Everything You Need To Know About Business Software

programming, coding
Source: pxhere

In my eyes, every business should use at least one piece of computer software. Whether it’s something to manage your expenses, or a system that keeps consumer information tucked safely away - the bottom line is; software is useful. 

Saying that, there is a lot to think about before you go out and get some business software. It’s not just a case of buying the first thing you see, there’s more to it than that. As such, I’ve put together a guide that will help you understand everything there is to know about getting your hands on business software

Developing Custom Software 

Instead of going out and downloading existing software, you could build your own. Why would you do this? It sounds time-consuming, expensive, and the overall worst option out of the two. There are lots of little reasons this may seem like an attractive prospect to you, but the main one is this; it’s software that’s unique to your business. 

In turn, this means you have something that’s designed to work for a specific purpose. There’s no need to worry about loads of extra features that may be available on other software downloads, which you will never use. Not only that, but you’ve got something that’s easier for you to manage and maintain. When problems occur, you can deal with them quickly because you haven’t got to contact a customer service team to help sort them out. 

As for the time-consuming and expensive worries, these aren’t as bad as you originally perceive. Most people assume you need to hire a software development team, but you can easily just outsource proceedings to another company. Or, a more popular idea is the concept of a software development team extension. This is where you have a small and affordable team in your office, but you get the help of another business to act as an extension of your team. Doing this allows you to speed up productivity, without having to spend too much money. Plus, it’s arguably better than outsourcing as some of the team work on your premises, so you have easy contact methods. 

Is custom software development the right path for you to proceed down? This depends; do you want to create some software applications that are unique to your business? A lot of companies may find they have everything they need in existing software so this wouldn’t be necessary for them. If your business fits the category of a company that requires its own software as nothing else is working well for you, then go for it. 

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Source: pixnio

Purchasing Existing Software 

The next thing to cover is buying software that already exists. This is a popular method for many, as it’s seen as the quickest and easiest way to do things. Instead of taking on the burden of software development yourself, you simply search for something that’s already been developed by a different company. 

As alluded to earlier, the main drawback of this is that some software comes with almost too many features. This makes it hard for you and your team to understand, leading to a lengthy learning period. Or, you may have features on there that just are never going to be used. It means you end up with a bloated piece of software that you feel like you’re not getting the most out of. As a result, it can kind of feel like you’re wasting money by not seeing its full potential. 

But, purchasing existing software has the benefit of coming with reviews. You can see what other businesses think about this software, and whether or not it will indeed help your company. There are loads of examples of business software that so many companies download and use. Quickbooks is just the first one that springs to mind; it’s bookkeeping software for businesses. Loads or organizations find it useful to manage their books, and so on. It’s also a lot cheaper to buy software that already exists, and you can have it on your desktop in seconds. 

There are a few pieces of advice I have surrounding this topic. Firstly, I suggest you always buy the software directly from the developer's website. This gives you confidence that you’ve spent money on something that’s a) genuine, and b) not riddled with viruses. As tempting as it is to buy a free version from a dodgy site, you should always support developers and pay for it. Secondly, do your research and find the best software for your needs. Price should be no object, as this is an investment more than an expense. Let’s say you spend $300 on software, it seems like a lot, but you now own that software forever, so it’s still great value. 

Combining The Two 

At this point in the article you’re probably thinking; hang on, what if I wanted to do both these things? That’s a very good point, you can easily combine both methods when it suits you. In fact, this is the recommended thing to do! 

There are times where you might need a custom piece of software because nothing out there is ticking all the right boxes for your business. So, you can still develop this and then use existing software for other business processes. It’s rare to see a company that uses completely custom software for everything. Granted, many will only use existing software, but I think a combination can work well in the right scenarios. 

The key is figuring out when you benefit more from custom software compared to existing software. 

Source: Max Pixel

Managing Your Budget 

Of course, the final thing to talk about is your budget. No matter if you develop the software yourself, or you’re buying it online; it still costs money. Always ensure that you’re managing your budget and only spending what you can afford. 

I know this sounds contradictory to what I said earlier about money being no object when you purchase the software. What I really meant was that you should set a budget and then go on your hunt for the right product. As long as everything fits your budget, then the price doesn’t matter as you can afford it. 

The same obviously goes for custom development. Whether you’re hiring an entire team, outsourcing; whatever, make sure you have a budget drawn up. Calculate the cost of developing the software before you go out and do it. Heck, you may find it's way out of your league, in which case you’ll have to just buy software anyway! 

Business Software: A Summary 

So, to summarize everything; business software is both essential and beneficial. There are loads of different types out there, but they’re all designed to help you improve your business processes. This could mean speeding things up, getting rid of errors, improving efficiency, helping you stick to deadlines, and so on. 

Next, if you want to get your hands on some business software, then you have two options; develop it yourself or buy it online. Either option can work well for you, it all depends on the software you’re interested in using. If you choose to develop it, then you’ll need to find talented individuals to do this, either by hiring them, outsourcing, or both! 

When buying software, be careful to always go to the official site so avoid downloading anything dodgy and teeming with malware. Similarly, do as much research as possible to ensure you get the best software for your needs. If all the reviews for something are negative, it’s probably not worth buying. 

I hope this post has helped you understand business software and the options available for your business. If you want to run an efficient and productive business, then get your hands on the right software today.

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