21 Dec Build Consensus Before You Buy Business Software
Business owners get to make executive decisions. It is one of the perks of the job. However, acting unilaterally when buying business software can be a risky move. Because new technology affects the entire team, the entire team (or at least key members) should have input on the choice. And while it may be impossible to please everyone, it is possible to come close.
Certain kinds of new business software (or upgrades) may appear no-brainers, but you would be surprised. Managers may see a lot of bells and whistles in a just-released product but few useful features. You also have to consider the software’s compatibility with your company’s other applications.
So begin by gathering feedback from your management team. In particular, note which features are ‘must haves’ and which ones are ‘just wants.’ Then work with your IT and financial departments (or advisors) to target the right software within a specific budgetary range.
Even if your managers agree on a product, the process is not over. Although giving lower-level employees a say in the software selection process might seem to create more problems than it solves, they will be using it, too. So lay the groundwork for a smooth implementation by hearing their thoughts as well.
As you do so, try to assuage any fear or confusion about the prospective new software. Typically effective moves include:
- Announcing which company system (or systems) will be affected
- Explaining your strategic objectives for adding or changing software
- Keeping staff regularly updated on the effort’s progress
This approach can make employees feel like they are part of the initiative and help foster more rapid buy-in.
A smart buy
Whether shopping for the holidays or buying mission-critical business software, everyone wants to make a smart buy. Please contact our firm for help setting a budget and engaging in a procurement process to make sure you make a smart buy.