As a business leader, you need the ability to manage your time, operations, and staff members with efficiency. Yet, we don’t have to tell you that you’re already working with a full plate.
Thankfully, there are tech tools that will take care of the legwork for you. The field of business management technology includes automated solutions designed with the busy professional in mind.
Not sure which software platforms are right for you? Wondering which features set one system apart from the rest? We’ll cover it all in today’s guide so you can make an informed buying decision moving forward.
Consider Your Business Needs
Before you look into different types of business management software, start by defining your needs and examining your pain points. Which workflows are currently centered on manual processes that are slowing your teams down and impeding your productivity?
It’s 2022, and your employees should be able to access tools that eliminate most if not all of their manual processes. For instance, if you still rely on Excel spreadsheets and graphing calculators to run your accounting department, then look into financial technology software that can automate these tasks.
Not only do these solutions make the work quicker, but they can also make it more accurate. Manual entry always has an inherent risk of human error, and when you’re dealing with payroll, invoicing, and other sensitive documents, you can’t afford to transpose a number.
Create an Implementation Team
Implementing business technology can be a major undertaking. It will take days, weeks, and even months of dedicated support and focus. You’ll also need to acquire resources, money, and support from your C-suite executive team.
As such, it’s never smart to rush into it. Instead, create a dedicated project team comprised of employees who will be primarily focused on getting the right system in place. While they may have other mission-critical duties to attend to, this should take top priority.
This team will be responsible for managing both the technical side of the implementation, as well as the people side of it. Any time you introduce new software or a different workflow that goes against familiar best practices, you’re bound to experience some type of pushback and resistance.
Even if those old processes were clunky and outdated, it can be daunting to think about doing things a different way. In addition to those concerns, employees may also feel worried that tech-savvy tools and automated systems will eventually replace their position. Change management is a critical part of any project, and it helps you transition your workforce into this new phase.
There are lots of different business management tools on the market. Yet, they aren’t all created equal. Once you know the specific type of software you need, you can shorten your list even further by reading online vendor reviews.
Enter the name of each product or provider into your search engine, and you should be able to see what others are saying about it. While each user’s experience is unique, you can browse these reviews to discern common themes, such as how well the product works or the results that it provides.
This can help you understand what you might experience if you implement the solution in your own workplace. Research shows that 84% of people now trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends and family members, so it’s smart to take advantage of this free feedback.
Schedule Vendor Consultations
Whether you need project management programs, financial software, or any other type of tool, it’s always best to take the system for a test drive before you invest in it. If you’ve narrowed your list down a little more, you can start scheduling vendor demos at your office.
During these demos, vendor representatives will walk your employees through the basic features of their system. They’ll demonstrate how it works, and allow end-users to try it out for themselves. Before they leave, they’ll usually hold a Q&A session, where they’ll answer questions, address concerns, and explain what makes their solution unique.
Keep Your Budget in Mind
It’s easy to get swayed by vendor presentations. They’re skilled in selling their product, and they know what to say to pique your interest and appeal to your needs. However, resist the urge to over-spend on a solution just because it has fancy bells and whistles.
Ultimately, the technology you choose should align with your company’s organizational goals and your vision for the future. If that isn’t the case, then even the slickest solution could fail to deliver the results you need. Before you start reviewing solutions and meeting with vendors, create a realistic project budget that you know you can comfortably stick to.
Compare Similar Platforms
By this point, you should only have a handful of platforms left to consider. Upon first look, they might all seem very similar in nature. They might even be priced along the same lines.
This is when it can help to look at charts and graphs that compare the two solutions in a side-by-side format. Often, vendors will take care of that step and perform the cross-analysis for you. For instance, take a look at how CostCertified broke down its features to compare them with their competitors.
Invest in the Right Business Management Technology
The right business management technology can revolutionize your organization from the inside out. When you invest in tech tools that help you work smarter, accomplish more, and maintain morale, you’re already one step ahead in your industry.
The key is to understand what you truly need, and allocate enough time and money toward it. You can also leverage the power of the internet to compare options, schedule vendor consults, and read online reviews.
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