Situation: You are using an outdated software system, and there are distinct benefits such as improved efficiency and improved customer satisfaction. But you don’t want to move because the economy seems dismal, and you want to keep your money instead of spending it on software. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help make the decision easier. If you are honest with your answers for each of these questions, your decision will be an easy one, either way.
Will the time and money saved pay off the new system? How long will it take?
Accounting software and payroll software for your business typically costs money. If a system is good, it will improve your efficiency enough that the money paid is well worth it. For instance, invoices are processed faster, bringing in cash more quickly. Inventory is accurate, so you know how many items to order and when to order them, so you keep just enough in stock, saving you money on costly ‘dead stock’ or backorders. These are just a few of the benefits you may be gaining by upgrading your software. Be sure that the benefits you gain are immediate enough that the cost of upgrading is worthwhile.
Will customers benefit daily from the switch?
You might be wondering, “What can accounting and payroll software do for my customers?” One shining example is that you can give your customers the information they request while they are on the phone, saving you the time of checking and calling them back. How many items are there in stock? What is my outstanding balance with your company? When is my payment due? Every time you have to check something out and call a customer back, that customer is waiting and you are spending double the time on the phone. If you upgrade to a new system, consider your customers. If they benefit daily from your software upgrade, it is probably worth it.
Do you have a plan to make a smooth transition?
Any software move involves a learning curve. With a plan in place, you can make that curve much shorter, and the whole process much smoother. Work with your software sales representative to help you develop a plan and timeline for your software switch. This plan can include steps for your own company, as well as additional tools offered by the company providing the software. Many software companies provide a variety of training and support methods. Find the ones that are right for you, and put them in your plan, so you won’t be tempted to ditch the new system halfway through the transition.
Is there a compelling reason to move, outside of just technology?
Some people just love technology for the simple fact that it’s new and cool. Especially during a slow economy, you have to ask yourself if this is the reason you are switching, or are there other compelling benefits? Switching for the sake of only technology is not a good idea unless you happen to have lots of spare money sitting around, or your software simply won’t work with new operating systems. Switching because there are true benefits to you, your business, and your customers is definitely reason enough to make the switch, especially during a slow economy.