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Growing Your Company

In This Industry, Being Proactive Is Necessary

In today's design world, things get so incredibly busy and hectic that it's difficult to concentrate on anything except the next deadline for your active clients. However, in order to stay competitive, you need to find time to look at new products, new design and marketing trends and new methods of business.

The question is; how do you find the time you need? Many people realize their systems need to be upgraded, and that such an upgrade would enable them to increase productivity and profitability. But when things are busy, there's no time to research new systems, and when business is slower, there's not enough money!

When you're busy and revenues are up, you need to maximize profits, streamline workflow and make sure you're capturing all your billable hours and project costs. Here are some 5-minute tips to help you find the time to research the right system for you:

  1. Scribble, ponder, and list. Everytime you think of something you need in a software product or system, scribble it down. Think about what your company needs. Make a list.
  2. Search, bookmark and scan. Bookmark websites that look like they might offer features you need. Save reading them for later.
  3. Read and check. Schedule 5 or 10 minutes each day to review your bookmarked sites and compare them to your list of requirements.
  4. Shortlist, delegate, and test. Build a shortlist of the systems that seem most appropriate. Delegate in-depth research of a system or systems to others, or delegate some of your usual tasks so you can do software and systems research yourself. If a demo version is available, test it to see whether it works for you.
  5. Call or email. Now's the time to call your shortlist of companies to ask any questions you have. This will give you a chance to check out customer service, as well as the product.
  6. Decide and buy. Don't put it off. Once you've done the research and selected a system, keep the momentum going by making a decision and getting up and running. The sooner you decide, the sooner you'll start to see improvements in profits.

When business is too slow to for you to think of purchasing a software product or system it may be the perfect time to do a thorough investigation of available products. You will be able to spend the time to be sure you have found a product that fits your needs. When business picks up, and your budget allows, your choice will be made, and you'll be ready to go. Here are some tips for doing a thorough investigation of software products and systems when business is slow:

  1. Step back and review. Take a step back from the day-to-day details of running your business and think about the bigger picture: common problem areas, productivity issues, accountability, etc.
  2. Make notes. Jot down ideas, requirements and "desirables" and base your investigation on them.
  3. Check and compare. Look into more than one alternative, and compare features of each.
  4. Ask questions. Contact the sales department of your shortlisted companies. Put them through their paces by asking them all your questions. Call back the next day with more questions. Make them work!
  5. Test them out. Test each system by yourself and with others in your company. Give each one a thorough work out.
  6. Analyze, decide and buy. Do a cost/benefit analysis so you¹ll know which product will suit your company long-term, and be prepared to purchase when your budget allows.

Use these tips to analyze any software product, system or any company product at all for that matter (including the ones you already use!). Use slow and hectic times in your business to their best advantage — you'll be proactive, rather than reactive, and you'll be pleasantly surprised by the improvement to your bottom line.

This Article has been provided by FunctionFox Systems Inc. To make a positive difference in your bottom line please contact us Toll-Free at 1.866.369.8463 or email info@functionfox.com. For more articles and resources, see www.functionfox.com/articles/.