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Selecting software: the hidden cost for business

If you’re a small business looking for software, you probably set aside a rough budget to buy and operate it. But there is a significant hidden cost to software that you may not have considered…

Upfront and ongoing costs of your chosen software package are only part of the picture. There is a significant cost to the process of choosing software.

Imagine adding $30,000 to the cost of your timesheet system. That’s exactly what happened with one accounting firm we spoke with recently.

We often hear that small businesses spend 3 to 6 months choosing software. The person-hours consumed over this time are substantial, so software selection has a significant “real” cost (i.e. salary paid to those people) as well as an “opportunity cost” (i.e. cost of not doing other things because they were busy with this).

For example, we met with an accountant yesterday who told us his firm recently chose a combined timesheet / project management system. It took 6 months of calendar time to make the choice, with a reasonably senior person spending 60 hours working on it. Given a typical client charge out rate of $500 per hour, choosing software cost the firm a staggering $30,000 in opportunity cost. On salary costs alone,  they probably spent $3,000 paying staff to select software.

Choosing business software is an important decision. You don’t want to get it wrong. The challenge is how do you make the right decision on software, more quickly?

That’s where Software Shortlist comes in. By using our online comparison service, you can dramatically reduce the time required to find a shortlist of the most relevant software. The ultimate decision is still yours, but seeking our help can significantly reduce the ‘hidden cost’ of software selection. What’s your time worth?