Top 10 Tips for Buying Business Management Software

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Business management software is a significant investment for any business. Get the biggest bang for your buck with these Top 10 Tips on what to do and what not to do when you make your software purchase.Business management software is a significant investment for any business. Get the biggest bang for your buck with these Top 10 Tips on what to do and what not to do when you make your software purchase.

1. Do: Budget the Total Cost of Ownership

The cost of implementing new business management software goes beyond buying a license. For instance, when staff is being trained on your new system, who will do their jobs? It’s imperative to factor in the potential cost of your employees doing two jobs at once (training while keeping up on their regular work), burnout and your investment in keeping them with your company.

2. Don’t: Buy From Your Drinking or Golfing Buddy

Sure, let the software consultant treat you to a round of drinks or golf. But make your investment only if you have a true need for it and do it when sober! Make your purchase for the right reason with the right talent at the right time.

3. Do: Align the Solution with Your Talent

If you don’t have your people on board with your new software, they may simply decide not to use it. That means it’s imperative that you manage the change with your team, share your enthusiasm for the software with them and ensure their involvement in the project. Remember, if you lead, your talent will follow.

4. Don’t: Trust an Advisor Over Your Own People

This goes hand-in-hand with #3. Your team has to be excited, enabled and engaged in order to reach your business goals. Without that support, it doesn’t matter how right the consultant is. Buy-in from your employees is a must.

5. Do: Demand Accountability

By this, I don’t mean simply bullying the project manager to succeed or get fired. Set him or her up for success and provide clear, realistic expectations. With your support, a budget and the right solution, they will be empowered and motivated to succeed.

6. Don’t: Make a Decision Based Solely on Price

The best solution or service isn’t always the one with the lowest price tag. Make sure you are aware of all costs, including add-ons you may not want today but will require tomorrow. This way, you better ensure you get the value you are expecting.

7. Do: Buy Business Value, Not Technology

Simply put, buy based on business needs, not features that amount to little more than eye-candy. Nifty features that talk to your smart phone and remember what was ordered for your last business lunch are nice to have but that’s about it.

8. Don’t: Skimp on Hardware, Implementation & Training

Common fatal mistakes are: thinking new software can be run on old hardware with improved results; attempting to make your business adapt to the software rather than paying to have it customized to your specific business needs; and assuming the software is so intuitive that your people will not need training.

9. Do: Negotiate the Costs of Licensing, Support, Maintenance & Implementation

Time negotiations with your consultant’s month, quarter or year end for the best results. Remember, you are not buying a license – rather you are buying the right to use the intellectual property of someone else. This means paying recurring costs, likely annually, for the software licence and support in addition to its initial implementation.

10. Don’t: Assume Software Will Solve All Your Problems

Yes, the right solution for your business can help you better focus on and achieve your goals. However, it won’t turn underachievers into star talent. The performance of your new software is predictable. People are a different ballgame.

1. Do: Budget the Total Cost of Ownership

The cost of implementing new business management software goes beyond buying a license. For instance, when staff is being trained on your new system, who will do their jobs? It’s imperative to factor in the potential cost of your employees doing two jobs at once (training while keeping up on their regular work), burnout and your investment in keeping them with your company.

2. Don’t: Buy From Your Drinking or Golfing Buddy

Sure, let the software consultant treat you to a round of drinks or golf. But make your investment only if you have a true need for it and do it when sober! Make your purchase for the right reason with the right talent at the right time.

3. Do: Align the Solution with Your Talent

If you don’t have your people on board with your new software, they may simply decide not to use it. That means it’s imperative that you manage the change with your team, share your enthusiasm for the software with them and ensure their involvement in the project. Remember, if you lead, your talent will follow.

4. Don’t: Trust an Advisor Over Your Own People

This goes hand-in-hand with #3. Your team has to be excited, enabled and engaged in order to reach your business goals. Without that support, it doesn’t matter how right the consultant is. Buy-in from your employees is a must.

5. Do: Demand Accountability

By this, I don’t mean simply bullying the project manager to succeed or get fired. Set him or her up for success and provide clear, realistic expectations. With your support, a budget and the right solution, they will be empowered and motivated to succeed.

6. Don’t: Make a Decision Based Solely on Price

The best solution or service isn’t always the one with the lowest price tag. Make sure you are aware of all costs, including add-ons you may not want today but will require tomorrow. This way, you better ensure you get the value you are expecting.

7. Do: Buy Business Value, Not Technology

Simply put, buy based on business needs, not features that amount to little more than eye-candy. Nifty features that talk to your smart phone and remember what was ordered for your last business lunch are nice to have but that’s about it.

8. Don’t: Skimp on Hardware, Implementation & Training

Common fatal mistakes are: thinking new software can be run on old hardware with improved results; attempting to make your business adapt to the software rather than paying to have it customized to your specific business needs; and assuming the software is so intuitive that your people will not need training.

9. Do: Negotiate the Costs of Licensing, Support, Maintenance & Implementation

Time negotiations with your consultant’s month, quarter or year end for the best results. Remember, you are not buying a license – rather you are buying the right to use the intellectual property of someone else. This means paying recurring costs, likely annually, for the software licence and support in addition to its initial implementation.

10. Don’t: Assume Software Will Solve All Your Problems

Yes, the right solution for your business can help you better focus on and achieve your goals. However, it won’t turn underachievers into star talent. The performance of your new software is predictable. People are a different ballgame.

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