As your business grows, it becomes necessary – and advisable – to look for ways to make things run more smoothly. For many small businesses, this means bringing in dedicated software that can provide integrated, time-saving administrative support. Most of this software is known as ‘Software as a Service’ or SaaS. This is where you pay a subscription and the software is centrally managed with dedicated customer support to make sure you can make the most of it.

There’s a lot of SaaS software about – from accounting packages to customer relationship management systems. They will all help you to streamline the way your business works. And, used alongside other services such as an outsource virtual assistant, they can free your time so you can concentrate on business development.

Because there’s so much choice out there, it makes sense to go through a clear process so you can compare options and find the solution that’s right for your organisation and your plans. This guide gives you an idea of the things you should consider.

Know what you need it for

The first thing, of course, is to know what problem you’re trying to solve. If it’s speeding up your invoicing and connecting that with your accounting practices and giving you bookkeeping assistance, then you already know what features you need most. But SaaS packages will come with a whole host of other features, so it’s worth doing a proper analysis of what you need help with and why, so you can see what will work best for you.

Can you get a free trial?

Most SaaS packages offer a free trial, and this is a great thing to do. Because often what looks great in the marketing can be tricky or complex to use in practice. So it’s worth having a trial of the packages on your shortlist so you can see which is the most usable and how the features actually work for your day-to-day business. And if you use external resources like an invoicing administrator, for example, you can get expert feedback before you commit.

Check flexibility and scalability

You’re a growing business. So you need the SaaS package you choose to be flexible enough to handle any changes in your business, and to scale with you as you grow. This includes things like the number of customer accounts you can manage, and whether it can integrate with other software packages you may need in the future. Going for an option with limited functionality could be a waste of time and money.

Look at the vendor’s track record

Just as you would get recommendations for things like home improvements, you should check out the recommendations for the software vendors you’re considering. Getting an external opinion and looking into the way they manage things like updates or new versions will help you to see if you’re going to be able to build a positive relationship with them. After all, your business could depend on it.

Training and customer support

It’s always quite a big change to bring a new business process outsourcing service on board. And you are effectively outsourcing because the software is centrally operated. So whilst you will have people in your business – or perhaps a resource managing your CRM data entry, for example – you have to work within the confines of the software. So knowing that there is good quality installation and training options, and reliable customer service that can help you when you need it, will all put a big tick in the box for that supplier.

Security and data protection

One of your biggest responsibilities as a business owner is data protection and the security of your systems. That’s why you need to look for a tried and tested SaaS system that is hosted on secure servers and is regularly tested and updated so that your data – and that of your clients – is safe. It’s always a risk putting business and personal data into a software system. Not only is at risk of being compromised and the data lost, but it also becomes a new point of entry for cyber criminals. So you need to be absolutely confident that it is securely managed by the vendor.

In today’s business world, software is essential to running a growing enterprise. Getting the right administrative support package will help you to reduce your costs, improve your performance, deliver better customer service and build a platform to build the business you want. Take the time to get the right SaaS solutions, and they will give you the boost you need.

Want to know more? Why not call us on 0800 994 9016 or use our contact form in the menu above to find out how we can help?


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