Staying on top of your finances is one of the most important things you must do as a business owner. Personal finance and budget tools can be a powerful way to help you manage your budget and stay organized. But as with many tools, there are tons of options and just as many opinions about what’s best. Here’s how to choose something that’s right for you and your goals.
Understand your goals
Before you dive into figuring out what kind of software or apps you need for your business finances, get clear on what your goals are and what you’d like an app or software to achieve for you. Some goals you may consider for you budgeting tool:
- Get more organized expense tracking to know where your money is going….
- Better overall budgeting tools, a software that helps with your taxes, etc. When you’re clear on what you do – and DON’T – need support around, you’ll be better equipped to choose something that’s the right fit, and not accidentally opt into features you don’t truly need.
For example, many apps have options to add multiple users. This might be a great choice if you know you’ll be hiring additional employees in the future, but if you know you’re likely to continue working as a solopreneur for the foreseeable future, it’s probably not the best fit for you. Ensure that whatever you’re choosing is aligned to your goals and vision for your specific business.
Seek out recommendations from others in your niche
Different apps and softwares work well for different industries or niches. When researching the best choice for your business, pay extra attention to what others in your industry are using and what features support your specific type of business.
Does your business have certain unique features that make your finances more challenging or complicated to handle? Ask questions about these to make sure the tools you’re choosing provide this type of support.
Apply this same philosophy when looking at reviews of the software you’re researching. When reading user feedback, don’t just look for positive reviews – make sure that positive feedback applies to the specific features that are important to you. Remember, a software that’s great all around but weak in a feature that’s a key part of your business may not be the best fit for you, even though it’s a great product.
Get a demo
One of the best ways to see if something is the right fit for you is to experience it in person. Many apps and softwares offer trial periods of around a month (sometimes free or discounted) before asking you to commit to their product. This gives you time to test out a potential software/app (or multiple!) in practice and see how it performs. We recommend trying 2-4 softwares for at least a couple of weeks to see which is the best fit for you and getting a sense of what types of features work best for you.
The bottom line
The most important part of any finance software is that it works for you and your unique business. Regardless of what you choose, prioritize what’s important to you and what helps your business run more smoothly.