How many software platforms do you have? How many trials, paid memberships and training are you signed up for?
I get it. There are some amazing software platforms out there, each doing something slightly different.
And regardless of what function you are wanting to take online, there are a number of different choices for each one.
Asana. Trello. Notion. ClickUp. Teamwork. Zoho Projects. Basecamp.
And those are just the top options for project management right now. Let’s not even talk about CRMs, Webinar platforms, graphics, video, social media management, funnel creation, landing page design, integration, proposal creation and all of the other options out there.
Compound the number of options with the number of offers, recommendations, services and offerings and it can seem as though the choices are endless.
Let me see if I can share a little secret with you and simplify some of this for you.
The most useful system you can use is the one you will use. Finding a system that you can learn is the biggest key to being happy with your choice.
The key to staying happy with your choice?
Stay loyal to your software, until it is very clearly time to make a change.
So many entrepreneurs I work with get shiny object syndrome and jump ship anytime a new software with a great buzz comes out.
Unfortunately this has a number of unintentional impacts on your business, including direct impacts on your revenue.
First, changing technology platforms take a lot of man hours. Information that has been built and stored in one system will need to be exported and imported into another. Even if there are migration tools to help, there will still be man hours required to confirm everything transferred smoothly and correctly.
Second, there is almost always some level of data loss when you change from one tool to another. Whether minor or more significant, the loss of data can be costly to you and your business. And sometimes it cannot be recovered.
Third, there will almost always be a requirement to have an overlap of services, which means you’ll be paying for multiple services, at least for a time. Depending on which services we’re talking about that can add up quick!
You’ll also need to take into consideration impacts on customer experience, employee experience, and the time spent researching your options.
Now, this is not to say that it’s impossible to change systems. In fact, there are times when it becomes necessary. When your original software doesn’t have the capabilities you need, or your current software is causing more harm than good it may be time to consider switching.
What I advise against is the unnecessary switching just because something else looks better.
What do I mean by that?
I mean to stay loyal to your current system long enough to utilize it to it’s fullest, access all of the features it offers, and setting it up to work for you.
If you don’t know how to customize it, that’s ok. Hire someone. Have an existing team member become a champion for that platform, learning all of its capabilities and possibilities.
It is most often cheaper to hire someone to set up your systems properly than it is to change your platform.
Most people can get 2 to 3 times the value out of their systems once they have an expert evaluate the way they are using them.
So, how do you know if you can keep your current system or if you should scrap it?
Find the answers to these questions:
- What can your current system do?
- What can the new and shiny system do that your current one can’t do?
- What will be the cost of changing to the new system?
- What will be the return on it once you do move?
It’s important to note that questions 1 and 2 refer to what the systems can do, not what they currently do.
Probably 70-90% of the time a software system that isn’t working is because it’s not set up to work, not because it’s incapable of working.
Most of what you want to do can either be done or be adjusted so you can come close and still get the results you want.
To find these answers you have a lot of options. Search online. Ask in FB groups. Call the company’s tech support and/or sales office. Reach out to a technology expert who spends their time setting up systems for people like you.
Answers are everywhere. And because of that you don’t want to stop with the first answer. Ask a few people. Not because of incompetence. But because software is so customizable what one person can’t do another may specialize in.
It is worth the time to find the answers you want. The answers you need.
Get definitive answers about what your software can do. Then find someone who can do it.
Yes, the newest software may be really cool. Hell, it may even be better than what you have.
BUT...the one you already have is probably still plenty!