Finding the Right Software Systems for Your Business
Do you ever get overwhelmed with all of the software, apps & programs on the market today? Not only are there so many to choose from, but if you run a business, the cost in software programs, especially subscription services, has skyrocketed over the last few years! Gone are the days when running a business from home had no overhead! There are so many subscription services programs that are needed, such as Office 365, an email marketing tool (Mailchimp, Convertkit+), a graphic design tool (Canva or Photoshop+), your business website — domain purchases, hosting, upkeep & platform and so much more. The costs to stay in business is really beginning to add up. Causing the end of some of these micro and small businesses hopes of succeeding.
Shiny Object Syndrome
Don’t get me wrong, I love new software that makes our lives easier and our businesses more automated. If you are like me, you might even suffer from that from that pesky little affliction known as, ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’. Those of us who do love to try out nearly every new program when we become of them. Yet that can be an issue in itself for you.
“At its core, shiny object syndrome (SOS) is a disease of distraction, (according to Entrepreneur online magazine) and it affects entrepreneurs specifically because of the qualities that make them unique. Entrepreneurs tend to be highly motivated. They crave new technology and new developments. And they aren’t afraid to start new projects and create new things.” — Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Goes On to Say…
“Ordinarily, these are great characteristics, but when SOS sets in, it forces you to chase project after project, and change after change, never settling with one option.” — Entrepreneur
In speaking of the ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’ for our purposes, I am referring to trying out new software programs and often not being able to decide because there are so many to choose from now. This is exactly where I find myself lately. I have been trying to find a good email automation program to upgrade to from my current one and it just seems like the more I look the more I do not know which one to choose. It’s like a kid in a Candy Shop. Have you ever felt that way about anything? Just too many…
Outsourcing Can Save You
When you are discussing email marketing systems there are the biggies and freebies that everyone knows . The freebies would be systems like Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact and more (they are usually free up to certain number of contacts). If it is the ‘biggies’ you want with more than the basics and a robust automation then perhaps you will take a look at Infusionsoft, Active Campaign, ConvertKit or a newer one to scene ActiveDemand, to name a few. [Disclaimer: I am not promoting any of these and am not an Affiliate to any of these brands]
The choices between these software programs can be overwhelming, I know. On way to save you from endless searching, reading reviews and trying all of them out, is to hire someone to assist you with the research. Simply ask them to put these systems into digestible pieces. You can hire a virtual professional as a contractor who is familiar with research and then lay out the scope of the task for them. This can save you HOURS! Ask your virtual professional to use charts or tables, if possible also, as this can be very helpful, even including a table of features of each software you will be considering would be to view at a glance.
“Outsourcing this task will really take the ‘overwhelm’ out of it and may even put the ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’ under control. It will certainly cost you much less, in time, frustration and money, in the long run.”
When you are emotionally involved in trying to find and make a decision it will end up costing you many things including:
- Your Time — more than you can really afford to give to the project
- Stress — additional, unnecessary Stress & Frustrations until your choice is made
- A Big Headache — because no matter the choice you will feel pulled
- Money — because you are emotionally involved & will use more resources (the time will cost you money because you are not working on projects/services that make you money)
An example of how Outsourcing to a Virtual Professional can save you Finances, Frustration and Time: You, more than likely, earn more than the Virtual Professional you are hiring (if not that is another problem altogether, to discuss at another time), so immediately you save the difference between your hourly rate and the Virtual Professional’s rate. If you were going to take 10 hours of research, it may only take her 5 hours to research and compile the data. Therefore, in the end the financial cost is much less, as is the time spent, along with the frustration of trying to figure out each system’s pros and cons. Instead of spending time and frustration on the research you will be earning money working on what you do best to make money.
Making a Non-Emotional Decision
How, then, can you make a non-emotional choice? By outsourcing your research. If you give the task to a team member or an outside VA (Virtual Assistant) that does Research, you will have the Virtual Professional do the research and present you with the pros and cons. You will be able to see it in black and white and be focused on the benefits and disadvantages of each program. This will keep you from being sidetracked, having to read endless reviews and allow you to make a clear headed decision.
A Virtual Professional will prepare it all with an objective eye that is needed and will simplify the choices for you. Whereas, if you do the research, you will get sucked into doing more than is really needed and taking too much time. In the end this will also cost the company more money. As discussed in the ‘Example’ above, their hourly/package rate should be less than your rate. Remember that more than likely, the VA will be much quicker in completing the result needed as well. Be sure to give the VA clear exceptions of the Scope of Work and what you desire the outcome to look like for you to consider the project a success.
You may have learned, if not you will…
…in order to succeed in business you must stay strong in the area(s) you are best at and allow others to help you in the areas you are weak in; this will be key to your success. In other words — OUTSOURCING — to grow your business is a key principle’’
Never be too PROUD to ask for Help!
So, what System did I choose?
You may wondering, at this point, what email marketing system I chose? Here is the irony, I am, myself, am still trying to find one. I have no trouble helping my clients decide, but for myself, I fell into all of the time-suckers & emotional thinking I warned you against. Now that I have explained to you exactly how to make the best choice, I think it time to “Practiced what I Preached’ (haha). I know…I know, it’s time to heed my own advice on this one! Yes, time to pass this project over to my Team Members, so I can move on to marketing again.
The Next in this Series will be about some solutions I wish these software companies would take because it seems that you jump from free to taking a leap to expensive (for a micro company that is)… so stay tuned for ‘Part 2’ in the series next week.
If you found some value in this article or at least resonated with it and understand you are not alone, please share it with someone!
In the meantime, have a fabulous day and be Awesome!
Be sure to share how you feel about all of the choices in software as well as the costs for micro & small business? I may even quote you!
Founder & Chief Virtual Expert at Tammy’s Office Solutions
Founder & Coach at Fearless Boss Babes
Founder & Partner at VA to VA Mastermind Live
[This article first appeared on Tammy’s Office Solutions Blog site]