Investing in new types of software is no small thing for business owners. Running a business is complex, labor-intensive, and expensive. So, anytime you implement new software, it’s critical that you come at it with a strategy in place.
After all, the whole point of technology is to make your operations run more smoothly. If you don’t implement the software correctly or ensure that your employees are using it regularly, it can result in wasted time and money.
First, you need to evaluate your company’s situation to determine what type of software you need most urgently. Then, you should do plenty of research into the many different products available. Once you’ve chosen the best software for your needs, you have to come up with a way to measure success, get your team on board with using the software, and set out to constantly learn how to get the most out of your investment.
We have provided some practical information and advice for helping you navigate the process of introducing new software to your business.
Determine Your Needs: 8 Types of Software
There are many categories of software on the market to help move your business forward. But that doesn’t mean that all of them will do that. It’s up to you and your team to assess where your business stands in relation to your goals and decide what areas can be made to be more efficient.
You might benefit from investing in software for anything from inventory management and cybersecurity to payment processing and marketing analytics. Here are eight of the all-around best types of software to consider for your business:
Out of the various types of software for business management, cybersecurity is the first software you should look into. Cybersecurity continues to plague businesses of all sizes. Small businesses have become a particularly big target for criminals. That’s why it’s critical to have reliable and effective software in place for your company. Products by LifeLock, Mimecast, and Intruder can help ensure that your company and customer data remain secure.
These days, customers expect a variety of options when it comes to the types of payment you accept. Along with taking cash and debit/credit cards, you may also want to consider adding online payments as an option, if you haven’t already. Venmo, PayPal, and Square are some of the leading online payment processing companies on the market.
Whether you work with a full-on distributed team or simply need to boost your internal communication at the office, collaboration software can be well worth the investment. Apps like Slack, Jostle, and Miro are used by a wide range of companies to keep remote work teams productive and foster company culture in the workplace.
There is some overlap in features between collaboration and project management software. Collaboration software tends to cater to more of the communication side of things. On the other hand, project management software provides you with a platform for keeping track of the actual work your team is doing on projects. Look to Monday.com, Basecamp, or Asana to keep your team accountable and ensure that everyone has the information they need to complete their tasks.
Incidentally, when communicating with your team members, you should also take advantage of free online tools wherever possible. For instance, this tool for converting files from PDF to Word can be invaluable for saving time.
Digital marketing is key to building your brand. And it all starts with your website. Fortunately, there are many platforms that allow entrepreneurs with minimal experience to create an engaging and attractive website to showcase their company. Wix, Squarespace, and WordPress are among the most popular website-building platforms.
Even if your company is small, the chances are your human resources department faces a variety of challenges. Between juggling hiring, onboarding, scheduling, compliance, and other responsibilities, investing in quality HR software is well worth the upfront investment. Look at products by Namely, BerniePortal, and Kissflow.
Promoting your business is essential to growing and achieving long-term success. But in order to get the most out of your promotional efforts, you need to know how to reach new audiences as well as appeal to your current customers. And what better way to figure that out than to analyze their behavior and trends? That’s where software like Google Analytics, HubSpot Marketing, and SEMrush can prove so valuable.
Social media gets a lot of attention for small business digital marketing. And that attention is warranted because it can do wonders for expanding your audience and boosting sales. But email marketing can be just as effective. Influencer Marketing Hub points out that, depending on what type of business you run, it can even be the most effective marketing channel you have at your disposal. Check out email software products like Mailchimp, OmniSend, Sendinblue to take your brand building to new levels.
Measure Your Success
If you don’t come up with a formula for measuring the success of your software rollout and implementation, then there’s really no way to know whether you are getting the most out of your investment. It’s critical to view results in the right light. This means determining what your team will consider progress and identifying specific pain points in your operations that need to be solved.
The traditional scientific method is a very effective way of measuring the success of your new software. Set a baseline for key metrics that you want to improve and measure those metrics against future results in the following weeks or months.
Convince Your Team
Oftentimes, employees are not crazy about big changes being made to their process. This applies when adding new software to the mix. However, you must get your entire team on board for the software implementation to be effective.
One thing that you have working for you is that employees usually care about results. They like to be productive and see the company making real progress. So, be sure to sell the new software to your team in a way that clearly explains how it will make everyone’s jobs more streamlined and successful. Enthusiasm among your team will help you get better results faster as well as make the training process go more smoothly.
Keep Learning the Software
Software changes often. After investing in any product, make a commitment to stay up to date on any changes or additions made to the product, especially if they will help make your operations more successful. Companies are constantly updating and adding features that can make their products even more valuable than when you first bought them. And you can often find free webinars, tutorials, and other services that will teach you how to get the most out of your software.
Adding new types of software to your business operations can have a transformative impact on the overall trajectory of your company. But this will only work if you take the necessary steps to make good on your investment. Decide what types of software are the most important for your team, develop a method for measuring the success of your rollout, convince your team of how the software can improve their workflow, and be vigilant about learning every feature that each product offers.
Sunvera Software develops next-level software applications from start-to-finish. We are a premier software and mobile app development agency specializing in healthcare mobile app development, custom mobile app development, telehealth software, sales dashboards, custom mobile app development services, retail software development, supply-chain software, ecommerce, Shopify, web design, iBeacon apps, security solutions and unified access software.
We are proud partners with Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
Schedule a free 30-minute call with us to discuss your business, or you can give us a call at (949) 284-6300.