Your employees may be the heart of your business, but the spine is something you rarely ever think of: your computer software. Whether you're a surgeon in Toronto or the CEO of a service company in Memphis, chances are you wouldn't be able to get through the day without typing something into a word processing program or using spreadsheets to check up on how the company's finances are doing. So if you're just setting up a business, we here at Indesko can help you choose the right types of software for the work you're doing.
There are many factors that play into a company's choice of software programs. How large is the company? What is the company's mission? Does it make leather fanny packs or manage the financial accounts of others? Not all companies have straight forward titles, such as "wastewater treatment equipment and systems", which tells the public exactly what their service is. Will separate offices have to share data? Do you need the software to be compatible with industry standards? How much do you have in your budget to buy software? These are all questions you and your company board and IT department will have to sit down and talk about before you can choose the right program.
By far the most common office software in the world is the Microsoft Office package. The business world is full of people who are carrying around memos written in Microsoft Word, spreadsheets done up in Microsoft Excel, and business presentations done in Microsoft Powerpoint. If you want to meet the industry standards and have your real estate listing files for example, be compatible with the computers the other companies you work with use, you'll have to shell out the money to pay for a business license for this most popular of suites.
However, if you're setting up a small business and you can't afford to buy an expensive suite of proprietary programs, there are also open source imitation software products that you can download for free, such as Open Office, which has the same functionality at Microsoft Office and can even save files in formats that will be compatible with the computers over at your competition if you need to send them something. There are also more limited programs that come with different brands of computer, such as the Apple Works suite. You might also choose to use a web-based type of software such as Google Docs to free up space on the computers.
Whatever type of software you use, keeping it up to date will have to be a priority or you will find compatibility programs, security issues, and glitches plaguing your work. In a small office that auctions artwork, you can probably handle this yourself, but in a large office with many employees, you will have to set up a separate position or department to handle software and computer updates on behalf of the other employees. For advice on figuring out which program is best for your needs, how each program works, and what these programs can do for your business, read through some of the articles on our website.