Do you enjoy buying software?
Not many people do.
Purchasing software is rarely an easy task, even when it is free. When you may have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars, it can get downright terrifying. Companies delay purchase decisions for weeks, months, or in some outlying cases, years.
But why is this?
Well, first of all, we are all great procrastinators. Why do today what we can put off until tomorrow? Putting off something allows you to kick the proverbial can down the road. Ask any congressman. Why make a tough decision today when you can shuffle that responsibility to a later date or to someone else entirely, even though there will never be a better time to do it than now. Not making the decision means that no one is going to be mad at you, disappointed in you, or worse yet, no one is going to replace you. This applies to businesses almost as much as it does to our legislators.
Reasons for putting off a buying decision:
- Fear that you make the wrong choice – Everyone worries that they are making the right choice, and the more money involved, the higher the level of anxiety. Imagine spending $50,000 or $100,000 on new software and realizing that you made the wrong choice. Imagine your boss coming to the same realization!
- Too many options – In today’s high-tech environment, there seems to be an almost endless amount of choices for software applications. Searching the web even with a very specific keyword phrase will provide you with tons of choices. Try Googling “mobile time tracking software” and you should get upwards of 8 million results.
- Lack of expertise – Many times, people who are put in charge of projects for purchasing software lack the requisite qualifications, or they may have never been involved in such a task. Either scenario can lead to a highly stressful situation which almost always leads to, you guessed it, procrastination!
- Concerns of scalability – On occasion, a certain software application may seem to be a perfect fit, but many times there remains the question – will it grow with my company? This is a very valid concern, especially when the company is growing rapidly.
- Resistance from introducing new technology – There is a natural resistance, from the project leader on down (and even up) to resist making a change. And there are different reasons for this conflict. Frequently, a company has been using the same process for years and years. People are familiar with it, and though it may require more time and effort to complete the process, they are in a comfortable place and really don’t want to change. Others may not have a high level of technology skills and are fearful of a change. And lastly, there is always the general fear of the unknown – most people do not welcome change.
- Cost of the new system – Money going out means less money on hand. The less money on hand, the less comfortable management feels. This item really dovetails with the first and fifth bullet points, because the more money to be spent, the greater the fear of and resistance to spending it.
Recommendations for overcoming these issues?
- Look for a vendor who is focused on your best interests – Pay close attention to what the vendor’s prime objectives seem to be. They should be totally focused on how they can help you improve your time tracking processes. The vendor should try to find out what your current procedures are, how well they are working for you, what you like about them, and what is not working for you. Frequently, once they understand your issues, the vendor will come up with a better way of solving your problems.
On the other hand, if they seem primarily interested in getting you to see a demo, or try to sell to you on the spot, RUN!
- Seek a vendor who will actively assist you in managing this project – A mobile time tracking vendor should be interested in helping you solve your issues and meet your objectives. A good vendor always starts by conducting a consultation call to get to understand the business as well as your issues and goals. At the same time, you can be developing a better feel for the vendor. You will want to understand the vendor’s process from pre-implementation through implementation and post-implementation, and especially how the vendor will support your business. The vendor should be interested in not only in solving your current challenges, but also resolving any potential future issues.
- Look for a solution that you won’t outgrow – This is especially true for small businesses which frequently grow at a rapid pace. Whatever the size of the business, you should feel comfortable with the vendor’s ability to scale up to handle this growth. Try to develop some level of understanding of the technology backing up their application. Are they using a modern software framework like Java or Microsoft .NET? What type of database supports the program? It should be some at least some flavor of SQL or Oracle.
- Search for a vendor who will help you plan your rollout – You should seek a vendor who has a significant amount of experience in implementing their application. Take advantage of this experience and ask them for their advice on how to plan your roll-out. Review their recommendations and ask yourself, “how comfortable do I feel with their plan.” The roll-out should contain as a minimum, some type of pre-implementation meeting to review your needs, the implementation, training, and follow-up.
- Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure to call vendor references – You can get at least some kind of idea as to the effectiveness of the vendor’s software and their level of service by calling reference customers. Take a few minutes to compose your questions in advance so that you don’t waste your time or theirs.
Buying software can be a nerve-wracking experience, and because of it, businesses often put off making a decision. If you know what to look for, you can significantly reduce the stress involved in making the decision.
mJobTime has performed hundreds of implementations of its software. Call our experienced and knowledgeable sales professionals to see if we can assist you with resolving your mobile time tracking issues and meeting your objectives.
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