For growing businesses, software can easily be viewed as an expensive and unnecessary luxury. This often prompts business owners to mistakenly pounce on the cheapest option in pursuit of convenience and short-term savings. But for software, cheaper doesn’t always mean cheaper.
The real cost of short-sighted software purchases is often hidden in a classic case of “too good to be true”. In fact, settling for subpar software systems could very well wreak havoc on your productivity and profits through unleashing brand-new business inefficiencies.
noun: the state of not achieving maximum productivity; failure to make the best use of time or resources.
Consistency is key
Skimping on quality might be acceptable when it comes to choosing laundry detergent, but not all software systems are created equal. When things don’t work as they should within your business, it’s a slightly bigger issue than having to put your clothes in for another cycle.
Be wary of systems that believe they can see you through without regular updates. Whilst something might be good, it can always be better, and choosing a software option that doesn’t constantly improve its offering might mean you get stuck with technology from the dark ages. However, if your software provider is overly eager to release new features without the proper testing, it can create an equally troubling problem.
Features that don’t perform well, glitchy updates, faulty Credit Card processing… these are all things that can mean complaints from customers, leading to time spent on customer service, time lost on other important tasks, money wasted on wages, phone call fees, and other expenses that will inevitably drive your overall costs up and deplete your bottom line. The best bet is to choose a provider that offers regular, regimented system updates with transparent testing and implementation processes.
Don’t let downtime get you down
Likewise, if you’re finding that system downtime is regularly showing up to the party uninvited, you should probably consider how this could be damaging your business. Picture this: If your system drops out during a period of busy bookings, you could potentially lose out on revenue from reservations and booking add-ons, lose the data from bookings made during the outage, have to temporarily resort to manual processes, spend time and money rectifying the aforementioned issues…. the list goes on! If your software is causing you more hindrance than help, get rid of it.
Did you know: Inefficiencies cost many organizations as much as 20 to 30 percent of their revenue each year.
Look for the full package
On the other hand, software designed for long-term business support can help you save both time and money. An all-in-one software solution complete with helpful integrations and automated systems eliminates the need for staff to switch back and forth between tabs and various platforms (#confusing #unproductive). With integrations for things like accounting, access control, self-service systems, and more, you’ll not only minimize those time-consuming processes, but negate the need for hiring a staff member for that one specific area of your business. Without such a product, you’ll be forced to supplement simple, automated processes with costly manual labor (#nothanks).
The right support, when you need it
While your software is important, if the support available isn’t equally as awesome, you’ll never be able to take full advantage of the system. A great software provider should be spending more than 50% of your subscription cost on support and development. They shouldn’t just offer adequate assistance; they should go above and beyond to answer the questions you need whenever you need them and provide you with helpful insights so you can reap all the benefits of their offering.
Instead of logging a ticket and waiting several days for an answer, your software provider should be equipped with enough support agents per client to provide timely help – we’re talking 10-second hold times, not 24 to 48 hours of waiting. Webinars, training tutorials, blogs, online help articles, and other resources are all marks of a thorough system, but nothing compares to high-quality, round-the-clock assistance from industry experts. The bottom line? You shouldn’t have to turn to Facebook groups looking to have your software queries answered by your peers.
That’s why it’s so vital to approach your software purchases with the right attitude. Don’t think of them as an inconvenient up-front cost that won’t offer you the immediate answers to all your problems. Think of them as long-term solutions and investments in your business’s future. The right software system should pay for itself by saving you time, saving you money, increasing your revenue opportunities, and more!