There are so many things that go into setting your business for success. One of them is ensuring you’ve the best business tools that offer longevity, consistency, resilience, scalability, and comprehensive real-time visibility throughout your operations. But with a plethora of different types of tools out there, finding the right ones for your business can be a challenge. Here are 5 common mistakes you should avoid to help you invest in the right tools and use them effectively.
1.Expecting Technology to Solve Process-related Issues
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make is expecting technology to resolve problems with their processes and procedures. Although technology can enhance your speed, efficiency, and profitability, it tends to augment the already available operational effectiveness. If your company is well organized and has error-free processes, technology can automate repetitive processes, save you time, and help you grow profits. If your company is disorganized and with messed up processes, technology will only intensify that incompetence.
Tip: When incorporating new tools to your business, look for those that help you optimize your existing processes or recommend better processes. If you don’t have error-free procedures and processes in place, start by developing them and ensuring your company is working on paper.
2.Not Considering Multiple Opinions
Another common mistake that many businesses make in the process of buying business tools is having an unclear idea of what’s required instead of precise requirements. It’s extremely easy to examine and invest in the best solution when you’ve a clear idea of what you expect from the system. Companies miss requirements when they leave the selection process to only technical personnel or a small team of leaders. Depending on one individual or department’s viewpoints is extremely narrow, particularly if several departments will be using the new system every day.
Tip: Involve various stakeholders in the process of selecting your business tools even if it’s those for opening a zip file. Remember while working employees will need tools that enable them to open and compress large files. Assemble a team of staff that can champion the needs of their respective departments. Once you gather viewpoints from a variety of future users, you can now design a requirements document to guide you in the entire selection process. Apart from issues you’re aspiring to solve, a good requirements document should also include important features that new tool(s) should have.
3.Relying on Recommendations Only
While recommendations from friends can be really helpful when you’re looking for the best software solutions for your business, they can also be risky if not accompanied by thorough research. Your friends may be running a business related to yours, but they may be following different processes or using different features in the tool. When purchasing solely on recommendation, you run the risks of expecting a tool to perform functions that are beyond its capability.
Tip: The right tools should meet the unique needs and requirements of your business. So even as you seek recommendations from your peers, consider following them up with in-depth research.
4.Buying Without Trying
Most business tools come with some sort of free trial or free plan. So before making a purchase, run the tool in one or two locations and see how it’s working. This applies to even tools for opening a zip file. Remember trial mode is designed to help you assess performance (speed and dependability) and see how the application works.
Tip: During the trial mode, ask yourself, “Does this tool function and feel like a perfect fit for my business?” Your answer to this question will help you decide whether you’ll buy the application or you’ll go on with your search.
5.Failure to Invest in Future-proofed Solutions
Investing in tools to fix immediate problems is another mistake many businesses make. This shortsighted approach has left many businesses having to deal with expensive and lengthy upgrades, hectic re-implementations, and continued reliance on tools that actually frustrates their expansion plans.
Pro Tip: Before investing in any software solution, think about the ways your business needs and requirements are likely to change in the future. Then, choose a solution that’s continuously expanding on current functionalities and incorporating new capabilities.
Businesses must ask the right questions, know the common pitfalls to avoid, and perform enough due diligence before investing in any business tools. They should invest in solutions that allow them not only to fix immediate problems but also their future challenges.
By: Andy Latkovskis, an HR Officer who specialises in employee training and development. He is truly passionate about nurturing talent and ideas that evoke transformative change in individuals, teams, and organisations.