5 Steps to Choose a System for Your Business

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Whether you are starting a new business or you are trying something new with an existing one, finding a system for your business is an important step. There are a lot of systems out there and it can be very overwhelming. So here are five steps that you can use to help you choose the right one.

Be Certain Your System for Your Business Doesn’t Work

system for your business

This probably sounds silly. However, it’s essential. Do you have any idea what the issue is that you want to solve? Perhaps you simply believe that you need to upgrade the current one. Maybe you think that a new one’s going to automatically improve your efficiency or increase sales. It’s not a good idea to go implementing a new system that isn’t going to solve your real problems.

Before beginning, you want to have something called the Project Charter. This is simply a really fancy term for the document which will justify your intent and will set clear expectations and goals so you aren’t sidetracked.

Basically, your Project Charter is going to give you the things below that are going to help you with making your new system succeed.

  • A well-founded reason for you to implement the new system
  • Timelines and a budget to work for
  • A stakeholders list. These could be employees, funding partners, specific government agencies, departments, etc.

Figure Out Any Must Haves for Your Business System

Before you can go choosing your system, you have to figure out what you need it to have. Many people call them requirements. However, you want to make sure that you’re clearly writing them down. It’s going to take some practice for you to get it right. There are also various ways that you can do it. Remember that when you get to the fourth step, it will be necessary to determine which potential solution is going to meet these needs. The requirements should be ones that make sense to both you and your project. Each of these needs should be:

  • Clear (concise, precise, simple, terse)
  • Correct
  • Essential
  • Feasible (possible and realistic)
  • Independent
  • Not vendor specific
  • Testable & verifiable
  • Unambiguous
  • Understandable

There isn’t any limit to how many requirements you could likely list. But you should keep it management and simple. Make sure that they are relevant to your project and its overall size. A lot of times anywhere from 20-30 is a good place to start.

Some good requirement examples:

  • Cost must be below $10,000 for implementation
  • Has to be available on Apple & Android mobile devices
  • Should cost less than $5,000 annually for maintenance
  • Can keep track of at least a decade’s worth of historical data
  • Can audit all transactions
  • Store 1 Terabyte worth of data inside the cloud

Narrow Down Your Criteria For the System for Your Business

After you have the requirements list, look at it again and then evaluate them again. Figure out which of them are things that you really need to have, and which would be nice for you to have. Keep this list for the referencing in the final step and for implementation in the future. Choose the top ten that you definitely want to have or choose a few.

Criteria

System 1

System 2

System 3

System 4

Under $10,000

Y

Y

N

Y

IT Storage

Y

N

Y

Y

Etc

 

 

 

 

Evaluate Any Business System Meeting the Criteria

Using those requirements that have been listed, begin evaluating the different systems and then fill the chart out. The good news is that there are two sites that you can look at to find different systems to evaluate: Capterra and Getapp

Both of the sites allow you to look for and then compare various options. You can even refine the search based on your criteria. It’s also a good idea to read reviews.

It’s also a good idea to use LinkedIn or specific groups on Facebook that mention or are related to the industry you’re in or what you need to get some recommendations. Networking’s a great way that you can get a good sense of what other people are using.

You can also use social sites like LinkedIn or specific Facebook Groups related to your industry or need to ask for recommendations. Networking is a great way to get some ideas of what is already working for others.

Fill the chart out with any information that has been found with the sites along with the websites of the company. It may be hard to identify requirements that are more detailed. It’s a good idea to ask for free trials, ask for demos or talk to sales representatives to get some more information.

Make Your Choice for Your System for Your Business

 

Now, you just have one step to take – making your choice. You’ve taken the necessary time to get the necessary information. Now you can be sure that you have the information that you need to make a well-informed, educated decision. But you also shouldn’t get stock either. You don’t want to keep adding alternatives or refining the requirements. This is just going to make things a lot harder.

At this time, your stakeholders can be very helpful in making your final decision. They can give you some valuable insight and they can tell you what they think of it, especially if they are going to have to use the system.

There isn’t going to be any system that is going to perfectly fit your needs. However, the correct system should be the perfect match with your organization.  It’s kind of like finding a life partner. Choosing the new system can also be a huge commitment. We hope these steps have made the process easier.

We also have a system that we use for our business and for our customers as well, Service Autopilot. Check out our review here and see how it helps us! Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook

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