Boy! I’m getting a late start today. I’ve been on teleseminars all morning and the day is just whizzing by!
Anyway, last week I highlighted three areas that you can look at to improve office management. The first one was software, which is what I’ll cover today.
Before going into the benefits of using office management software, I think I should touch upon what it is. There are a number of different formats, but all office management software programs have the same goal — to ease the process of running an office-related business.
Typical features of office management software include:
- tasks lists
- professional looking templates
- word processing
and more. All these features are attempting to save you time and make the most of the time you have. When properly used, office management software can enable you to monitor your performance, as well as the performance of your staff, contracted assistants, even track client projects and profits — all from the comfort of your own desk.
The most commonly recognized office management software is the Microsoft Office Suite, which includes Word (word processing), PowerPoint (presentations), Excel (spreadsheets), Outlook (email) and more. But they aren’t the only game in town. Apple Computers has come out with a fairly good office management suite of products (my husband is in love with their spreadsheet program), and even Google is making similar products available over the Internet for free.
When deciding which software programs you want to use, you’ll want to consider:
- price (in relation to your budget),
- convenience (no point in the software causing you to jump through hoops to use it),
- integration (can all the different pieces work together?), and
- learning curve (sometimes it’s better to use something you are comfortable with than trying to learn something new if the return on time investment isn’t going to be that great).
Choose your software because it works for you — not because your colleague thinks it’s the cat’s meow.
Also, don’t buy it just to have it. Buy it because you can use it and it will improve your office management.
Many software companies offer a 30-day trial of their software that you can download online. This is a great way to try before you buy. You’ll get first-hand experience with the software’s usability in your business, as well as how easy or difficult it will be for you to learn. You should take advantage of these offers when you can.