As a small business owner, choosing the right business management software system is crucial in setting your business up for success. With so many to choose from, it can take time to narrow down the best choice for your business and feel confident that you are making the proper selection.
We break down what business management software is, tips for getting started when selecting a new business management tool, and features you should consider when making your selection.
What Is a Business Management Software?
Let us start by defining these systems: what is business management or field service management software?
- Business Management Software: A system designed to be a complete, start-to-finish software for all your business needs.
- Field Service Management Software: A business management software that allows you to manage and coordinate work or operations that occur outside your office or ‘in the field.’
Steps To Choosing the Best Field Service Management Software for Your Business
Now, how do you choose the best one for your business? Follow along with our handy guide for things you should do and consider when evaluating a new field service management software for your HVAC, electrical, or plumbing business.
- Features: Write down a list of features that are important for you to have in a business management software. It would be helpful if you broke your list into ‘need to have’ and ‘nice to have.’ This will help you when you go to make your final decision. If one platform has more on your ‘need to have’ list, it should be a front-runner.
- Processes: Think about what is working well and not working with your current process. It may be helpful to write down the steps in your current job management process so you can see how it would be completed in a new system. Some software systems may have more automation than you currently do, making it easier to get the job done.
- Stakeholders: Include all relevant team members in your brainstorming of what you need in a software and any demo meetings you have with vendors. It is essential to have anyone using the platform have a say in this since they are the ones using the system day in and day out and know what is needed to make things run smoothly. You should also include someone from your IT team so they can ask any hosting, data conversion, or implementation questions.
Things to Consider When Selecting a Software
Every business will be different regarding what is important when selecting a new field service management software. Here are a few things to get you started in your brainstorming:
1. How is the software hosted? Is it hosted traditionally via a physical server or hosted via the cloud?
You want to ensure your data is safe no matter how you host it. The cloud typically offers more security benefits than traditional hosting.
The new Successware platform is hosted via Amazon Web Services (AWS) and gives you access to all the benefits of cloud hosting such as increased security, data backup, disaster recovery, increased performance, and more. Find out more about the benefits of running your business in the cloud by downloading our eBook, which is filled with everything the cloud has to offer your business.
2. What features does the software have?
Take a look at the list you created for your feature “must haves” and “nice to haves”. What features do you absolutely need to have in a software system? This could be anything from an easy-to-use dispatch board to an accounting module or agreement and maintenance visit management.
You will also want to look at things your business considers nice to haves. Maybe you have always wanted a system that gives you a convenient reporting dashboard with key performance indicators and business metrics at the touch of a button, but you don’t necessarily NEED this. Weigh each feature and the pros and cons of having it in a software system as you decide.
If all of the above is on your list, then you are in luck! Successware has a drag-and-drop dispatch board, a built-in accounting module, an agreement manager module, and a robust reporting dashboard, Successware Insights, in one convenient platform.
3. Does the software have accounting built into it?
Do you want your service data to be connected to your financial information without the need to sync data or enter it into two different platforms? Or do you use an accounting software system right now that you just can’t do business without? These are things to consider when evaluating new software.
Successware has an accounting module built directly into our platform. This allows for a streamlined approach to your data since your job data will flow to our accounting portion of the software without the need for double entry of information or a manual sync.
4. Does it integrate with any other vendors?
You may already be using other software systems or platforms that you want to continue operating. It is important to find a software system that integrates with these already existing vendors so you can continue with business as usual and not make too many changes.
Successware integrates with many different vendors for things like your pricebook, online reputation management, document storage, and more. Check out our full list of integrations here.
5. How easy is the system to learn and use?
Will my office staff and techs need significant training on the new system, or is it easy to pick up and learn? The ease-of-use to a new software platform can make or break your transition. If your technicians and back-office staff have more questions than answers, they may need extra help to adapt to the new software.
Successware has many resources to help with your transition to our platform. You will have a dedicated team member who will help you every step of the way, from implementation and beyond.
We also offer a Learning Management System, or LMS, with more than 30 courses on both the new Successware platform and Successware Mobile. These courses can be taken at your own pace and are an excellent resource for all employees, especially new employees. It is a great way for them to start learning and getting to know the platform with minimal supervision.
6. How easy is it to migrate my current data over to a new platform?
Migration of your current business data into a new platform should be easy and secure. You need to ensure that all your data is transferred correctly and that you do not lose any data during migration.
Successware provides many dedicated resources for your team during data migration. We walk you through every step of the process to ensure we capture all relevant data that you need to be imported into our software.
7. How is your Customer Service team? Are they responsive?
Is it easy to contact someone when I have a question? After the migration is complete, you will have questions as you get deeper into the software. It is imperative that whatever system you go with has a customer service team that will respond to your inquiry promptly. Pressing questions often can’t wait and can be a matter of increased revenue or lost customers.
Successware prides itself on our superior customer service. It sets us apart from our competition. You have a dedicated team member who will be there to answer any questions or help with any issues you have along the way.
At Successware, you aren’t treated as just another customer or number. Your success is our success.
8. How much does it cost?
And lastly, the age-old question. How much is this going to cost me? Cost is another significant factor when considering a new business management software. You want something reasonably priced that can grow and scale with your business without breaking the bank.
For more information on pricing for Successware, schedule a demo today.
Selecting a new HVAC software, electrical software, or plumbing field service management software is no easy feat. Lots of time, thought, and consideration goes into a decision of this magnitude. Our steps and questions should help you get started when you begin evaluating new software systems.
Schedule a demo with us today if you are interested in learning more about Successware and how we can be an excellent fit for you HVAC, plumbing, and electrical businesses.