs
Before you start buying software for your business, you need to think about your needs:
- What is your niche?
- What exactly can you do with the software?
Bear in mind that software tools won’t solve management or communication problems if there is bad blood in the workplace.
Figure out your business processes first, and then see what kind of software will suit your business. If you are running a small plumbing business, there is probably no need for you to buy online platforms such as Jira or Basecamp.
But, if you are developing apps and you have a remote team of workers, these platforms will work like a charm.
Do the necessary research
Once you have determined why you need software for your business, don’t rush anything. Why? Because all the excitement can make you buy a bad program or an app.
In order to avoid that, do some research. You can start by checking out other businesses in your industry. Find out what kind of software they are using and why.
Then go online and look for reputable companies that develop business software. Make sure to read user comments and reviews. And, if there is a possibility to first install a trial version to see whether you like the program, make sure to do it.
Check it out first, do some digging, and then make a purchasing decision.
The app needs to be for everyone
You should not forget that you are buying an app for your whole organization. If only a couple of your employees will use the new app, there is really no point in buying the app at all. Instead, make sure to implement the new app or program the best you can.
If you decide to buy a project management system, for example, it is important that you stick with it and build a culture around it. But what does that mean exactly?
Well, say that you have bought Asana. You should ask your employees to fully commit to using it. In other words, they should avoid using other channels/mediums to share files, post updates about projects, and so on.
It is important that you get everyone to use the app you selected, thus maximizing its potential.
Once you select your software tools, make sure that you organize a quick course on how to use those tools.
Not all kinds of software are easy to use. Some platforms are more sophisticated than others and they require some level of knowledge.
So, make sure that you explain each and every functionality and feature of the app you have bought. Don’t let your employees wander in the dark when it comes to the proper usage of your new software.
Instead, teach them how to use the software to its fullest potential.