A Quick Checklist For Selecting Business Software Upgrades

When selecting a business software upgrade, what you need is something that’s a comprehensive, easy to use, and will make your life easier on multiple fronts.  Picking up something like Copper Project Management Software is a no-brainer of course, but what about when it comes to upgrading the more specialized areas of your business?

It’s easy to get caught up in the next big thing when it comes to shopping for software upgrades.  With the exponential growth in the rate of new advances in project management tools, technical capabilities, and communications, the choices available when picking personal methods of running a company are becoming more and more comparable to being a kid in a candy shop.  Sure, you can grab everything in sight and immediately cram it into your mouth, but then you’ll be out of cash in a hurry with nothing to show for it but an upset stomach and the jitters while the specter of a huge dental bill looms off in the distance.

When starting to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available, you should ask yourself the following questions:

1) Do I already have systems in place that efficiently cover all of the options the Shiny New Thing offers?

The old term, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” comes into play here.  Purchasing something simply for the sake of purchasing something is counter-productive financially, and at best will provide a few steps to the side in the progress of your business rather than the leap forward you should be aiming for.  Sometimes it’s best to save your money until something truly better comes along.

2) Does the Shiny New Thing do everything I need it to do?

Let’s say, for the sake of argument, you’re running a graphic design business.    You’re looking for an upgrade to your current software.  Buying a program that covers only 90% of what you need isn’t a good option, since you’re just going to have to go shopping for a specialized utility to cover the other 10% that the first program lacks.  Unless the new software is such a spectacular upgrade that it makes up for the difference in time and money involved in finding something that covers what the newer software lacks, it’s not going to be a good use of your finances.

3) Do I need everything the Shiny New Thing does?

A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a pen with an attached adjustable flashlight for writing in the dark.  That’s all well and good, as I’m a frequent note taker, and I don’t always have the advantage of proper lighting.  It also had a laser pointer, which would come in handy when doing presentations or creating adorable cat videos.  That was really nice as well.  It also had a built-in black light, which could be used for…  I don’t actually know what I would use that for, since I don’t often use invisible ink.  As a gift, it was still a really neat thing, but if I were actively looking to purchase a pen that could suit my potential needs, I’d take a good long look at exactly how much I was paying for that black light option.  Your utility software should be treated in exactly the same way.  Basically, a program that can blow through 3D models with ease while wirelessly communicating with your coffee maker in order to brew that perfect cup might seem like as much of a really neat thing as the aforementioned pen, but is it really something you should be willing to pay a premium for if you’re not a coffee drinker?

4) When taking the answers to the three previous questions into account, is the Shiny New Thing cost effective?

If so, then by all means, pick the software upgrade that best suits your needs.  If not?  You’re probably better off saving your money and sticking to what you have.  If nothing else, it’s good to maintain a bit of financial padding in case of emergencies.

Joseph H is a blogger for Copper.  A long time ago, he spent around $70.00 at a candy store and had some serious regrets.  Oh, and by “a long time”, he means “about two weeks”.