Software is supposed to help make your life easier, not harder. But with so many options, how do you know if a software will better your business or make everything harder?
To help you make the best choice for your business, here are five red flags to watch for when thinking about adding software to your countertop shop. And some super helpful suggestions (💡) on how to overcome them!
Sure, sticker shock is a very real thing. I bet anyone buying new countertops feels that way, too! But, I enjoy lecturing everyone by saying that software is the same as investing in machinery for the shop. It’s an investment for your business and its value should seem equal to its cost in the long run.
Ask yourself: What’s the cost of NOT adding this software? If the issues that drove you to look at software are not costing you more than adding it would…well, then it’s probably not worth it. But you can’t know that if you don’t know the price of the software in the first place!
💡Look for a software company that offers straightforward and obvious pricing because it usually means their software works the same way. They don’t need to hide their pricing. They know their software will speak for itself.
Doesn’t work with other countertop software
Once you dip your toe in the digital world, it’s easy to start adding in more software to better all the steps of your process. Many times we get asked during a demo if we integrate with other software like SPEEDlabel or Job Well Done. And that’s great! Keep asking those questions.
You’ll want to keep adding tools to get better and knowing whether or not your software works with others is a green flag. If a software you’re looking at doesn’t work with anything else, that might not be a great option for you in the long run.
💡Reach out and ask the software company about these options. Their answer will tell you if you’ll be able to grow with them or not.
There are too many steps
You’re probably looking at software to reduce the amount of manual steps, not add to them!
This seems like a nice section to shamelessly use our own software as an example, right? Glad you agree! CounterGo is a simple, easy-to-use drawing and estimating software. If you were looking to reduce the steps it takes for someone in your shop to produce and deliver a quote to a customer, this software would let them do that in as little as 3 minutes. An obvious time-saver for our customers.
But what if you were looking to do that and saw that the software was too complicated and took the same amount of steps as it would to do it in excel or hand-draw? Wouldn’t be worth it!
💡Make sure you understand the steps you’ll need to take to get what you need out of the software before you commit.
Does the support team exist?
Hello? Are you there software company support? It’s me, your customer.
It can be extremely frustrating to be facing an issue and not be able to reach anyone. A lot of times we forget about this when getting excited about purchasing something new.
For most of us, it leaves a bad taste in our mouth when we need to reach someone and can’t. Makes us paying customers feel unimportant and like the company is unreliable.
Do you want to feel that way about the software that most likely becomes the foundation of your business?
Plus, if you cannot reach a support person when facing an issue, it’s highly unlikely there are support resources that will help you train new employees or to help you get better at utilizing the software! Perks we don’t think about until after committing…
💡You should also make sure you can get support in a format that works for everyone at your business before choosing a new software solution. Is there an option to talk to someone on the phone, send some emails, read through a few blogs, or watch some videos?
No customized demo
What the heck is a customized demo you ask? Fair question. By this, I just mean that during your demo the software rep takes the time to understand your business and what is holding you back.
If you aren’t going into details about what isn’t working currently, then there’s no real way to discuss how the software could or could not help you. The rep should be more concerned that the software will be able to help you achieve your goals than just trying to get a sale. This is a good representation of the company and who you’d be relying on.
💡During a demo, give specific examples and see how the software could or could not help those situations.
What about the green flags?
Look I get it, I’m being a real Negative Nelly in this article. It’s not my favorite way to be, I promise. But sometimes we get so caught up looking at the exciting positives of adding software to a countertop business, we forget to look ahead at potential bottlenecks.
Hopefully, these red flags provided you with some insight for looking at potential software options with an informed, well-rounded perspective. Knowledge is power and asking the hard questions will help you find the right software fit for your business and it’s unique needs!