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Cloud computing has made running a business much easier. In the past, startups had to either design their own software or hire a vendor to do it for them. Now, the are many services and platforms to choose from.
In addition, choosing the best software for your startup is easier than ever. It’s possible to take care of nearly anything in your startup for a small monthly fee. This includes accounting, communication, and even human resources.
However, all of those benefits come with one major drawback: With so many options, how do you know you’re picking the best software solution for your startup business?
For many businesses, it’s a case of trial and error. Making the wrong vendor commitment, on the other hand, is analogous to making the wrong hire. You’re not just spending money on it, you’re also devoting valuable time and effort to putting it into action.
That’s a lot of resources squandered if it doesn’t work out in the end. When it comes to finding the best services to outsource, the first step is going back to your True North. This means looking at the impulse that drove you to create your company in the first place.
Once you recognize your direction, you can proceed to the following phase. Consider these questions:
1. What capabilities for your startup are you searching for in particular?
Unfortunately, a software-as-a-service or SaaS is not tailored to your company’s specific needs. As a result, when you outsource a provider, they will almost certainly never be ideal.
Nonetheless, the correct platforms are critical to your startup’s success. Therefore, consider all of your options and make a well-informed decision. Make every effort to reach as close to 100% as possible.
Making a poor decision based on the charm of a sales demo is the most common error people make. The service looks like it performs so many important things and they talk about it in such an appealing way. However, when you dig deeper, you’ll find it doesn’t always do the things you need.
Therefore, it’s important to distinguish between the things you must have and the things it would be nice to have. It may look good on the surface, but if it lacks functionality, it’s a waste of time and money. However, you can’t always identify value from a sales presentation alone, so you should always test it before you buy.
2. Do they let you try the software before you buy it?
The best examination of software is firsthand experience. Therefore, choosing the best software for your startup means getting your hands on the software for a while. However, a trial is not the same as a full-fledged implementation.
Many businesses will trick you into signing a long-term contract with a 25% discount for signing up for two years. However, after a few months, you’ll know whether or not the service is right for you. And if you’ve already made a 2-year commitment, you’ll be stuck with it for another 20 months.
Asking for the ability to cancel within the first few months is a better way to go. You can, for example, sign a two-year contract with the option to cancel after the first three months. This allows you to thoroughly test the software and ensure that it is a suitable match for your company.
Truthfully, it is difficult to determine if it is a good fit unless your staff has worked with it firsthand.
Reframe the sales demo to match your needs in circumstances when a trial isn’t possible. Ask about a particular problem your company has regularly and if their service can take care of it. Further, ask how it takes care of the problem and be sure to request examples.
This type of interactive presentation will show you whether the program is useful. However, it will also show you how to use it. In addition, it will reveal whether the company is willing to collaborate with you to resolve issues.
3. What services does the vendor offer in addition to the software?
Only half of the battle is won when you have a functional, well-suited service. When you integrate a SaaS solution into your company’s tech stack, it becomes an integral part of your daily operations.
Once the sale is made, your connection with the vendor should not cease. When you pay for a subscription service, you’re paying for a consistent level of service. Therefore, you should be able to get help if you run into problems later on.
Many vendors, unfortunately, fall short in this area. Therefore, before you commit, look into a company’s customer service reputation.
Do they have a reputation for incorporating consumer feedback? Furthermore, do they provide regular updates and respond to issues within a fair time frame? Are you speaking with a real person or a chatbot if you need to contact the company?
These are crucial questions and the answers will determine whether or not you have a positive experience with the product. When you outsource services, you free up time and energy to focus on the primary mission of your startup. Even if these services aren’t essential to your objective, you must not overlook them.
The wrong software might stymie your progress. However, the right software can keep you on track toward success.
Image Credit: Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!