With so much new shiny software coming out on a daily basis, it can be tempting to jump ship at the first sign of an early adopter invitation. But can jumping software do your startup more harm than good? Switching software requires time for on-boarding and training people as well as extra time for people to get used to them.
This eats into time that your employees could be working on the business instead.This slows the much needed growth that startups rely on. So adopt new tools with caution. We look at how to pick software, make the most of your existing software and things to keep in mind if you must switch.
Shop around (get a trial if you can)Just like you would shop around for a new tv, make sure you shop around for your software and don’t just sign up for the first one you find. Survey your employees to see what their needs are and factor that into your decision. Ideally get a free trial if you can (even though these can be few and far between) so that everyone can see how it would work for them. Getting the people that will be using the software to help you pick the software ensures buy in and minimises the risk that staff will be unhappy with it.
Figure out what your goals are and what tool will be the best to help youIf you don’t know where you’re going then any way will get you there and the same applies to your software. So figuring out what your startup’s goals are before picking your software can be helpful to picking the right programmes. Equally playing to the strengths and weaknesses of your staff can be helpful as well. Do people struggle with analytics? Pick software with a clear dashboard and on-boarding process to make it easier for them to adopt.
Pick quality not quantityWhile sometimes having multiple software programmes that do the same thing is unavoidable, generally picking quality over quantity will be a better bet. Using too many programmes can make project management difficult as staff will struggle with knowing what to use consistently and will take extra time out of their day context switching. So sometimes it is worth paying a little more to get a software programme with more features.
Don’t (always) go with the crowdSometimes what works for everyone else, won’t work for you. So don’t just choose software because it’s popular and the latest hip thing. It’s easy to get sucked into the trends or what everyone else is doing but different startups will have different goals and different workplace cultures to consider. However, don’t overlook software just because everyone else is using it and you want to differentiate yourself. That might be the one that works the best for you.
Sometimes there is no clear best choice when it comes to switching software
Are you using it right?It might be that the problems you’re having with your software is because you’re not using it right, or in the most optimal way. If you don’t feel like you’re getting enough out of your software, ask customer service for help. Chances are they would rather you get in touch and help you work through any problems you’re having than to see you walk away.
Get everyone that needs to be using it, using itIs everyone that needs to be using the software using it? Discontent with software can arise if a workflow is interrupted to accommodate staff members that aren’t using it or are using it incorrectly. Are people all using it in the way it is intended to? If not, is there a way to get everyone on the same page without singling any individual or team out? Try this first and see if it solves the problem.
Be aware of interruptionsBefore jumping software, be aware that this might cause an interruption to your staff’s workflows or patches in your data depending on what kind of software it is. If you really must switch, then setting up a plan to minimise this disruption will be something your staff will appreciate and avoids any glaring gaps in data capture that might obstruct your business intelligence.
Put a contingency plan together before you switchPut a plan together before you switch will help minimise the disruptions and can help you mitigate against the drop in growth your startup might experience. If possible, get staff trained up on the software before you make the switch so that they are ready to hit the ground running and will feel confident to start using it right away.
ConclusionSometimes no option is the best option and while there are many disadvantages to switching software, sometimes it’s unavoidable. In the long term it will be better to recognise this as soon as you can and switch before investing more time and money into a solution that isn’t working. Good luck!
If you’re looking to work with an agency that will be there for you, get in touch! The Cargo team are waiting to work with you.