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Streamlining Software Selection

By: Steve Gomez
Posted: January 7, 2009, from the January 2009 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.
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When you start software shopping, it is easy to become overwhelmed. These tips can help you navigate the software retail waters and aid you in your decision-making process.

Take your time. Be patient with the journey. You have to do your homework in order to get the right software for your needs. In a Google search alone, if you try typing in spa software, there are 501,000 different hits with 35 different spa software companies on the first three pages alone. Take your time—realizing you have many choices is the first step.

Get specific. What do you need the software for specifically? Make a list of what you know you need and why you need it. Do you have accounting, scheduling and tracking needs? Identify them before you shop so you can narrow down your choices based on necessary requirements.

Count your savings. Software can be a significant investment, so you want to make sure your purchase is worth your while. How much money will this new software save in terms of time? A great software program saves time by not having to do manual tracking and number-crunching. Estimate how much time will you save with the new software doing this for you, as well as how much an hour of that time is worth to you in dollars and cents.

Be discerning. If you have existing software and want to replace it, make a list of the specific things you need that you are not getting. This will help you be very clear in your search for other software programs and the needs they have to fulfill, saving you time and effort.