The plethora of business software options currently on the market can leave you salivating. They all seem so useful and every last one of them makes you want to dig out the credit card and go on a spending spree the likes of which have not been seen since Imelda Marcos stopped buying shoes.
The thing is that, deep down, we know we don’t need them all, but they are all so darn tempting. With that in mind, how do you go about selecting which ones to buy and which ones to leave on the virtual shelf? Keep reading to get your checklist that will help you keep your spending under control:
1) Make full use of any free trial offered
Yeah, OK, we know, this one’s a no-brainer, right? Well, it may seem that way but you’d be amazed at just how many people leap straight in without a care in the world, only to realize that they’ve made a boo-boo when it’s all too late. If the software vendor is offering 30 days, use the product for 30 days. Too many people download the trial, give it a spin on day one and never load it up again because they’re ‘too busy’. Too busy! It’s business software – use it for business!
2) Check (and double-check) for free versions of the same product
Many of the all singing, all dancing pieces of software on the market these days have an open source equivalents available somewhere. Sure, they may not have all of the features available on the paid versions, but do you really need them? I mean, really need them? Be aware, however, that many open source software products make their money by charging for tech support. Look out for forums or tutorials that will help you navigate through the early days.
3) Take out full support
Say you’re buying a new piece of kit for the human resources department, and you stumble upon HR solutions software from CascadeHR. You take a look at what they have to offer and it seems perfect for your needs, so you go ahead and buy the suite that suits you best. When you come to checkout it asks if you want to add support and it sends you into a quandary. Do I? Don’t I?
The answer is always ‘Do’. Buying new software always comes with teething problems when you’re first finding your feet. Not having support can result in the software not being used at all, which, incidentally, is far more expensive than any support package offered.
4) Check out SaaS
Do you just need a short-term solution to a problem and feel that laying out a whole heap of cash is just way too much for your needs? Well, SaaS might be the answer for you. SaaS, or Software as a Service to give it its full title, is a piece of software that you can order and use for a specific period of time. After that time frame has elapsed the software will be disabled, but if you time it right it could be a far cheaper way of getting your task done than buying the full product.
So, there you have it, four simple ways to improve your business software buying – happy shopping!
[Image via Google Images]